Book 80 of my 2014 Reading Challenge
Rooms by Lauren Oliver
Summary (via the book jacket)Estranged patriarch Richard Walker has died, leaving behind a country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His alienated family - bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna - have arrived for their inheritance.
But the Walkers are not alone. Alice and Sandra, two long-dead and restless ghosts, linger within the house's claustrophobic walls, bound eternally to its physical structure. Jostling for space and memory, they observe the family, trading barbs and reminiscences about their past lives. Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself - in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a lightbulb.
The living and dea are haunted by painful truths that surface with explosive force. When a new ghost appears, and Trenton begins to communicate with her, the spirit and human worlds collide - with cataclysmic results.
My OpinionBrief snippets kept the pages turning. As more voices were added it was hard to keep track of the backstories, although it helped fill in the stories of others that weren't sharing. I liked Sandra the least.
It doesn't happen often but I was picturing this as a movie as I read.
A Few Quotes from the Book
"How do we speak? In creaks and whispers, in groans and shudders. But you know. You've heard us. You simply don't understand."
"Parents teach us our very first lesson about love: that you sure as hell don't get to choose it."
"It was unfair that people could pretend to be one thing when they were really something else. That they would get you on their side and then do nothing but fail, and fail, and fail again. People should come with warnings, like cigarette packs: involvement would kill you over time."
"But that's the beauty of life: time is yours to keep and to change. Just a few minutes can be sufficient to carve a new road, a new track. Just a few minutes, and the void is kept at bay. You will live forever with that new road inside of you, stretching away to a place suggested, barely, on the horizon.
For the shortest time, shorter than the shortest second's breath, you get to stand up to infinity.
But eventually, and always, infinity wins."
"I had carried the weight of him for so long that without it I felt dizzy. I guess it's the same way trees grow around the very vines that are killing them, so they're strangled and sustained all at once. After a long time, even pain can be a comfort."