Wonder Valley: A Novel
Against a backdrop of a sprawling, wild Los Angeles, six lost souls do their best to outrun their demons. Ren, fresh out of juvie, yearns to find his mother and atone for both their sins. James and Owen try in vastly different ways to define their own lives apart from their cult-leader father. Britt will do just about anything to forget her own egregious mistakes, and Tony–affluent and successful–wonders if the real meaning of his life exists outside his familiar world. Finally, Blake, a violent criminal, devotes himself to a life on the run with the even more violent Sam–until tragedy pummels this unlikely duo and forces Blake onto a new and unwanted path.
Told in alternating viewpoints over a span of four years, Pochoda skillfully juggles her disparate cast of characters, all of whom are on the verge of despair or redemption or a queasy blend of both. She excels most in creating a vivid, unsparing picture of LA, where the desert and sun and chaos often render the ocean an afterthought. Framed by Ren’s journey to reach the water–so close and so far–Wonder Valley suggests that, for some, the search for community and meaning will never be fully over and that some are ultimately destined to be alone.
|Page Count||336 pages|
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|Category||Mystery, Crime & Thriller|