Review: The Nobodies Album – Carolyn Parkhurst

Remember in this post where I said, I normally don’t read mysteries? Well apparently I’m wrong, because I started reading Carolyn Parkhurst’s newest novel, “The Nobodies Album” and realized that it too, was a murder mystery. A mystery with a twist, because it’s also a story of the dynamics between a mother and son.

 I’ve read “Lost and Found” by Carolyn Parkhurst and when I discovered that “The Nobodies Album” was written by the same author, I wasn’t overly thrilled because I didn’t love “Lost and Found”. My skepticism was quickly put to rest after a couple of chapters of her newest novel, which is out in stores a week from today on June 15, 2010.

 Bestselling author, Octavia arrives in NYC to deliver her newest book to her publisher, titled The Nobodies Album. A collection of the endings of her previous novels, which also includes a newer edition with a revised ending. A tricky concept but one that she thinks sets her apart from other authors. As she steps out into Times Square, she sees a screen with words streaming across accusing her rock star son of murdering his girlfriend. Octavia and her son, Milo have been estranged for many years, but under these circumstances she rushes to be by his side, that is, if he’ll even speak to her.

 The story starts at this point as we hear how Octavia deals with the shocking news she received in NYC and whether or not she thinks her son is capable of doing such a horrible thing. Never being able to get along is something they both have dealt with over the years but their connection is even more severed after a tragic experience they both through when Milo is nine. After reading one of his mother’s novels, Milo asks to never see her again. Their separation raises questions about who they’ve turned out to be and psychological experiences that have both experienced.

 Many of the stories Octavia writes are dark, involving death and tragedy. As a reader, you’ll get to experience this first hand, because many of the stories are included in the storyline. This is the only part that annoyed me, because I’d really be getting into the Milo/Octavia relationship and the murder mystery and all of a sudden there would be fifteen pages of characters I didn’t know and seemed to interrupt the main story. However, the more I read these 6 stories plunked into the middle of the main plot, I came to understand Parkhurst’s agenda in terms of foreshadowing the main plot. In the end, I suppose they were detrimental to the main story, but they were long and at times tedious.

 Besides some confusion in certain parts, the main story involving Octavia, Milo and Milo’s band mates is gripping and definitely worth reading.

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