Emily St. John Mandel's third novel, The Lola Quartet, drops the reader into a contemporary Florida suburb, where disgraced newspaper reporter Gavin Sasaki is forced to return to a hometown that is swiftly disintegrating and a past that is not quite ready to receive him.
I suppose the novel will be called a mystery, and it certainly is structured as such. But Mandel's writing includes essences of noir and of the socially conscious novel, and she achieves - through effortless shifts in point of view, and a sparseness that indicates a real sense of sophistication - a highly literary novel.
There is a mystery - what happened to Anna, Gavin's high school girlfriend, who disappeared one summer surrounded by rumors of a pregnancy? If the child exists, is it Gavin's? Why does everyone from Gavin's past seem to know more about what happened than he does? By raising these issues, Mandel...
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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