Christine P. (Pleasanton, CA)
I love this book but it’s hard to put into words what would make you want to read it. Carolyn Parkhurst does not disappoint her readers giving us another novel with excellent writing. The Nobodies Album is rich with the kind of writing that makes you want to sigh when you get to the end of a page and wanting more when you finish the novel. Basically the book is about being able to rewrite your past. It’s a book within a book, part mystery and part exploration of the relationships we hold dear and the ones that we didn’t get to finish, AND what if we were given the chance to put things right. It’s a truly exceptional read.
Kimberly L. (Chula Vista, CA)
The Nobodies Album
Carolyn Parkhurst’s 'The Nobodies Album' is a distinctive and instantly engaging novel. Parkhurst deftly weaves a tale of delicate relationships forged during a time of murder, uncertainty, and blame. Throughout the story, Octavia Frost, author and main character, intersperses vignettes from her work, mirroring and giving further perspective to the twists of plot throughout 'The Nobodies Album'.
I read 'The Nobodies Album' quickly and hungrily. I strongly recommend Carolyn Parkhurst’s novel to readers who enjoy three-dimensional characters. While not a true edge-of-the-seat murder mystery, the author’s writing carries the reader from one page to the next until finally reaching the (not entirely) unforeseen conclusion.
Susan P. (Boston, MA)
You Don't Want to Read On But You Can't Stop
Carolyn Parkhurst has done it again: She's written a very disconcerting book (Dogs of Babel was very upsetting) that bothers me but I couldn't stop reading. I had to finish it! The central character, a novelist, has just finished her last book -- a book with the endings to all her previous novels changed. As a lover of fiction, I found this unacceptable. Yet I wanted to see what she would write and then I found myself trying to decide which ending I liked better. All this is scattered through the story of her son, a rock musician, accused of murder. The mysteries of who did the murder, why mother and son were estranged, and why she wanted to change endings makes you realize that Ms. Parkhurst is very talented. This book is for mystery lovers, and also perfect for those who cares about fiction and what it says about the writer.
Elizabeth D. (Maple Grove, MN)
I loved this book. The idea of an author going back and rewriting the final chapters of her books is intriguing and was handled well in this novel. The "final chapter" excepts are like short stories scattered throughout a novel, and I wished more than one of these fictional books actually existed. I was very moved by a number of them. I liked the exploration of the writing process, and the reminder that when an author is making even the smallest of decisions, she or he is foreclosing a multitude of other options (much like life). While that's not a new idea, I thought it was interesting that the fictional author, Olivia, says early on in the book that when a reader is finished with a book, the reader should feel like the conclusion was inevitable, that it couldn't have been wrapped up any other way. I know what she meant, having read a few books where the ending was so wrong. And yet... the options are endless. This is a book I want to read again (uncommon for me), since I believe it's one in which I'll discover something new. There was one piece of recurring symbolism that I'm not sure I understood - I may want to contact Carolyn Parkhurst to see if my interpretation is correct!
Karen B. (Pittsburgh, PA)
Outstanding Literary Mystery
Carolyn Parkhurst has once again succeeded in surprising her readers. In the "Nobodies Album", Octavia Frost, an enigmatic author whose latest work focuses on rewriting the endings of her previous novels, manages to rewrite her relationship with her estranged son while helping him cope with both a current and past tragedy. Once begun, the reader feels compelled to continue; what happened to Octavia's husband and daughter, what caused Octavia's and Milo's estrangement, who murdered Bettina? The "excerpt" chapters from Octavia's new manuscript help to increase the reader's curiosity and provide for the novel's excellent pacing. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and will wholeheartedly recommend it. Now that I've finished "The Nobodies Album" I'd love to be able to move onto every one of Octavia Frost's novels! Alas, they don't exist; just like the songs on Milo's Nobodies Album.
Phyllis R. (EAST NEW MARKET, MD)
Mother and Son Reunion
Octavia Frost turns in her latest novel, in which she rewrites endings of earlier novels, on the day that she learns her son Milo has been arrested for murder. How she examines their relationship and her possible responsibility for his situation comprises THE NOBODIES ALBUM. There are many mysteries to be solved, not least of which is Milo's guilt or innocence. Alternating between the rewritten endings and the current situation, this well-written novel held this reader's interest throughout. What really happened to her husband and daughter? Is Milo guilty? Will Octavia write a new ending to her life? We come to care about the characters Parkhurst has created and hope for a happier future for them.
Mary Ellen (Canfield, OH)
This is an engrossing novel which this reader couldn't wait to finish and was distraught when she did. It combines a mystery with a family drama, skillfully presented by an inventive author. The murder mystery aspect is secondary to the exploration of family relationships and might have been more fully developed, although there are various other "mysteries" within the novel which are absorbing and memorable. Although this is the first Parkhurst novel I have read, it will not be the last.