The Lola Quartet by Emily St. John Mandel
Unbridled Books • $24.95 • ISBN 9781609530792
Published May 1, 2012

What if you were given a photograph of a 10-year-old who might be the daughter you didn't know you had? A girl who had just been evicted from her home, and was being cared for by someone other than her mother. That's the dilemma facing dissatisfied New York journalist Gavin Sasaki, who returns to his hometown in South Florida for a routine assignment and stumbles onto a mystery that's much more personal. When his obsession with the idea of having a child causes him to sabotage his career, Gavin heads back to Florida to find the girl, Chloe, and discover where her mother disappeared more than 10 years ago.

Emily St. John Mandel's third novel has a rich South Florida setting, depicting a small town that has been sucked in to the tangle of suburbs and swamps that surround the state's larger cities. It's also a vivid portrayal of a man reaching for his last chance at redemption.

Aside from the music, the robin's-egg-blue headphones, the spray-painted NOs in the park in Sebastien, the scar and the tattoo and the way her hair fell across her face when she leaned over her homework, what he remembered about Anna was that he'd loved her. He couldn't remember her ever being unkind to him, from the day they met in a corridor outside one of the band rooms, Sasha's pretty little sister, until she threw a paper airplane at him through the still night air.

On long drives through the suburbs he found himself thinking of Anna constantly. He'd let her slip away so easily. He assumed it was too late to make anything right, for Anna or her daughter, but it had occurred to him that the least he could do was find them.

What are you reading this week?

comments powered by Disqus