From the bestselling author of The Dogs of Babel comes a dazzling literary mystery about the lengths to which some people will go to rewrite their past.
Bestselling novelist Octavia Frost has just completed her latest book—a revolutionary novel in which she has rewritten the last chapters of all her previous books, removing clues about her personal life concealed within, especially a horrific tragedy that befell her family years ago.
On her way to deliver the manuscript to her editor, Octavia reads a news crawl in Times Square and learns that her rock-star son, Milo, has been arrested for murder. Though she and Milo haven’t spoken in years—an estrangement stemming from that tragic day—she drops everything to go to him.
The “last chapters” of Octavia’s novel are layered throughout The Nobodies Album—the scattered puzzle pieces to her and Milo’s dark and troubled past. Did she drive her son to murder? Did Milo murder anyone at all? And what exactly happened all those years ago? As the novel builds to a stunning reveal, Octavia must consider how this story will come to a close.
Universally praised for her candid explorations of the human psyche, Parkhurst delivers an emotionally gripping and resonant mystery about a mother and her son, and about the possibility that one can never truly know another person.
Parkhurst (The Dogs of Babel) returns with the story of Octavia Frost: widow, successful novelist, and estranged mother of Milo, lead singer of an up-and-coming band. Milo and Octavia haven't spoken in almost four years, but their separation ends when Octavia learns (from the Times Square news crawl) that Milo has been arrested for the murder of his girlfriend. In short order, Octavia travels to the West Coast, determined to find out who really killed Bettina Moffett. Octavia's quest is peppered with short excerpts from her novels in original and revised form though the bits and scraps sometimes come off as filler instead of metafictional excursions into stories Octavia revises for publication and for her own purposes. (Not insignificantly, Milo's band is called Pareidolia, after the human compulsion to see, for instance, the Virgin Mary on a piece of toast.) Parkhurst's voice sucks the reader in immediately the gift of a real storyteller but the mixed genre structure will turn off as many readers as it works for, and the mystery plot is thinner than it should be. (June)