Suzanne LaFleur, of the Class of 2005, has just published her second novel, Eight Keys, with Wendy Lamb Books, a division of Random House. It tells the story of best friends Elise, who’s lost her parents, and Franklin. As the publisher describes it, “There’s always been a barn behind the house with eight locked doors on the second floor. When Elise and Franklin start middle school, things feel all wrong. Bullying. Not fitting in. Franklin suddenly seems babyish. Then, soon after her 12th birthday, Elise receives a mysterious key left for her by her father. A key that unlocks one of the eight doors upstairs in the barn.”
Publisher’s Weekly gave Eight Keys a starred review: “LaFleur . . . writes with uncommon sensitivity to the fraught period between childhood and the teenage years, when friendships balance on a razor’s edge and nothing feels certain. The heart of the story lies in the layered relationships and characters that give the novel its powerful sense of realism.”
This is Suzanne’s second novel for Wendy Lamb Books. Her first, Love, Aubrey, is about another orphaned girl and “the healing powers of friendship, love, and memory.” On its 2009 publication, Booklist said, “LaFleur proves she is an author to watch.”
On her website, Suzanne tells how, as a child, she started composing and telling stories even before she knew how to write. She decided then that she wanted to write stories for other children, and at W&L she continued on that path by double-majoring in English and European history. She obtained an M.F.A. in writing for children from the New School. Her brother, Alex, begins his junior year at W&L this fall.