Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Lola Quartet-Emily St. John Mandel

The Lola Quartet

Emily St. John Mandel

Unbridled, May 15 2012, $24.95

ISBN 9781609530792

A decade ago in Florida, the Lola Quartet gave their final jazz performance at school before going on their separate ways to achieve their aspirations. Following a plagiarism scandal Gavin Sasaki recently lost his journalism job in New York; he comes home to Sebastian, Florida with no hope for the future as his realtor sister Eilo offers a position dealing with foreclosed homes.

She tells her brother about seeing a ten years old child Chloe who looks like him and has the same surname as his former girlfriend Anna who vanished after stealing over a 100K from a drug dealer. While he searches for the truth re Chloe, Gavin seeks his three musical mates from their glorious days. Daniel has divorced twice while Jack and Sasha are addicts.

This is a strong character study as the idealism of youth being able to accomplish anything has turned into a realism of failure. The key cast is fully developed so that the reader understands that each has come a long way downward. Gavin’s investigation enhances the where are they now scenario though resolution is not as strong as the road getting there. With a nod to chaos theory (a photo of a tweener at foreclosure begins the odyssey), fans will enjoy this deep thriller as the memory of what we think was is so much superior to the reality of what we know is.

Harriet Klausner

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