Tuesday, August 10, 2010
The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst
I had a lot of thoughts about the book. The book is written a bit differently from ones I usually read. As you read the main novel, The Nobodies Album, there are other excerpts of novels or endings of novels scattered throughout the pages. These pages are written by Octavia Frost, the author. Toward the end I did get a bit of a handle on the pieces of manuscript written by Octavia Frost. There is part of one manuscript she worked on for ten years. From what I can gather, The Nobodies Album, is her present novel. To make any sense of this book review I will have to write immediately that The Nobodies Album is fantastic. It's a great mystery. The characters are very interesting. However, I would have liked to have known more about Roland, Bettina and Chloe.
In other words the lives of these characters are deliciously plump for explaining and describing in the novel. In stead, Carolyn Parkhurst, the author, mainly draws a huge picture of Octavia and a slightly smaller one of her son, Milo. Also, there is not much about the horrible tragedy endured by this family in earlier years.
It is my feeling the book would have become longer because of the expanded lives of the characters I mentioned above. Carolyn Parkhurst, I feel, had two great novels in one. What happens in Milo's life is his story. His life spins his mom's life out of control, but she is in no way the one I want to read about most of all. The other story I see in the book is Octavia's story with her daughter, Rosemary, and her husband, Mitch. Here, I do want to learn more about Octavia's feelings. In my eyes the novel had too much where there should have been little.
I think Carolyn Parkhurst is a brilliant author. I will always give her another chance when she publishes another novel. In the meantime I will try to read Dogs of Babel soon. I will use Carolyn Hurst's words to describe how I felt at the finish of the book. Perhaps, this quote from The Nobodies Album may describe her main message. If so, I got that message loudly and clearly. The message was indeed poignant."But children are people right from the moment they're born, and in every human relationship there's a question of compatibility. It's quite separate from the matter of love. It's about fit and friction, the carpentry of daily interaction. Some joints dovetail easily, while others scrape at every contact."