The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst is about grief, guilt, and family estrangement, but also a novel about writing…about using lives as material, leading to thoughts about responsibility to the reader, duty to family, and the ethics of art. The Nobodies Album — the author’s third novel, after The Dogs of Babel (2003) and Lost and Found (2006) — takes on these weighty themes with a light touch. There is a murder, and even some amateur sleuthing, but it’s mostly about the relationship between a novelist, the bitterly ironic Octavia Frost, and her adult son Milo, who has become a famous rock star. Mutual survivors of a family tragedy, they’ve been estranged for years before events compel Octavia to attempt reconciliation.
Carolyn Parkhurst writes very well about family minefields, and is also funny. Check out the book tour tips on her Web site, where she has also created a whole section by her fictional novelist, Octavia Frost.
This novel had mixed reviews, with two different New York Times reviewers, one who was a little disappointed and one who liked it. If you read The Nobodies Album and decide for yourself, let us know what you think.
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