Rooms for Rent

ORIGINAL TITLE: Rum för resande

AUTHOR: Hans Gunnarsson

ORIGINAL PUBLISHER: Albert Bonniers Förlag

GENRE: Fiction

A young couple are driving through Sweden in search of the woman’s biological mother, whom she has never met. In a rural location further south, a woman, Britt-Mari, runs an old inn together with her grown up son.

When a couple with a young child calls to book a room, Britt-Mari takes it as a sign the article about her inn recently published in a national newspaper has had the expected result; she is, of course, completely unaware that one of the prospective guests is the daughter she gave up for adoption long ago.

The summer heat is oppressive. Never-ending, back-breaking drudgery, that has always been my lot, Britt-Mari thinks to herself as she studies and tries to understand her son’s erratic, evasive behaviour with mounting concern. He skulks about the inn and rows aimlessly and inexplicably around the lake, always with a wariness that awakens painful memories in his mother. The past invades the present:

“One disaster had always followed the next, with no room to recover. Everything was still inside her. Closing her eyes, she could hear her own cries echoing across the water.”

Hans Gunnarson’s suspenseful novel brings to mind the tragedies of Ancient Greece. The contrast between explicit and implicit – between the sealed car and the open, silent landscape – creates a tension that slowly builds toward inevitable violence. Rooms for Rent is a surprising, chilling psychological drama.


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Review

"Rooms For Rent is impossible to put down”

Svenska Dagbladet

”It is pure bliss to read Hans Gunnarsson"

Sveriges Radio

"Hans Gunnarsson’s very special feeling for settings, characters and atmosphere is constantly manisfest. I read at a strech. Despite all the drama, I sometimes find myself laughing out loud at some hilarious detail which makes the text so life-like and true"

Helsingborgs Dagblad

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