Title: The Lola Quartet
Author: Emily St. John Mandel
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Unbridled Books
Edition: eGalleySource: NetGalley
Date Completed: 5/2/2012
Rating: 4/5Recommend: yes
In Emily St John' Mandel's latest book: The Lola Quartet, four former high school friends who were part of a jazz group in high school, (The Lola Quartet), find their lives intersect after many years, having reconnected under unusual circumstances. When the novel's protagonist, Gavin Sasaki, a journalist from NYC, is fired from his job in 2009, he moves to Sebastian, Florida, when his sister, Elio, offers him a job in her real estate business. His job is working with clients whose homes will soon be foreclosed upon. While in Florida he sees a photo of young girl about 10 years of age who looks exactly like his sister when she was about the same age. This girl, Chloe Montgomery, bears the same last name as a girl Gavin dated 10 years earlier who mysteriously disappeared almost overnight. At the time rumor was that Anna Montgomery, had been pregnant.
Gavin becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to Anna, and whether this young girl could possibly be his child. In the hopes of learning more about the past, he tracks down former friends from, The Lola Quartet. He is hoping that at least one of the members, Anna's brother will be able to help him find out more about what happened to Anna.
The story is told through a series of flashbacks blending present with the past over a 10-year period. The author is extremely talented, providing an interesting character study of the former friends. It's a story of dreams not turning out as planned, especially when flawed characters have made bad decisions and choices in life. I loved the pitch perfect descriptions of the Florida landscape. The economic situations experienced by many when the housing crisis reached it's peak were dead on accurate.
Although for me, the novel got off to a slow start, the writing and the surprising conclusion are enough reason to recommend this book as one that many readers will enjoy. I definitely plan to try another book by this author.