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3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  141 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Welcome to Newport Beach, California--a community often found glittering in the spotlight, but one that isn't always as glamorous as we imagine. Through the lives of waiters and waitresses, divorced and single parents, and alienated teens, Victoria Patterson's Drift offers a rare and rewarding view into the real life of this nearly mythical place, all the while plumbing th ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published June 25th 2009 by Mariner Books (first published January 1st 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 306)
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Mar 20, 2009 eb added it
Memorable. I'm still thinking about the brain injured skater and poor little Rosie.
Jun 19, 2009 Natasha rated it it was amazing
Such vivid characters and story-telling that left me breathless at times.
Becky Everhart
I really enjoyed this book--so much so that I was quite sad to reach the ending. The plots are original and carefully formulated, as are the intertwining characters. The continuity is flawless, even if the book does jump about in time. The voice, one of innocence, experience, and sometimes a bit jaded, serves the writer well. I felt so sorry for Rosie coming of age in such a brash, unprepared manner. John Wayne brought about pity and wonder and a hint of childhood wistfulness in his eternal shoe ...more
Jan 07, 2010 g rated it liked it
Recommended to g by: The Elegant Variation blog
Shelves: californiana
Like many Bay Area denizens, I am fascinated and repulsed by Southern California, so a collection like this has a powerful draw. I almost put it down after the first story, which was unremarkable; it was the author's eloquent contributions to several of my favorite lit blogs that made me reconsider, and I'm glad I stuck with it.

Drift is a series of interconnected short stories about the underbelly of Newport Beach, one of the wealthiest communities in California (seen The O.C.?). As the volume p
Saskia Marijke Niehorster-Cook
On the Rough is what you call this poignant coming of age story in a deceitful glittery, sparkley world of bling bling where reality can be even uglier due to the fact that it is not openly accepted or discussed. It is precisely the hush hush that becomes the conspicuous ally to continuous abuse and dysfunction. Where can a young girl take her secrets when her world pressures her to conform and be pretty? How can one openly rebel against the whole of society and come on top? How can one be free ...more
Holly Lee (Bellas Novella)
This novel is a powerhouse. It took me a few chapters to get into it, but once I was about 50 pages in I was hooked. Each short story is set in a different time, surrounding different characters, yet they all seem to intersect each other. If I had to pick a lead character I would say that Rosie is the central character. She seems to be the linking character in the stories. The links are surprising and believable.

The stories deal with issues such as sexual abuse, drug use, alcohol, coming of age,
Jan 16, 2010 Monica rated it really liked it
A beautifully crafted collection of stories about seeking connection in a world that is fundamentally fragmented. These characters will haunt you long after you've put this work down. I felt the collection overall was very well structured and the prose is very beautiful.
Sep 04, 2009 Melissa rated it really liked it
Read it in one day. I really liked how the characters in some stories overlapped in other character's stories. Rosie's stories were the most moving, though a little bit depressing.
Patricia Geller
Jan 09, 2010 Patricia Geller rated it it was amazing
Connected short stories abut a group of lost souls (adolescents and young adult)in a community of wealthy, shallow adults.
Katherine Nelson
Sep 12, 2009 Katherine Nelson rated it it was amazing
an excellent book by a talented author that captures what it was like to grow up in Newport in the 80s--first rate.
Scott Foley
Nov 01, 2011 Scott Foley rated it really liked it
Drift has edge, and, in the beginning, this edge made it a breathtaking--almost dangerous--read. However, as the book concluded, its edge started to feel forced, thus negating its overall effect.

Patterson has successfully written a captivating collection of intertwined stories taking place in Newport Beach (of all places). Most of the stories star recurring female protagonists, and most deal with very real issues of common life, even if in an uncommon locale. Patterson pulls no punches, and this
Bonnie Brody
Mar 05, 2012 Bonnie Brody rated it it was ok
Drift', by Victoria Patterson, is a series of interconnected short stories that could as easily been called 'Adrift'. Written in a minimalist style, the stories are about people who live in Newport Beach, California, a relatively wealthy area near Los Angeles in Southern California. It is an area with wonderful shopping malls juxtaposed with a beautiful sculpture garden designed by Isamu Noguchi. It is an area with beautiful beaches and lovely homes. This is not discussed in the book. I happen t ...more
Jul 06, 2011 Suzanne rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-story
Beyond the Botox and designer handbags – there is a Newport Beach with regular people in it. I loved this collection of interconnected short stories. Simple and skillful writing, nothing flashy, but the way Patterson can evoke people, places, feelings, is impressive, it is all vivid, honest and real. When she describes a swimming pool, light playing across the surface, I positively ache for cool water. The POV characters are mostly young, at the fringes of this society full of money, conformity, ...more
Aug 15, 2013 J.P. rated it really liked it
Towards the end of Victoria Patterson's collection of connected short stories, B and Anne are sitting in Anne's car filled with complicated emotions and life histories that like a current have brought them together and for a time cause Anne to believe that she is in love with B.

B has just lost her husband. B has a daughter Rosie with her owns troubles. Everything about this book is troubles troubles troubles.

Then the sun sets, and B and Anne wait for the green flash that appears at the horizon's
Aug 15, 2016 Alison rated it it was ok
The stories were okay, but I expected a wider variety of characters - depressive burnouts are not a type I've met much in the sunny fantasyland of Orange County. Not to say that they don't exist, but in my experience, the OC has a massively high percentage of positive, magical-thinking types - interesting in their own right - and I was hoping for more of them.
Jul 12, 2015 Arianna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Easy to read, and full of gorgeous and mournful prose. A collection of stories that flow easily into one another. The author has taken a very familiar setting for me, and shown me the humanity beneath the veneer of conspicuous wealth and materialism. Bravo.
Apr 12, 2012 Lauren rated it it was ok
This book was well-written and interesting enough, but I didn't think it offered anything I hadn't read or seen before. Rich people have problems too. Like I said, really well-written, but for some reason the focus seemed to be more on Newport Beach than the characters. Newport Beach came across as regular, while it was the characters that shined and should have been at the foreground of the novel instead of Newport Beach. This might have been more interesting if the novel took place in Nowheres ...more
Jul 18, 2010 May-Ling rated it liked it
this book is strange in that until chapter 3, i didn't realize this was one story as opposed to a collection of short stories. characters and settings kept changing, so when the same names came up again, i had to flip back to figure out what was happening.

patterson has a writing style that's easy to read and i flew through this book in a couple days. it's rough to keep reading about people down on their luck. also, from the back cover, i expected more of a diversity of characters, as opposed to
Jun 28, 2012 Susan rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Susan by: Lido Bookstore
Drift by Victoria Patterson is a collection of stories set in modern-day Newport Beach CA. The stories portray the "underside" of the glittery OC: sly wait staff, divorce, drug abuse, rape. Many stories are about the same person (Rosie) at different stages of her life. It's a revealing look at the consequences of poor choices.

Warning: Don't read this book when you're feeling down. I was on vacation in Newport Beach last week, relaxed and happy when I started reading...felt depressed by a short
Malena Watrous
Apr 27, 2010 Malena Watrous rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this linked collection set in Newport Beach. I think that Patterson is a great writer, and her stories took me into the lives of people (and a place--Orange County) I'm not used to seeing in literature. I liked the way that there would be subtle and compelling links between the stories, so that you'd learn more and more about the characters as you experienced them in a web of interaction. Nice variety of voices and points of view, too. I look forward to Patterson's novel.
Jun 28, 2010 Nicholas rated it really liked it
I liked trying to figure out the links between these stories of Newport Beach, California, stories that work on their own but are also connected through certain characters. At times they were bleak, but Patterson is also great at exploring their emotions and the intricacies of the ways that people react to each other. She also has a way of using language that is never wasteful that I really appreciated.
Luis Correa
Nov 03, 2009 Luis Correa rated it liked it
Sometimes, the writing isn't enough, the language doesn't seem to capture the moment or the moment doesn't capture the feeling and the book hardly manages to escape from the insular world it's created; however, there are some harrowing stories in here, some touching stuff. It's just a little uneven.
May 30, 2011 Harvey rated it it was ok
While I didn't care for the themes of her novel, This Vacant Paradise, I did admire Patterson's writing skills. In this earlier story collection the same themes of Class and Gender roles are explored. The writing continues to impress and Patterson knows this turf.
Jul 22, 2013 Anni rated it it was ok
Always interesting to have a gaze turned towards home. A blurry set of stories with interconnecting characters who are rich and not so rich but consistently kind of awful to each other. Charmingly polished if somewhat baldly obvious in the MFA produced way.
Apr 02, 2015 Julie rated it did not like it
Shelves: could-not-finish
I did not enjoy this book and couldn't finish it. The characters were unlikeable and the stories didn't hold me.
Nov 08, 2010 Carol rated it it was ok
A book of linked stories. A very modern sensibility, but not sufficiently engaging for me.
Feb 28, 2010 Al rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2010-books
A terribly disappointing short story collection
Mary is currently reading it
Aug 20, 2016
Madeline Allen
Madeline Allen marked it as to-read
Aug 19, 2016
Jennifer Red
Jennifer Red marked it as to-read
Aug 15, 2016
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Victoria Patterson is the author of the novel The Little Brother. She is also the author of the novels The Peerless Four and This Vacant Paradise, a 2011 New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. Her story collection, Drift, was a finalist for the California Book Award and the Story Prize. Drift was selected as one of the best books of 2009 by The San Francisco Chronicle. She lives with her fami ...more
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