Title: The Original 1982 by Lori Carson
Published May 28, 2013; William Morrow
Genre: contemporary fiction
A singer and songwriter, Lisa made a decision years ago, in 1982, to terminate a pregnancy, a pregnancy that was not supported by her musician lover and which would have put her musical career on hold or on a different path.
Today, she looks back at her decision and wonders what it would have been like if she had had her child. The novel writes two different stories - one with her child and the other, the original 1982, without the child.
In the original 1982, I lose my mind. I drink myself into oblivion.I call him repeatedly and wait outside his door. I beg him to tell me why.Based on the future she envisioned with the child, and the future she actually had without the child, I won't tell you whether or not the character Lisa decided she had made the right decision the first time, in the original 1982, or not. I'll let you, the reader, decide.
He grows bored with my drunken pain.
"I've told you why," he says. (ch. 21)
An unusual plan for a novel, which came off pretty well, I thought. Written in a straightforward manner, its merit is in the two stories it tells, though I found some aspects of her alternate life story just a tiny bit far fetched.
The Original 1982 is the wise and memorable debut novel of love, regret, music and motherhood, by singer and songwriter Lori Carson of the Golden Palominos.
It's 1982, and Lisa is twenty-four years old, a waitress, an aspiring singer-songwriter, and girlfriend to a famous Latin musician. That year, she makes a decision, almost without thinking about it.But what if what if her decision had been a different one?
In the new 1982, Lisa chooses differently. Her career takes another direction. She becomes a mother. She loves differently, yet some things remain the same. Alternating between two very different possibilities, The Original 1982 is a novel about how the choices we make affect the people we become-and about how the people we are affect the choices we make.
A former member of the band Golden Palominos, she has contributed to the soundtracks of Bernardo Bertolucci’s Stealing Beauty, Kathryn Bigelow’s Strange Days, Keith Gordon’s Waking the Dead, and others. The Original 1982 is her first novel. Lori lives in New York City.
Thanks to the publisher for a review copy of this book.