Friday, May 21, 2010

The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst

Octavia Frost is on her way to drop off her latest manuscript to her editor in NYC, when she sees a news blurb that her son is accused of murdering his girlfriend. This is only big news because her son is Milo Frost, lead singer of the very popular band Pareidolia. Though it's been more than four years since she's seen her Milo, she flies out to be with him immediately. When she gets there, she meets the colorful cast of characters Milo has surrounded himself with, begins to salvage her relationship, and piece together the specifics of what actually happened on that terrible night.

Parkhurst's novels have yet to be anything less than extraordinary. Dogs of Babel is one of the few books I continue to recommend to anyone who hasn't read it yet. Her second book, Lost and Found, was not quite on par with her first, but was still a fantastic read. And now with The Nobodies Album, she has returned to the gasp-out-loud high impact story I have come to expect from her.

Let me start by saying I often find reading stories-within-stories to be tedious and distracting from the actual story I want to read. But in The Nobodies Album, the pieces flow together seamlessly. In fact, I came to look forward to the excerpts of Octavia's stories, as they were equally as engrossing as the main plot. The whole concept is based around changing the ending to a story after it is written, and in this sense Parkhurst plays with the readers mind, making them wonder if endings truly aren't written in stone (as they say).

Parkhurst's writing gets deep into the psyche of Octavia, a mother having to go through more than her fair share of tragedies. There are some truly graphic scenes that made me have to pause my reading and think of something cheery, just to be able to go on reading again. However, there are plenty of tender moments in the book as well, and I found myself not wanting the book to end so soon.

Parkhurst is an author I will always look forward to reading more of!

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

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