Aberrations – Book Review

Penelope Przekop
Emerald Book Co.
Reviewed by Jen Karsbaek for Reader Views 07/08

A Not-So-Sleepy Novel
4 Stars

Angel Duet is a girl who has been sleep walking through life, both literally and figuratively. A diagnosed narcoleptic, Angel’s greatest disability is the hole in her heart left from her mother’s death. With only her mother’s photographs of clouds, Angel doesn’t know who her mother was, or even really what a mother is. Finding it easier to hide in her narcolepsy, Angel never allows herself to grow close to anyone, preferring sit at home with her longing for ‘mother.’

That is, until the summer before her senior year of college. In an attempt for normalcy, Angel takes a job working in a cotton field at the LSU Agricultural Center. That summer, trapped by a rainstorm, Angel is forced into conversation with her co-workers Kimmy and Tim, who want to get to know her better. Reluctantly, she admits her secret: narcolepsy and is somewhat unwillingly drawn into their worlds. Tim in particular is instrumental in coaxing Angel from her shell and forcing her to experience life. Some of what she experiences may be considered risqué – drug use, picking up guys in bars – but she is actually living for the first time. As her life starts anew, Angel begins questioning her basic assumptions about her life, including her father’s reticence on the subject of her mother and her mother’s death.

Overall I found this an enjoyable read. It is fairly literary, so it isn’t a book that one can just whiz through, instead it requires attention and thought. It is quite interesting how the themes of narcolepsy and reawakening play off of each other in what I would consider to be a fairly masterful way. That being said, a couple of things annoyed me in the reading of this book. First, the book is set in Shreveport, Louisiana and every character spoke with a strong Southern accent. All of the “cain’t”s started to get to me after awhile. The other thing was, and this is a possible spoiler, Angel’s response to her pregnancy. I do not have a problem with her being happy about her out-of-wedlock child, but I did take issue with her reasoning for it. The child, she said, would finally make her happy, finally be something that would love her, help her finally discover a sense of ‘mother.’ That is something that grates on my nerves, because I have seen too many young girls getting pregnant for those reasons. However, that does make her attitude ring true, because she has experienced the less than loving life experienced by so many of the other girls I mentioned.

Buy this book on Amazon.

9 comments to Aberrations – Book Review

  • Eva

    What a gooor-ges cover (that’s my written attempt at a deep South accent). It sounds interesting: is there a lot in the book about her actually being a mother, or is that towards the end?

  • Thanks Jen and Devourer, for a great review of Aberrations! I just wanted to comment on Angel’s attitude toward her pregnancy. You are absolutely correct that it isn’t advisable for young girls to have babies simply to fill a void; however, you are also accurate in noting that the book portrayed the psychology behind that need. This is an example of truth in fiction, and the truth is not always what we would like it to be.

    I also know first hand of this emotion because Angel’s college pregnancy was modeled after my own. I did not go out and get pregnant on purpose to fill a void; however, having my daughter gave to me and taught me what real unconditional love is, and literally changed my life. The real question behind this part of the book is – as adults, parents, and members of society, what can we do to keep our young women from craving this feeling in the first place? You hit the nail on the head with that. This is a topic dear to my heart. You may like to read my blog entry, Curveball Salvation. My blog, Aberration Nation, can be found on my Web site: http://www.penelopeprzekop.com.

    Best Regards,


  • Eva,
    It is discussed a little bit, but it really is the very end of the novel. Although it is amazing to see how much she grows up after her child is born.

    Thank you so much for coming and leaving a comment! I agree that it is important to tell truth in fiction, and hearing your story makes it even more poignant. I went and checked out your blog and it looks fascinating, I will have to read more deeply!

  • Thanks! I also have some radio interviews posted that shed light on my motivation for Aberrations. You and your readers may find those interesting as well. There are some that touch more on my real life story and how it influenced the book that I plan to have posted soon. (Some of which was touchy to share but I survived the interviews.) The radio clips are under “Multimedia.” Thanks for all your support for the book! (-: I worked on it for a long time, never knowing if anyone would ever read it. I’m so happy that I can finally share what I have created with others.

  • o.k. so when are they going to start paying you for this stuff already? I’m just saying…you’re the best 😉

  • Jen, this is a great review and I really liked your thoughts about the teenage pregnancy. This has been a great discussion.

  • I definitely had a prob with the accent too. Overall great book though :)

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