#3: The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst

It’s time for Chick Lit!

Octavia Frost, bestselling novelist, is submitting a game changing book.  Authors talk about things they wish they’d done with their books and how it’s hard to walk away sometimes, but Octavia has decided to actually do something about it.  In her newest book she is rewriting the final chapters to all her books.  It’s never been done before and her publisher thinks she’s crazy.

But why is she doing it?  Why does she want to change the past for her characters and what is she trying to change for herself?

On the day she is to hand the manuscript over, she finds out her estranged rock star son has been arrested for the murder of his girlfriend.  Milo and Octavia haven’t spoken in years but she gets on a plane and goes.  She doesn’t know what will happen when she gets there, but she needs to be close by.

Parkhurst writes several stories in this novel.  While Octavia is trying to heal the wounds with her son, chapters from her books are slipped throughout.  Parkhurst writes Octavia’s original ending and then the  new ending.  These pages within the story give clues to Octavia and Milo’s past.  We know Octavia’s husband and daughter are gone, but why?  Divorce?  Death?  More falling outs?  What happened years ago, and why did Milo shut her out of his life?

I liked the layered mysteries in this.  The foreshadowing is thick, but isn’t too obvious.  Clearly something happened and it wasn’t good, but you don’t know what it was.  When you do find out the first part, you still don’t know why the second break happened.

Parkhurst does a great job writing the tension between mother and son.  Octavia has wanted to be in her son’s life since the day he cut contact.  Now that she’s back, neither one of them knows how to act.  And of course it’s extra confusing because his girlfriend has been murdered and he was the one found covered in her blood.

The ending was good, but what really sold me on the book was the characters and structure.  Parkhurst really spent time developing personalities.  Giving herself the added challenge of writing endings to fictional books and then rewriting them to give clues about Octavia and Milo is clever, original, and it worked.  She had to create the idea of fully formed novels by only writing the endings, and then re-write those endings to slip in clues about Octavia and Milo.  This could have failed spectacularly.

Advertisements

One response to “#3: The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst

  1. Pingback: pyrajane’s #CBR4 review #3: The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst « Cannonball Read IV

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s