Sunday 27 November 2022

Post on a rainy November day...

It’s gray and rainy outside, thoroughly unpleasant for walking, but perfect for reading!  It’s the middle of the afternoon, and I’m looking forward to doing just that once I finish this quick post.

I read a really interesting novel by Canadian author Emily St John Mandel, another book I found while “shopping in my closet” .   The Lola Quartet is a slow-moving mystery set in New York and southern Florida involving four high school friends who once played in a jazz band called “The Lola Quartet”, but at the end of their final year, they all move on with their lives and lose touch. One of the members, Gavin, moves to New York to become a journalist after his girlfriend, Anna, disappears, rumored to have gone to spend the summer with her aunt in Georgia.  Shifting back and forth in time, we follow Anna as she attempts to stay in hiding, but what is she running from?  And she has a young girl with her, Chloe, who may or may not be Gavin’s daughter.  Fired from his job at a New York newspaper for plagiarism, he goes back to Florida to work with his sister repossessing houses.  She was taking photos of one such foreclosed house when she saw this girl who looks a lot like Gavin, which sets her brother, who has always wanted to be a 1950's private investigator, off on a mission to locate Anna and Chloe, a search that begins with reaching out to his former jazz quartet friends to find out if they have any clue about where Anna went or what happened to her a decade earlier.  Underlying the interconnected stories of the characters in both the past and the present is the theme of music, particularly jazz, giving this story a vintage air.  The narrative was very Paul Auster-esque, in that it was both dream-like and timeless, with prose that carried this reader along as though drifting on clouds or down a slow-moving river.  It’s been nearly a week since I finished it, but that’s how I remembered feeling when I reached the final pages.  It was a short book that seemed much longer, but in a really good way.  I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys Paul Auster mysteries; in fact, this book makes me really want to reread the “New York” trilogy, maybe over Christmas break.

That’s all for today.  Stay dry and curl up with a good book!

Bye for now…

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