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.
About the author
Brittany Newell lives in your walls. She scrabbles while you sleep. She is a Californian and a creep.
OOLA is her debut novel.
‘An electrifying debut’ Harpers Bazaar
‘If you’re looking for a wildcard read this summer, this is definitely a contender’ Daily Mail
‘Oola is so good’ New York Observer
‘Newell nails the lure, intoxication, and fallout of obsessive love (and its subsequent madness) that somehow seems a mandatory requirement of growing up’ Elle
‘Not since Lolita’s Humbert Humbert has a narrator been as unreliable as Leif, and as with reading Nabokov’s masterpiece, the experience of reading Oola is one which will leave the reader pondering questions about love, desire and possession long after the last page has been turned’ Nylon
‘An electric new take on a classic theme. As beautiful as it is dizzyingly smart, Oola is a penetrating exploration of desire, privilege and its victims’ AnOther Magazine
‘I fell hard for Oola. A gloriously labyrinthine love story, packing major verve and form. The prose is satisfyingly rich and thick, and often left me thunderstruck. It’s the kind of book that DOES things to you. Poetic, inspiring, just wow. In short: I adored it’ Emma Jane Unsworth, author of Animals
‘A dark, woozy, gorgeously articulate portrait of love, privilege and obsession by a frank, clear and exciting new voice’ Kirstin Innes, author of Fishnet
‘I wish “eerily beautiful” weren’t a cliché, because it perfectly describes this debut’ Teddy Wayne, author of Loner
‘A voice that sounds like no one else, a cadence and vocabulary so specific that it feels like the beginning of a new genre…devilishly dark and achingly tender. This is the beginning of a career I hope to watch for decades to come’ Rachel Syme
‘[A] twisted debut, testing the boundaries between love, obsession, and identity… A dreamy and provocative exploration of sex, privilege, and self-discovery’ Kirkus Reviews
‘Her searching high beams on privilege’s victims and beneficiaries, the fluidity of gender & love’s desire to possess reflect Newell’s obvious talent for observation and care with words’ Booklist