22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Rachel Ward

Rachel Ward was born in 1964 in Woking in Great Britain. She studied Geography at Durham University and began writing in the mid-2000s.

Her début »Numbers« (2009), the first book in the trilogy of the same name, was an instant success. At the heart of the story is 15-year-old Jem, who is cursed with being able to see in other people’s eyes exactly when they are going to die. After her mother’s untimely death, from which time she is aware of her terrible ability, Jem has been raised in various foster families. Unable to look other people in the eye, Jem lives in a state of total withdrawal. This changes when she finds a friend and someone to confide in in the crazy Spinne. Rachel Ward writes in a convincingly youthful language and succeeds in creating a sensitive portrait of lonely people on the fringes of society, and the new perspectives that unexpected friendship can open for these outsiders. »Numbers« can at best be described as being somewhere between a social study and a thriller with fantasy elements. The book pursues two fundamental questions of being human: are our lives predetermined or do we have control over our fates? And what should we do with the time we have? Rachel Ward repeatedly examines these questions and (thankfully) refuses to provide final answers, making »Numbers« that rare thing, a furiously fast-paced young adult novel which is unashamedly entertaining and yet dares to tackle its themes seriously. »Numbers 2 – The Chaos« (2010), which is about Jem’s 16-year old son Adam, and »Numbers 3 – Infinity« (2011), with Adam’s daughter Mia, also make use of those elements which made the first volume of the trilogy so successful – utterly convincing portraits of outsiders and the authentic language of young people, and the eternally unanswerable question of the nature of determination in our lives. Rachel Ward uses new constellations of characters to expand on her plots and gives the story an unexpected new dimension with her vision of a near-future Great Britain as a dystopian, run-down wasteland.

Ward won several prizes for her »Numbers« trilogy and was nominated for the German National Youth Literature Award. Rachel Ward lives with her husband and their two children in Bath.

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