Wonder Valley

Wonder Valley

Book - 2017 | First edition
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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. When a teenage boy runs away from his father's mysterious commune, he sets in motion a domino effect that will connect six people all desperate for hope and love, scattered across the sun-bleached canvas of Los Angeles. There's Ren, just out of juvie, who travels to L.A. in search of his mother. Owen and James are 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. Tony is a bored and unhappy lawyer on his way to work, jolted out of his malaise by a naked runner sprinting through a traffic jam on the 110. And Blake, a drifter hiding in the desert, is doing his best to fight off his most violent instincts. Their lives will intertwine and come crashing together in a shocking way that could happen only 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."--Dust jacket flap.
Publisher: New York : ECCO, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2017]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780062656353
006265635X
Branch Call Number: F POCHO-I
Characteristics: 324 pages ; 24 cm

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f
fragola
Dec 22, 2018

Noir set in LA, no idea where I got it from.

l
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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