Bingo Square: Music
Gavin is a little lost. After making it as a journalist in New York, his girlfriend has left him and he spirals into making up quotes for his stories. Found out and fired, he heads back to his hometown in Florida, humiliated. He also suffers terribly from heat stroke, an affliction he’s escaped on leaving. Taking a job with his sister, she shows him a photo of a child that resembles her and has Gavin’s ex-girlfriend’s last name. The timeline fits. Is this a lost daughter he knew nothing about? Using his journalist sleuthing skills, he searches for the child’s mother, Anna. She disappeared the night of his last concert with his band, The Lola Quartet.
Ten years earlier, Anna slipped away into the dark, and Gavin let her go. Now he traces his old bandmates – Daniel (bass), now a police officer; Jack (saxophone and a true talent) who is even more lost than Gavin and sinking into drug addiction; and Sasha (drums), Anna’s half sister.
The book weaves its way through all the band members, changing point of view and slipping back and forth in time to tell the story. Though not as assured as the author’s Station Eleven (a book I adore), you can see here the beginnings of that structure. Interlinked characters, different times and places. Some sections feeling like short stories that are connected. I didn’t think the plot was especially strong, and since everyone is kind of a fuck up it’s hard to get too emotionally attached. Anna is especially slippery as she sort of there but not there for a lot of it, though she makes some terrible decisions that affect everyone else. Still, it was an enjoyable read, and music is fused throughout, perhaps a little like literature is in Station Eleven. Maybe if I knew more about music I would appreciate it more on that level as well. The writing is still beautiful though. I really need to read her latest one too.