“A dizzying, kaleidoscopic thriller that refuses to let readers look away from the dark side of Southern California. . . . Impossible to put down. . . . It’s the memorable characters and beautiful prose that make the novel so successful. . . . Unexpected and pitch-perfect.” (Los Angeles Times)
“Audacious. . . . Each character is realized with vivid empathy. . . . A richly Californian novel, drenched in enough sunlight to illuminate the harshest of truths.” (Entertainment Weekly)
“Enthralling. . . . A compassionate look at the displaced that treats each with respect and humanity.” (Associated Press)
“Pochoda’s steady hand and sharp eye keep all of her characters moving swiftly and gracefully through the variegated L.A. landscape.” (LitHub)
“Pochoda is a masterful storyteller. . . . [She’s] come up with a harmonious narrative that showcases the human condition, full of ecstasy, angst, rage, and beauty.” (Nylon Magazine)
“Pochoda is a master. . . . It’s not a far stretch to consider Pochoda to be in company of James Ellroy, Michael Connelly and T. Jefferson Parker. . . . It wouldn’t be a big surprise to find Wonder Valley on the short list for several awards.” (BookPage)
“Evoked by Pochoda in shimmering detail. . . . Absorbing, finely detailed, nasty California noir.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“Pochoda has written a novel alive with empathy for the dispossessed and detailed description of the California landscape.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Ambitious, absorbing. . . . Pochoda paints southern California with a vibrant brush, rendering an evocative landscape on which her desperate characters seek out redemption and rejuvenation.” (Booklist)
NPR Best Book of 2017
Los Angeles Times Best Fiction Pick
Refinery29 Best Book of the Year
BOLO Books Top Read of 2017
“Destined to be a classic L.A. novel.”—Michael Connelly
When a teen runs away from his father’s mysterious commune, he sets in motion a domino effect that will connect six characters desperate for hope and love, set across the sun-bleached canvas of Los Angeles.
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.