~by Penelope Przekop
Angel Duet is a twenty-one year old narcoleptic from Shreveport, Louisiana in the 1980s. She has grown up without a mother, only knowing and connecting with her through a collection of photographs. But, Angel's father loves her dearly and is determined to protect her, even from the truth. We know her father has lied to her (the opening line is "My father is a liar." How's that for a hook?) and yet the extent of his deception is unknown, even to Angel. After Carla, his girlfriend, moves in with the two, Angel's world begins to change. The photographs are removed and slowly she uncovers the truth of her mother's death.
I didn't find Angel particularly likable at first, though she did grown on my--she's a bit misguided and perhaps a bit selfish in the beginning, but she undergoes a great deal of change and gains a fair amount of maturity in the process. Because Aberrations is such a character based and driven story, these changes in Angel and the development in others are critical in really making the book work as well as it does.
I did have a classmate who had narcolepsy, but we never really talked about it in great detail, so I am not particularly familiar with the disorder. Reading Aberrations has given me insight into how complex and varied narcolepsy can be. The Narcolepsy Network affirms Penelope Przekop's portrayal of the neurological disorder as both accurate and compassionate.
I was lucky enough to be contacted and asked to review this, Przekop's debut novel--I probably wouldn't have come across it otherwise. Vaguely autobiographical elements lend authenticity to the story and allow for a sincere portrayal of characters and events. I can completely believe these people are real, with real problems, prejudices, and issues. I very much enjoyed the book and wanted to know what happened to these realistic and compelling characters. Aberrations is aptly named--beauty and acceptance, forgiveness and redemption are found despite the imperfections and flaws of the characters, and sometimes even because of them.