All I need to be entertained are cats within ear-scratching distance and a good book . . .OK, maybe that's not ALL I need, but it's a good start.

I love to read. And I love to get recommendations for books to read.

I started Cats and a Book to share the books I read with others. Some I love, some I don't, but you may love the ones I don't, so you're welcome to post your own comments and suggestions.

To make it easier to purchase books you may read about on the blog, I've linked to through The Cats and a Book Bookstore, which is located on the bottom of this page. Your purchases are fulfilled and handled through Amazon. To assure your privacy, Cats and a Book doesn't handle any of your payment or contact information.

Happy reading!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Cats and a Book Virtual Book Club Selection: The Nobodies Album, by Carolyn Parkhurst

The Nobodies Album, by Carolyn Parkhurst, is a page-turner murder mystery published by Doubleday Books in 2010. The book's heroine is Octavia Frost, a successful author, whose current unfinished work is entitled The Nobodies Album. The name came from her son Milo, who as a child, would say that songs like "I've Been Working on the Railroad" performed by the Beatles would be on "The Nobodies Album." The recorded version didn't exist anywhere in the "real" world.

Frost took this title and applied it to a series of new endings for novels she had already published. She juxtaposed the original ending with her new ending, so that the unpublished and not yet complete book consisted entirely of existing and alternative endings.

Octavia and her son Milo had been estranged for four years. The estrangement began when he read one of her novels which included the sentence, "They were exactly the wrong two to die." Milo and his mother were the two survivors of a tragic accident in which Milo's sister and father drowned. Milo felt guilt and blame, and refused further contact with his mother, assuming that her character felt the way his mother did. Octavia knew he'd read that particular book, and felt certain it was that sentence which was the death knell for their relationship.

Milo was now living in San Francisco with his girlfriend Bettina, lead singer of a successful rock band. Milo's reconciliation with his mother is spurred by Bettina's murder, for which Milo is charged. Octavia flies to her son's city, not sure whether he will see her, much less allow her to help him, and discovers a granddaughter she didn't know existed. The murder investigation unfolds as does a new ending for Octavia and Milo.

The Nobodies Album is a quick read. The theme of "do-overs" is prevalent, mainly in order for characters to be restored to a closer relationship. Readers won't be disappointed by the ending of The Nobodies Album.

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