Title: The Artificial Anatomy of Parks
Author: Kat Gordon
Genre: Literary fiction
Themes: Betrayal and a search for identity
Synopsis: At twenty-one, Tallulah Park lives alone in a grimy bedsit. There’s a sink in her bedroom and a strange damp smell that means she wakes up wheezing. Then she gets the call her father has had a heart attack.
Years before she was being tossed around her difficult family: a world of sniping aunts, precocious cousins, emigrant pianists and lots of gin, all presided over by an unconventional grandmother. But no one was answering Tallie’s questions: why did aunt Vivienne loathe Tallie’s mother? Who was Uncle Jack and why would no one talk about him? And why was everyone making excuses for her absent father?
As Tallie grows up, she learns the hard way about damage and betrayal, that in the end, the worst betrays are those we inflict on ourselves. This is her story about the journey from love to loss and back again.
Review: This novel takes us on a roller-coaster ride of Tallie’s emotional turmoil, triggered by her father’s heart attack. Through a series of interwoven flashbacks to Tallie’s childhood interwoven with the present day action, we discover how secrets and half-heard truths have influenced Tallie’s whole life.
The author Kat Gordon has evidently done a lot of medical research for her novel The Artificial Anatomy of Parks. The book is split into five sections: Heart, Skin, Bones, Blood, and Heart Again. Each body parts parallels Tallie’s life and they are used as metaphors for Tallie’s emotions. Each medical emergency acts as a cornerstone for another development and surprising discovery.
The story will tug at your heart strings as you cross your fingers in the hope Tallie’s father will survive.
Publisher: Legend Press