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Aberrations Cover

ISBN13: 9781934572030
ISBN10: 1934572039
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OneMansView, May 6, 2011 (view all comments by OneMansView)
So much grit (4.5*s)

Set in Shreveport, LA, this novel is a very intriguing story about senior college student Angel Duet’s halting, even painful, efforts to overcome what, to this point, has been a rather foggy, difficult life due to daily occurrences of narcoleptic reactions [sudden lost of muscular control and/or deep REM sleep]. Adding complication to her life is the mysterious loss of her mother when she was quite young, about which her otherwise helpful father remains tight-lipped. Things change for Angel in this summer of her twenty-first year.

Angel has always been drawn to a wall in her home where her mother’s photographs of clouds are vaguely mindful of a variety of real-world objects. The author consistently turns to the imagery of clouds to explain the elusiveness of reality for Angel who must separate out her narcoleptic experiences including vivid dreams. That summer, the arrival of her father’s new, lawyer girlfriend Carla, who tampers with her mother’s photos, and her increasingly close association with two of her young co-workers, Tim and Kimmy, on a summer agricultural project propel Angel on a course of opening up and self-discovery.

In particular, Tim, a rather free-speaking individual and unwilling to allow Angel to play victim, expands her social world by introducing her into the gay bar scene and homosexual experience as well as using drugs as an alternative to her physician-prescribed regimen. She even casts aside the most sympathetic male in her life, Mac, a married doctor with whom she is having an affair, to begin her first honest romance. Most importantly, for Angel these new experiences have given her some confidence to pursue the most distressful aspect of her life, that is, the disappearance of her mother.

The author captures so well the difficulties of Angel’s life: coping with the daily intrusions of her disease; not knowing who to trust with her increased vulnerability; her constant search for a substitute for her absent mother. In some respects, the author’s focus on Angel’s struggles leaves out some basics. For example, Angel is an elusive presence: her physical appearance is barely mentioned. Apparently, she has a certain appeal based on the attraction of Mac, a real ladies’ man. The author’s somewhat uneven insertion of Southern speech patterns is mildly annoying. More generally, the writing is simply superb ��" many insightful bits.

Ultimately, the book is guardedly hopeful. Angel’s condition does place demands on others. Furthermore, she starts to appreciate that others have their own struggles, especially her father. It may be a difficult journey, but if Angel is an example, it is possible to find stability in the midst of the confusion of an unfortunate situation, even to the point of determining those who genuinely love. It is a remarkable story; it’s inspiring to see a character exhibit so much grit.
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BookishRuth, May 2, 2009 (view all comments by BookishRuth)
Aberrations is an extraordinary debut novel for Penelope Przekop. This is not just a coming of age story, it is truly an awakening.

Angel Duet is a 21-year-old narcoleptic living in Louisiana during the 1980’s. Her mother died when she was born, and all that Angel has of her mother are stories told to her by her father, and a series of cloud photographs taken by her mother.

When her father’s new girlfriend moves in, the pictures come off the wall and Angel finds her familiar life turned upside down. She feels the loss of the pictures as another person would feel a parent’s death. Throughout the story we see her searching for the one thing she’s never felt, but needs so acutely – a mother’s love. This search will lead her down a dark path of drugs and sexual experimentation, before ultimately leading her to demand real answers from her father.

Aberrations is an intriguing look into the secrets people keep and their motivations for keeping them. Every character has something that they want to hide from others: a medical condition, their sexuality, an extra-marital affair. As the story progresses, we glimpse each character’s secret. Some secrets, once revealed, are liberating for the characters. Others are absolutely devastating. The secrets that Angel’s father has kept from her concerning her mother will irrevocably change her life.

Przekop has crafted some truly fascinating characters in this novel. I found myself drawn to each character, but I was most drawn to Angel. As a person living with a chronic illness, I easily identified with Angel’s struggle with narcolepsy and her desire to not allow the illness to define her.

Powerful and stirring, Aberrations is one of the best books I’ve read so far this year. Don’t miss this one!
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Product Details

Przekop, Penelope
Emerald Book Co
Family life
Coming of age
Young women
Fathers and daughters
Literature-A to Z
Publication Date:
8.68x6.16x.76 in. .87 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Coming of Age
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life

Aberrations New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$14.50 Backorder
Product details 240 pages Emerald Book Co - English 9781934572030 Reviews:
"Review" by , "'I wanted to convey in the book and story that everybody has a different path in life'.... 'But it's what you have to go through to come out on the other side to find yourself.'"
"Synopsis" by , 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 an 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 the 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. As Angel begins to expose a history she could never have imagined, she discovers her entire life has been anchored around 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 their worth.

"Synopsis" by , In this edgy coming-of-age novel, a narcoleptic college student grapples with her disorder-which has become a coping mechanism of sorts-and seeks the truth behind her mother's untimely death.
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