“Vealitzek writes from the heart. I read this tale of anguish, and of triumph, from cover to cover without stopping. You will too.”

Stephen Wetta, author of If Jack’s in Love



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In 1983, two lost souls come together by circumstance: a Minnesota farm boy transplanted to suburban Chicago after his father dies, and his new teacher, a proper, young –closeted–woman starting over after a failed attempt to live openly.

Based on a true story, The Rooms Are Filled is the timeless tale of learning to live in one’s own life, of changing to become who we are.


Praise for The Rooms Are Filled


“As you read about the seemingly quiet, Midwestern lives of the people of The Rooms Are Filled, you will suddenly realize that you desperately want them to get everything they’re hoping for.”

—John Warner, Chicago Tribune columnist and author of The Funny Man


“Michael, a boy rejected by his schoolmates, and Julia, a schoolteacher confused about her sexual identity, form a lovely, sympathetic bond in Jessica Null Vealitzek’s fine first novel. The Rooms Are Filled is the story of their struggle to survive in a suburban world full of prejudice and hostility, set against the backdrop of a natural world, which we, like Michael, have lost but still can learn from. Vealitzek writes from the heart. I read this tale of anguish, and of triumph, from cover to cover without stopping. You will too.”

—Stephen Wetta, author of If Jack’s in Love


The Rooms Are Filled is a tender novel about the beauty and sadness of those simply learning to live out loud. An ode to truth, the departed who are never truly gone, and the resilient human heart.”

—Susan Henderson, author of Up from the Blue


“A touching, character-driven story.”

–Jen Steele, Staff Recommendation, Boswell Book Company


“…there is one element to Vealitzek’s writing that shines above all else. She has a way of remembering the quiet but profound moments of childhood.”

–Coal Hill Review


“This is a first novel for Jessica Null Vealitzek, and she has struck a good balance between reminding us of icons of the times and telling a story that cautions us that we need to be inclusive and understanding of those who are different, no matter what the era…it is a good read that shows promise.”

–Windy City Reviews


“There is something so satisfying in the retelling of this common human experience, and Jessica gets it spot on… The prose is crisp and distinct. The plot is tightly focused with enough twists and turns to keep a reader turning the page. This is a wonderful debut!”

–Jackie Cangro, author of The Subway Chronicles: More Scenes from Life in New York


“I’ve been told I like sad books, but I like to think of them as beautiful stories about the depths of the human spirit. The latest of this type of book that has me mesmerized is Jessica Null Vealitzek’s debut novel, The Rooms Are Filled. Reading this coming-of-age story about two ‘outcasts’ helping one another cope is a reminder of why sometimes we need quiet stories. Not all struggles are obvious shouts; the most heartbreaking (and often the ones we most relate to) are quiet undercurrents we try to keep to ourselves, until we see them mirrored in someone else and realize we are not alone.”

Natalia Sylvester, author of Chasing the Sun


“Vealitzek tugs at our heartstrings from the first pages of this book set in the 1980s and doesn’t let go, as she adds more and more twists and turns to the story. The ending may surprise you. Or leave you wondering … My favorite kind of thought-provoking conclusion!”

–writer Melissa Crytzer-Fry


“…a book that once started I couldn’t put down.”

–Word byWord


“I love it when a good story and good writing come together. The two don’t always come hand in hand, but Vealitzek weaves a heartfelt story with imagery and characters that stayed with me long after I read the last page.”

–Mom in the Muddle


“Novels don’t have to be loud and showy to be good; The Rooms Are Filled is proof of that. It’s quiet and strong, and its layers peel back effortlessly.”

–Kiss My List


“…a solid piece of writing where no character feels superfluous or gratuitous. Vealitzek…is a wonderful storyteller.”

–little lodestar