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Golden State

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  1,217 Ratings  ·  242 Reviews
Perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult, Jacquelyn Mitchard, and Anna Quindlen, Golden State is a powerful, mesmerizing new novel that explores the intricacies of marriage, family, and the profound moments that shape our lives.
Doctor Julie Walker has just signed her divorce papers when she receives news that her younger sister, Heather, has gone into labor. Though theirs is a
Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 4th 2014 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2014)
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Rating details
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Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
A little confusion with past reviews---
I read this when it was first released---
The original review was lost for awhile---
It came back--- no need to 'like' this -just cleaning up old files. lol

To resolve mixup - I deleted both past reviews-- they weren't much -only a few words anyway-

Michelle Richmond writes books that I enjoy!!! Nobody describes the streets of San Francisco better.
This Southern Bell, SF Bay Area transplant....
writes entertaining- character driven -books with fresh flowing ener
Dec 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.7 stars!!!!!

I was looking forward to receiving Michelle Richmond's 'Advance-Copy' of "Golden State" in the mail ---[very thankful to Goodreads for this opportunity] --

So--when the book arrived --I opened and started 'reading' within seconds!

The ENTIRE story of "Golden State" takes place in ONE DAY. (note: it took me two days to finish it --ONLY because it was my 35th wedding anniversary --and I 'had' to pay attention to my husband).

Its a book that once you begin reading you DO NOT WANT TO STO
Lisa Vegan
I finally got to this one, the 4th novel I’ve read by this author. I’d just finished my 3rd, her latest book, and wanted more by her.

4 1/2 stars

It was published in 2014 but I kept thinking how it felt as though it could have been published right now or a few years from now. At 2017-2016 California leaving the country seems even more current than it did a few years ago. It might be no more likely but the discussion about it is definitely more common since Election Day last November.

As is usual
Larry H
Feb 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
"What I believe is this: there is no divine flow chart, no elegant spiritual mathematics through which our lives are processed. Events occur, we respond to them, we make choices, and our lives are shaped accordingly."

Julie Walker's life has been shaped by many different events. Her father died when she was young; her mother raised Julie and her younger sister, Heather, in a small, stifling Mississippi town which Julie couldn't wait to leave. When Julie left for medical school in San Francisco, s
Diane S ☔
Feb 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
3.5. I found this book intriguing. There is so much going on over the course of one day: Dr. Julie Walker has just signed her divorce decree, the vote for the succession of California is taking place, her jeep windows have been broken, her sister is in labor and she is to deliver her baby, she has broken her foot and a friend who always wanted to be more than a friend, a vet suffering from post traumatic stress is holed up in her office and is holding three of her fellow workers hostage. All thi ...more
Dec 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Not a fan of books that take place all in one crazy day yet go back and forth between flashback after flashback. I'm glad to finally have read this but found myself skimming through some of the longer memories. There were so many stories up in the air (a hostage situation, a woman in labor, a vote to have California secede from the US, a couple getting divorced, their little boy gone), it was just too much yet too little for me. 2.5 stars.
Dec 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
I picked up a book years ago that was entitled "The Year of The Fog". I devoured it in hours. I absolutely loved it. I rushed out, purchased multiple copies and sent them out in the mail to the only readers I knew at the time. I then proceeded to read her other works. Sadly, that's been over 7 years ago! I've never forgotten how much I enjoyed TYotF and I often browse looking for a new release from Richmond. I joined up for her newsletter via her website and heard very little. Then FINALLY!!! I ...more
Oct 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Golden State
by Michelle Richmond
Releases 2/4/14
This book was provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Finish Time: 6 Nights. This was a definite page-turner. It’s the sort of book that presents the “almost-end” of the story first and then works its way back. So the story jumps from present time, to earlier in that same day. And actually includes a lot of back stories to understand how the characters got to the point they are. I had so many questions as the book started; what i
Nov 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Thank you Bantam Books for an "advance uncorrected proof" of this book.

Golden State is a novel set in San Francisco. It is about a woman named Julie and it takes place when Californians are voting whether or not California should secede from the United States. Julie is also involved in a hostage crisis. The book takes place over one day, but memories from Julie's past are strewn across the book so that the reader can understand her story and why she is in her current situation. Julie is a doctor
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Probably more like 4.5 stars. Loved it.

In Golden State, Michelle Richmond perfectly captures a woman and a society “on the brink.” The time is the present, a single day in fact, but California is on the verge of seceding from the United States and Dr. Julie Walker’s life in San Francisco is falling apart.

“I never expected to find myself here, on the edge of the continent--childless, possibly jobless, with broken bones and a broken marriage, citizen of a broken country. But here I am, and I must
R.S. Carter
Feb 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Golden State begins in the midst of turbulent crisis. A new life is coming into the world, being born into chaos within chaos. An injured doctor and laboring mother are holed up inside a hospital hotel room with furniture pushed up against the doors and windows barricaded. Outside, a disgruntled civilian is holding people hostage in the VA hospital and help is nowhere to be found. The police are elsewhere and a hostage situation is nothing when California itself is in a complete political upheav ...more
May 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
This was a quick read that started out really intriguing and ended just kinda interesting. It's set against a backdrop of a city under siege - California is voting to secede, it's election day, and people are rioting. There's also a gunman holed up at the VA hospital with three hostages, and the main character's sister is across the street in labor. The main character, Julie, is injured and trying desperately to get to her sister without stepping into the line of fire.

This seems like a pretty ex
Michelle Richmond has been a favorite writer since THE YEAR OF FOG. Her writing is smart, literary and articulate but is also amazingly dreamy. Her love for San Francisco, the setting of THE YEAR OF FOG and GOLDEN STATE: A NOVEL, is also beautiful thing.

In GOLDEN STATE, Dr. Julie Walker has just finalized her divorce from a husband she still loves when her sister, Heather, goes into labor, a sister who has caused her a lot of heartache in the past. En route to deliver Heather's infant, San Franc
Apr 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
this novel is very didactic with a clearly stated lesson to be learned at the end. This is not a genre I'm very fond of.

I also found the paralleling of the narrative and the voting on having California secede from the union didn't work for me. It seemed just kind of thrown in there to add some sensational value maybe?

Finally, half the story is taken up with the main character trying to cross the city in the midst of kind-of riots around the voting, and that part just was really boring to me.

Nov 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
This mesmerizing story takes place in the course of one day. Dr. Julie Walker is not only finalizing her divorce but also on her way to deliver her sister's baby when a hostage situation occurs. I'm not really fond of stories where all the action happens in one day however the author takes you on a journey into the life of the main character, Julie. The story opens in the present and then backtracks to a few weeks leading up to the hostage situation and then again to the very past past where the ...more
Nov 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
I hate giving this book a two. I loved Michelle Richmond's other books. I was so excited to read this but ended up disappointed. I didn't hate the whole book. I think the whole part of state secession could have been left out, it didn't seem signifigant to the plot for me. At times I felt the book was confusing. I did love the parts that dealt with Julie and her family. The book is closer to a 3 than a two.
Jul 31, 2014 rated it liked it

The good news (for me, anyway): Michelle Richmond's Golden State is better than anything I've read by Picoult, Quindlen, or Mitchard (the three carrot-dangled authors listed in the blurb to entice readers not familiar with her writing). I was intrigued by the idea of the secession of California from the US, and its metaphorical significance to a crumbling marriage. (i also liked exploring the back story of the protagonist, VA Hospital physician Julie Walker, whose path from Mississippi to the Go
Cheryle Fisher
Dec 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
I won an advance uncorrected proof copy from The Early Reviewers give-away through LibraryThing. Overall this was a very good book, but several things seemed unnecessary to the story. One being the vote for California succession and the other being the scenes with Dennis who is holding co-workers hostage. The story did not flow easily as there were too many disconnections.
Feb 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Such a great book to read! Compelling, smart, and a definite page-turner..and I just love the beautiful (and oh-so-accurate) portrayal of the San Francisco extra bonus for a city girl like me! Thanks for such a great read, Michelle!
Ayelet Waldman
Dec 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this novel. I love the high concept conceit (California seceding!) but more than that I loved the characters.
Amy's Book Reviews
California is on the verge of seceding from the USA.
People all over the country are rioting.
Dr Julie Walker rushes across town to deliver her sister Heather's baby on the eve of her fortieth birthday, divorce looming.
Dennis, Julie's former friend now-stalker holds hostages at the hospital, demanding to speak with her.
Over the course of several hours shots will be fired.
Not everyone will survive.

Michelle Richmond wrote GOLDEN STATE before the 2016 presidential election, probably never realizing h
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
As with Richmond's latest book ("The Marriage Pact"), "Golden State" has family relationships at its core, specifically a husband and wife and two sisters. Richmond masterfully draws these characters and their relationships and sets them in an imagined future (the book was published in 2014) when California is voting on whether to break away from the U.S. Against this dramatic political backdrop--the book actually takes place mostly on a single day during which opposing factions are out on the s ...more
Ann Waimiri
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
...I kept googling about the state of government in California because for a moment i thought they had seceded right under my nose :D :D that's how dramatic the novel is.

Best Quote: Always end on an up note!
Natasha du Plessis
Nov 19, 2017 rated it liked it
This book takes place all in one day. I did not like this book as much as some of the others but it was still a good read.
Lee D'Anna
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
It's been awhile since I have read an entire book in a day but take a day of travel combined with a story that pulled me in from the first page and I kept reading until I finished. However, I did go back and re-read the beginning after I was about a third of the way through to understand the characters a bit better. Although written before the 2016 political events, it could easily have been written today; the book takes place in San Francisco on the day its residents are set to vote on secessio ...more
Dec 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Julie Walker's escape from her childhood home in Mississippi to a new life in California was a way to put her troubles behind her. Leaving her younger sister Heather, with her many issues, was a part of that process.

Now, years later, with a career as a doctor and a husband who is a radio personality, Julie has everything she wants. Except for two things: The family she lost one day because of one irresponsible night and Heather's unforgivable mistakes, and a marriage that seems irrevocably broke
Jan 01, 2014 rated it liked it
This novel takes place in the course of one very busy day in the life of Dr. Julie Walker. On the day that California is voting to possibly secede from the U.S., Julie is finalizing a divorce, breaks her ankle and has to walk on it across the city to deliver her sister's baby and also contend with a hostage situation. The story of her estrangement from her sister and how her marriage fell apart are told in flashbacks. Because of the various story lines that are intertwined, the flashback format ...more
Mar 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: family, lit-fic
About five years ago, I recall reading and enjoying Richmond’s debut novel, The Year of Fog. It may have strained my credulity a bit, but I remember it was fast paced and so I was curious to read this one, her most recent novel.

Though chronologically speaking, the bulk of the book takes place over the course of one fateful day, the novel covers much more of the characters’ lives than that. Richmond uses the secession of California from the union as a larger metaphor to reflect the separation of
Nov 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Julie Walker is a doctor who is going through a divorce and is on her way to help her sister deliver her baby. Flashbacks show there was something that made the girls go from being close friends to complete strangers. The streets are filled with protestors and a lot of commotion due to political reasons. Julie finds herself in the middle of a standoff which has her realizing what is important in this world. This one day makes Julie think over what the past has led her to and she is wondering if ...more
Jan 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
There are many threads running through this novel. Dr. Julie Walker is trying to help her laboring sister while dealing with a violent stand off when California is voting on whether to secede from the United States. Amazingly, it works. Julie's story is told through flashbacks (ranging from years ago to earlier that day) and the present day events, which was sometimes hard to follow. But the story -- with its keen characterization of relationships -- had me riveted. Its Bay Area setting was a bo ...more
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Thank you for stopping by my Goodreads page! I grew up in Mobile, Alabama, the middle of three sisters. After attending the University of Alabama, I worked a number of odd jobs around the South before enrolling in the MFA program in creative writing at the University of Miami. From Miami I moved to New York City, and finally to San Francisco with my husband in 1999. I've published four novels, inc ...more
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“We tend to see life as a continuum, but really, it's a series of phases, generating a series of different selves. You leave one life behind and start another. And each time, a different version of yourself emerges.” 2 likes
“I never expected to find myself here, on the edge of the continent--childless, possibly jobless, with broken bones and a broken marriage, citizen of a broken country. But here I am, and I must make something of it. That's really the only choice one has: make something of it, or don't.” 2 likes
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