The mid-summer blitz book for today is:
The Lola Quartet
By Emily St. John Mandel
Unbridled Publishers, $24.95
What the publisher says about it:
Gavin Sasaki is a promising young journalist in New York City, until he's fired in disgrace following a series of unforgivable lapses in his work. It's early 2009, and the world has gone dark very quickly; the economic collapse has turned an era that magazine headlines once heralded as the second gilded age into something that more closely resembles the Great Depression. The last thing Gavin wants is to return to his hometown of Sebastian, Florida, but he's drifting toward bankruptcy and is in no position to refuse when he's offered a job by his sister, Eilo, a real estate broker who deals in foreclosed homes.
Eilo recently paid a visit to a home that had a ten-year-old child in it, a girl who bears a strong resemblence to Gavin and who has the same last name as Gavin's high school girlfriend Anna, whom Gavin last saw a decade ago. Gavin -- a former jazz musician, a reluctant broker of foreclosed homes, obsessed with film noir and private detectives -- begins his own private investigation in an effort to track down Anna and their apparent daughter. The Lola Quartet, a work of literary noir, is concerned with jazz, Django Reinhardt, economic collapse, friendship and love, Florida's exotic wildlife problem, fedoras, and the unreliability of memory.
The Lola Quartet was a solid read. I expected more of a mystery, this wasn't what I consider to be a "noir" - however I was fascinated enough by the four high school friends and what has happened to them in a ten year span. I think the way author Mandel structured the flash backs really give you a feeling for the characters, especially Gavin. To me The Lola Quartet was more of a character analysis than a mystery. But that's not necessarily a bad thing!
The Lola Quartet is engaging and has Mandel has planted enough plot twists and turns that you do keep turning the pages. I do recommend this one, and hope you enjoy a nicely told examination of people's expectations... of where their lives take them.
3 1/2 out of 5 stars...
This book was provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley and in no way affected my review.