Book Review: The Nobodies

The Nobodies by Laurel Elizabeth Hasara

A mysterious, poetic, and dark fairy tale.

Those are the first few thoughts that come to mind as I turn the last page, and they relate to both the plot and the prose. I have a lot of questions about the book, but not necessarily in a bad way. It’s more like a captivating desire to learn more: more about the characters, the circumstances, and the author’s research/writing process. 

SUMMARY: In 1997’s Bible Belt comes an unusual tale of society’s least desirable. A woman plagued by the lasting effects of a disturbing premonition. A man seeking redemption after two decades of street gang affiliation. A priest gifting religious counsel to a community in moral decline. Six neglected youths making their get-a-way in an infamous Dodge van. How does it all come together in the unceasing chaos of poverty? 

The writing style is intoxicating: strange in some areas, unnerving in others, and ultimately very lyrical in nature. Our characters don’t have names, and the exposition is often delivered in a manner similarly to stage/film directions (setting the scene, describing the characters, etc). There are a few minor aspects I got hung up on (such as the descriptive names for the daughters), but overall I really enjoyed the lush, dense descriptions and vivid imagery.

The story itself is pretty interesting as well. It was a little hard to get into at first, mostly as I adjusted to the style of storytelling, but then it picked up the pace around page 30 and I was golden the rest of the time. It’s hard to discuss without spoilers, but the story kept me on the edge of my seat through many chapters, and there’s even the inclusion of a true crime element at the end.

One of the aspects I liked most was feeling like I was reading some sort of dark phantasmic fairy tale. Many of the scenes had a dream(nightmare)like quality to them, punctuated by genuine pain and trepidation from the characters. We read, helpless, as the woman seems to spiral down a treacherous hole with no real idea (us and her) what is going to happen next. It made the pages fly by, and yes I’m not ashamed to admit I gave my students extra Independent Reading time in class so I could finish this haha. 

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Laurel Elizabeth Hasara is a psychological-horror screenwriter, novelist and Gothic photographer. Her debut feature-length film, Lovella, is based on an interracial college romance fueled by dark experimentation and obsession, while her debut novella released March 22, 2021, The Nobodies: an unusual tale of society’s least desirable. With a Bachelor’s of Arts in English Literature acquired at The University of Maryland, Miss. Hasara’s current academic focus is concentrated in the studies of philosophical theology, angelology and demonology. Sole owner of House of Hasara, LLC, her overarching artistic goal is to make her life into a living art piece through various literary and visual forms.

If you want to learn more about Laurel Elizabeth Hasara and her work then check out her website (https://www.houseofhasara.com) and follow her on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/laurel.e.hasara/).

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