Aberrations by Penelope Przekop

Date of Publication: 2008, Emerald Book Company

Number of Pages: 241

Synopsis (from back cover): Twenty-one-year-old narcoleptic Angel Duet knows her father harbors secrets. he loves and protects her, but his suspicious refusal to discuss her mother’s death drives Angel to worship as image created from the little history she does have: her father’s sketchy stories and her mother’s treasured photography, studies of clouds that have hung in their foyer for more than twenty years.

When her father’s girlfriend moves in, the photographs come down, and Angel’s search for truth becomes an obsession. As she struggles to uncover the past and gain control over the narcolepsy that often fogs her world, Angel descends into a dizzying realm of drugs, adultery, and confused desire that further obscures reality.

When Angel exposes a history that she could never have imagined, she discovers her entire life has been anchored in lies. Accepting the truth, once found, is the key to understanding herself, her family, and her life. To truly awaken, Angel must realize that sometimes the gifts we receive are not what we want – and only with time do we see the truth.

Review: I have read quite a few books this year already, but this has to be the best to date. I was immediately pulled into the story, from the very first page, and was completely engaged until the end. The characters are fully developed and quite original, as is the idea behind the story. Not knowing much about narcolepsy, I found the treatment of this condition in the story very satisfying. There’s no medical jargon to deal with, and everything is dealt with on an emotional level. Angel seems to channel Sylvia Plath’s Esther Greenwood in her torment and she is surrounded by friends who either aid her or hamper her in her quest to find the truth about her mother.

Przekop manages to seamlessly weave two stories together: her relationship with her father as she searches for her mother, and her relationships with others as she struggles to deal with her narcolepsy. As a bridge between these two stories, Carla, Angel’s father’s girlfriend, is the great mover of the story as she forces Angel to see truths about herself which motivate her to keep going. Although their relationship is strained, Angel and Carla are really the two seekers.

In the end, I found this book to be extremely satisfying. Przekop is an immensely talented storyteller with the ability to create unforgettable characters. As a first book, Aberrations is an amazing accomplishment, and I can’t wait to see more from Przekop.

Rating: 10/10


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