Wonder Valley

Wonder Valley

Book - 2017
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From the acclaimed author of Visitation Street, a visionary portrait of contemporary Los Angeles in all its facets, from the Mojave Desert to the Pacific, from the 110 to Skid Row. During a typically crowded morning commute, a naked runner is dodging between the stalled cars. The strange sight makes the local news and captures the imaginations of a stunning cast of misfits and lost souls. There's Ren, just out of juvie, who travels to LA in search of his mother. There's Owen and James, teenage twins who live in a desert commune, where their father, a self-proclaimed healer, holds a powerful sway over his disciples. There's Britt, who shows up at the commune harboring a dark secret. There's Tony, a bored and unhappy lawyer who is inspired by the runner. And there's Blake, a drifter hiding in the desert, doing his best to fight off his most violent instincts. Their lives will all intertwine and come crashing together in a shocking way, one that could only happen in this enchanting, dangerous city. Wonder Valley is a swirling mix of angst, violence, heartache, and yearning, a masterpiece by a writer on the rise.--Amazon.
Publisher: New York : ECCO, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2017]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780062656353
Characteristics: 324 pages ; 24 cm
Call Number: POCHODA, I

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EscapesToBooks Nov 20, 2017

Disturbing and engrossing. This book asks the questions, "What are you haunted by?" and "What are you running from?" It's an excellent read from start to finish.


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laphampeak
Jan 24, 2018

The novel starts with a naked man running down freeway in Southern Ca. Tony is in his car observing the man and his own life and where its taken him. Add Ren who is looking for his ailing skid row mom after his release from jail for shooting an officer at 12. We also have Blake and Sam on the run until Sam has a bad bone break which led them to get healing at a commune that raises chickens run by Patrick, wife, and twin sons. A commune devotee, Britt , is seeking asylum from an incident where she left the scene of an accident..... Whew! Aside from struggling to keep everyone straight, the author changes the timing from 2006 to 2010.
The story blends characters and relationships showing literally and figuratively how they have journeyed through events that have been life changing. Wonder Valley is part crime novel, part redemption journey, with a dose of searching for identity.

Starts strong and then loses its focus somewhere around page 200. From that point until the conclusion of the novel the author is just punching the clock to collect her paycheck. Nothing meaningful is being imparted here. What? Contingency? No. The biggest insight I took away with me is how homelessness is now completely integrated as an essential aspect of our society.

EscapesToBooks Nov 20, 2017

Disturbing and engrossing. This book asks the questions, "What are you haunted by?" and "What are you running from?" It's an excellent read from start to finish.

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