The Lola Quartet
Now that the Summer Reading Guide is out, I'm thoroughly enjoying reading some backlist titles that have been on my TBR for ages, like this 2012 book from the author of Station Eleven. This is the kind of book I love: a compulsively readable literary mystery, featuring stylish prose plus a plot that keeps you turning the page to find out what happens next. I was so impressed by the way Mandel unfolded the story piece by piece, introducing us to a seventeen-year-old girl in hiding (with piles of cash duct-taped to the underside of her baby's stroller), and slowly revealing how she ended up there—and how the members of the old high school musical group the Lola Quartet are connected to her disappearance. Set in muggy South Florida, the story is dripping with atmosphere and has a noir feel. This week, I tried something new on What Should I Read Next? and shared a short podcast episode focused on One Great Book. That book is The Lola Quartet, and you can listen to me tell you all about it—and how to know if it's the right book for you—right here.
Gavin Sasaki was a promising young journalist in New York City until the day he was fired for plagiarism. The last thing he wants is to sell foreclosed real estate for his sister Eilo’s company in their Florida hometown. But he’s in no position to refuse her job offer, and there’s another reason to go home: Eilo recently met a ten-year-old girl who looks very much like Gavin and has the same last name as Gavin’s high school girlfriend, Anna, who left town abruptly after graduation.
Determined to find out if this little girl might be his daughter, Gavin sets off to track down Anna, starting with the three friends they shared back when he was a part of a jazz group called “The Lola Quartet.” As Gavin pieces together their stories, he learns that Anna has been on the run for good reason, and soon his investigation into her sudden disappearance all those years go takes a seriously dangerous turn.