Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Nobodies Album - Carolyn Parkhurst

The Nobodies Album is the first book I've read by Carolyn Parkhurst.

Author Octavia Frost has been estranged from her rock star son Milo for over 4 years. Milo and Octavia's rift stems from a family tragedy - the fallout never resolved. When Milo is accused of murdering his girlfriend Bettina, Octavia reaches out to help him. But, Milo can't remember anything of the night Bettina died.

The book Octavia is currently working on is a collection of rewritten endings for her seven published novels. I found this book within a book within a book vehicle extremely clever. The original stories were engaging and changing the endings even more so. Each of the narratives related to the main story and gave us subtle hints and understanding of the unspoken tragedy.
"In a way this is what I've been waiting for - a chance to explain. Well to explain what, I'm not sure. That I'm changing my legacy, if I can be grand enough to call it that and that in some convoluted way I'm doing it for him, that I've written myself into my books and I have some kind of overly literal idea that by changing the books I can write a new ending for myself."
Although the whodunit is easily solved, it was only a small part of the book for me. It was the character of Octavia that captured my interest. The book is told from her perspective in first person narrative. We are privy to all of her hurts, doubts and emotions concerning her life. Perhaps it is because we are restricted to Octavia's voice that I really never engaged with the other supporting characters, even Milo. But that being said, it is a book I thoroughly enjoyed. Judge for yourself - read an excerpt of The Nobodies Album.


Mary said...

It sounds like such a good read. Great review!

Sharyla said...

Wonderful review. I'm not sure that I'll be picking up the book anytime soon, but I will keep an eye out for it. :D