Oola and Leif meet at a party in East London, two Americans at a loose end. The insouciant music school dropout and aimless young writer fix on one another, grab hands and fall head-first down love’s rabbit hole.
Leif’s summer plans soon become Oola’s too and the pair find themselves mansion-sitting their way across the States, drinking the liquor cabinets dry and emptying the walk-in wardrobes to play dress-up. But when they decide to play house in a Big Sur cabin, where the clapboards quiver in the heat, boredom breeds an idea that could extinguish their love and even destroy them both.
This is a love story like no other. A savagely brilliant exploration of what it is to adore, own and inhabit your beloved. OOLA takes you to the line and shows you how to cross it.
From an electrifying new voice, this astonishing debut is as juicy and provocative as it is beautiful.
Brittany Newell lives in your walls. She scrabbles while you sleep. She is a Californian and a creep.
OOLA is her debut novel.
The first thing Leif notices about Oola is the sharp curve of her delicate shoulders, tensed as if for flight. Even from that first encounter at a party in a flat outside of London, there’s something electric about the way Oola, a music school dropout, connects with the cossetted, listless narrator we find in twenty-five-year-old Leif. Infatuated, the two hit the road across Europe, housesitting for Leif’s parents’ wealthy friends, and finally settling for the summer in Big Sur.
Leif makes Oola his subject: he will attempt an infinitesimal cartography of her every thought and gesture, her every dimple, every snag, every swell of memory and hollow. And yet in this atmosphere of stifling and paranoid isolation, the world around Leif and Oola begins to warp--the tap water turns salty, plants die, and Oola falls dangerously ill. Finally, it becomes clear that the currents surging just below the surface of Leif’s story are infinitely stranger than they first appear.
Oola is a mind-bendingly original novel about the way that--particularly in the changeable, unsteady just-post-college years--sex, privilege, desire, and creativity can bend, blur, and break. Brittany Newell bursts into the literary world with a narrative as twisted and fresh as it is addicting.