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The Lola Quartet
Excerpts from particularly flattering reviews:

“[An] elegant, hypnotic novel. ... Mandel brilliantly modulates the heightening suspense in a novel that remains, above all, an elegy for lost -- and perhaps only imagined -- innocence. "
-The Washington Post

“[T]he book, like its brilliant predecessor, The Singer's Gun, virtually trumpets the author's talents: her charismatic verbal grace and acuity, the rich atmosphere she creates. "
-The Boston Globe

“This ingeniously structured literary thriller begins in sunlight before slipping deeper and deeper into crime and moral darkness. ... Emily St. John Mandel is so sure-footed in her invention and so good at delineating her cast, that I went along trustingly and with bated breath. "
-Star Tribune

“Riveting... Evocative, intriguing, and complex, this novel is as smooth as the underbelly of a deadly, furtive reptile. Mandel's substantial fan base will rejoice; word of mouth will bring new fans on board. "
-Library Journal, Starred Review

“Mandel (The Singer's Gun) strikes a confident chord in her third novel. ... The author again melds mystery plotting with literary techniques like shifting points-of-view, resulting in both sophistication and suspense ... Mandel's novel excels as a character study that considers the slow degradation of hopes, dreams, and expectations of people who are only in their late 20s but already feel ancient. "
-Publisher's Weekly

“A rewarding read from a talented writer. "
-ForeWord Magazine

“Mandel offers up her unique blend of literary character studies mixed with crime fiction in her third novel... Fascinating. "
-Booklist

 

Kind words from booksellers

“I once said that [Emily St. John Mandel] is why I am a bookseller and continue to be one. With each new novel, she convinces me that books (and books like hers especially) are one of the best things in my life. She touches me in that special deep part of my being that is, perhaps, the best part of me."
--Micheal Fraser, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH

“The Lola Quartet should be accompanied by the following warning: Do not read the first three paragraphs unless you have at least four more hours to spare. Emily St. John Mandel grabs the reader immediately and follows with a novel of intensity and intelligence. The small missteps and misunderstandings of a group of young people result in lives that spiral out of control and literally and figuratively are eventually destroyed. This is a work of power and depth that demonstrates how fragile live can be and how fraught with danger at every turn."
-Bill Cusumano, Nicola's Bookstore, MI

“This sad, yet sublime, novel should bring Emily St. John Mandel a widespread readership. . . . [She] is a master storyteller. It is exciting to watch an author perfect her craft, and this novel definitely shows that St. John Mandel is a major writer. ... Once again, Emily St. John Mandel has taken my breath away with her taut storytelling, her flawed and deeply humane characters and a writing style that makes me fall in love with it every time. "
-Joe Eichman, The Tattered Cover, CO

“I'll read absolutely anything that Emily St. John Mandel writes -- even if it was a list of ingredients for a cereal box. But I'm not exaggerating when I say that this is truly her best novel yet. By examining identity through truly fascinating and realistic characters, she gets to the core truth of who we, as human beings, really are. I love how she combines gorgeous prose with an intriguing and captivating plot. Emily St. John Mandel is one of our finest contemporary writers, and I can't wait to handsell TONS of copies of this book."
-Michele Filgate, Community Bookstore, New York City

“This page-turning story of friendship, betrayal, and disappointment is a testament to the genius of Emily St. John Mandel. Her characters are supremely flawed, yet they stay with you long after you've closed the book. I was incredibly impressed by The Lola Quartet and I can't wait to put it into the hands of my customers."
-Suzanna Hermans, Oblong Books & Music, NY

“'How far would you go for someone you love?' asks The Lola Quartet. That 'someone' might be a lover, child, sibling, friend, or a pill - or other thrill - that substitutes for human love. In her careful, suspense-building novel, Emily St. John Mandel explores this question as she follows the unexpected turns and criss-crossing paths members of a high school jazz group have taken over the past decade. She shows us that answer is unknowable, until we're faced with making the ultimate sacrifice. Mandel will have every reading wondering, 'what would I have done?'"
-Dawn Rennert, Concord Bookshop, Concord, MA

“The Lola Quartet is a mystery, wrapped in a bildungsroman, inside gorgeous modern fiction. Emily Mandel's abilities as a writer continue to progress in this latest novel: she displays even more sensitivity, courage, and humor than in her earlier works. The Lola Quartet is a great story that defies standard categorization, and it's all the richer for it. "
-Hap Houlihan, The Morris Bookshop, KY

“Emily St. John Mandel has written another wildly beautiful novel about people making ill-advised decisions, and the consequences of their actions. Her treatment of her characters is so genuine and loving that you can see yourself making the same choices, whether it's stealing from drug dealers, lying to friends and family or eating baby pandas. (Okay, I made that last one up, but if anyone could talk you into eating a baby panda*, it's Emily.)"
-Liberty Hardy, RiverRun, Portsmouth, NH. (* note: no baby pandas were harmed in the writing or promotion of this novel.)

“Luckily for readers and booksellers everywhere, she has done it again. Emily St. John Mandel has managed to wrap matters of friendship and family and duty and honor into a story that ... rings true and carries profound emotional weight. Mandel is a thinking and feeling person's novelist -- she mashes together varying locales and ideas and emotions in ways that, if listed, could sound pretentious. Her writing is anything but that. I say this each time with her -- it was a joy to be a participant in her work."
-Hans Weyandt, Micawber's Books, MN

“Emily St. John Mandel's latest novel caught me from the first page. In The Lola Quartet, Mandel melds riffs on unemployment, plagiarism, jazz, debt, addiction, foreclosure and redemption into a carefully woven thriller."
-Stephanie Valdez, The Community Bookstore

“..The Lola Quartet is her 3rd novel and in my opinion, her best yet. Florida, New York, Utah. Journalism, drugs, jazz, and gambling addictions. Characters who seem to be real people, who elicit a visceral response from the reader. And, an ending that was an emotional punch in the gut. Emily's books only get better and better and I look at her as one of my personal writing teachers."
-Drew Goodman, University of Utah Campus Bookstore, UT

“Every time I read a novel by Emily St. John Mandel, I start thinking about what I need to have with me (which should all fit in a largish messenger bag) for a one-way trip to a destination unknown, and what I can leave behind. That thought experiment never ends well, for the real work of deciding what to carry and what to leave behind is about the memories that attach to things. It gets called baggage for a reason, after all. In this way, Mandel's new novel, The Lola Quartet is a variation on a theme. Like her first, Last Night In Montreal this book is about the consequences of running away with your child and your love for her - but this time scored for orchestra instead of chamber music. ...But that's the fun of Mandel's novels, you get the romance of disappearing without the desperation. Well, that and the breathlessly good prose."
-James Liu, Seminary Co-op Bookstore, IL

“I wanted to let you know how much I loved Emily St. John Mandel's new book and how much I look forward to selling it to my customers... "
-Janet Geddis, Avid Bookshop, GA

“The Lola Quartet had me in its jazzy grip from the first page. Emily St. John Mandel proves once again that she has major chops, and the novel's pull is irresistible. "
-Emma Straub, Bookcourt, Brooklyn

“The Lola Quartet is an amazing book! The story is well written, very interesting and holds the reader's attention throughout. It is a story that will stay with the reader long after the book is finished. This is a very talented writer who should go far. "
-Cheryl Kravetz, Classic Bookshop, FL

“This page-turning story of friendship, betrayal, and disappointment is a testament to the genius of Emily St. John Mandel. Her characters are supremely flawed, yet they stay with you long after you've closed the book. I was incredibly impressed by The Lola Quartet and I can't wait to put it into the hands of my customers. "
-Suzanna Hermans, Oblong Books & Music, NY

“Emily St. John Mandel carves out a place for herself among the great suspense writers with her third novel, The Lola Quartet. Wrought with tension and intrigue, The Lola Quartet slowly dips the reader into a steamy underbelly of Florida crime. Secrets from the past, a crime gone wrong, and the loyalty of family motivate a complex cast of characters to make decisions they would not make under normal circumstances. But, in the world of Sebastian, Florida, things have gone so far from normal, it's hard to tell if anyone will come back. "
-Jessilynn Norcross, McLean & Eakin, MI

“Be forewarned! Emily St. John Mandel's new book, The Lola Quartet, is addictive. The more you read, the more difficult it is to put down. In what appears to be Mandel's signature style, she takes her unique characters back and forth in time while also alternating character voices. The result is an engrossing, often gripping tale ... Mandel slowly builds her novel in a deliberate crescendo that leads to a surprising conclusion. Then, when all seems bleak and despairing, she gives us one little ray of hope that the future might hold more harmonious music than the present. I have never given much thought to setting a novel to music. The musical score for The Lola Quartet would, I believe, be excellent. Encore, Ms. Mandel!"
-Nancy Simpson-Brice, Book Vault, IA

“Emily Mandel's The Lola Quartet is a compelling story in which the lives of her trademark flawed characters are connected by the decisions they made in the past and their struggles to deal with the ramifications of those decisions ten years later . . . The building sense of foreboding has a subtle crescendo that almost lulls the reader into a kind of suburban ennui. . . . But the chilling denouement left me wondering how Anna, Daniel, Sasha, and Gavin are going to live the rest of their lives."
-Alice Meloy, Blue Willow Bookshop, TX

“Youthful indiscretions lead to disastrous consequences in the adult lives of The Lola Quartet's estranged musicians. One by one they find each other again, but they are so accustomed to keeping secrets and withholding trust that they walk the razor-thin line between choosing their own destinies and being fate's fools. This amazing tale of synchronicity will keep you feverishly turning the pages--it's clearly Mandel's finest work yet. "
-Emily Crowe, The Odyssey Bookshop, MA

“One of the beautiful things about following a new author is watching the growth in each book she writes. I've loved all of Emily's books but this one rises to a new level -- everything about it works for me. The characters are flawed but compelling and likeable . . . And the pacing was impeccable. . . . I'll stop gushing now. It was beautiful. I can't wait to recommend it to readers."
-Vicki Erwin, Main Street Books, MO

“The Lola Quartet is a stylish tale of how the lives of four friends who were in a high school jazz group have played out over the next ten years. Mandel is a skilled story teller and her novel reads like an edgy jazz composition. The well developed characters not only played together as musicians but played each other in their personal lives. How and why they reconnect with each other years later in an outer suburban Florida which is as bleak and dangerous as their lives makes a compelling novel. Her latest novel is both a satisfying read and very entertaining. A really wonderful novel. "
-Sarah Knight, Northshire Bookstore, VT

“Emily St. John Mandel's writing possesses the gift of clarity. Her new novel The Lola Quartet is deceptively simple, engaging enough to serve as casual entertainment, yet rewards the mindful reader with its rich depth and subtlety. St. John Mandel is an important talent on the rise. "
-John Turner, NYU Bookstore, NY

“Emily St. John Mandel nails it with The Lola Quartet. She had me from page one, when Anna, a 17 year old with a new baby and $120,000 in cash which clearly does not belong to her goes on the run. I loved this tale about what not to do after high school. It's the story of four flawed members of a high school jazz band after they graduate, lose contact and disperse to follow their dreams,dreams which one by one melt away as they each struggle and falter in a world where doing the right thing is never as clear as it sounds. Each is connected to Anna's colossally bad decision whether they realize it or not, and it eventually forces them back together ten years later, to the story's dramatic climax. One of the characters in this novel says of another, 'He's got the music,' meaning he's got a real musical gift. Emily St. John Mandel has got the story. I see movie rights all over this novel. "
-Kris Kleindienst, Left Bank Books, MO

“The Lola Quartet is at once alive and frozen: vibrant with the interconnected of an old group of friends to whom life has not been kind, and a perfect snapshot of the many ways in which life can be unkind in our modern age. Mandel's writing is as steady and thoughtful as ever, an ideal frame for her hapless, hopeful characters. A beautiful story. "
-Stephanie Anderson, WORD, NY