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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Lola Quartet by Emily St. John Mandel - a review

There’s no going back. Once high school is over, just like Bruce Springsteen says, there’s nothing but ‘glory days,’ rehashing what might have been. The Lola Quartet gave their last performance of the year from the back of the truck and that too was when Gavin last saw his wannabe-girlfriend, Anna, as she stood in the outskirts of the woods. He looked for her but she was just gone. Rumors that she was pregnant where supposedly authenticated when his band mate and best friend Daniel disappeared about the same time.
They all moved on but Gavin more than the others. He got the college degree that sent him to New York to work as a high-powered journalist. Addicted to the infamy, he started glamorizing his stories with quotes that he thought his boring subjects could have said ignoring their real world answers, until the inevitable happened and he had to leave, head hung low.
The shame took him home to swampy steamy Florida from where he escaped to avoid the omnipresent heat. His sister found him work with her firm, flipping homes going into foreclosure, and also showed him a photograph she took of a ten-year-old girl, the spitting image of Gavin; no mistaking the Japanese ancestry. Daniel is now a small town cop, Anna’s sister Sasha works nights in the town diner, and the last member of the band, Jack is living a drug-addled life in a tent in a friend’s back yard. Gavin uses the skills he learned as a top-notch reporter to put together the big picture and track down what appears to be the daughter he never knew about.
The lives the four led since high school took them down paths no one could have imagined, and what Gavin learns shocks and scares him to the core. Be prepared to be surprised.

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