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The Golden State
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March 2019: Debut > The Golden State by Lydia Kiesling- 2.5 stars rounded down

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Tracy (tstan) | 1207 comments 2.5 stars rounded down.

Daphne, a woman in her early 30s, with a husband stuck in Turkey due to an immigration glitch, and a job that she increasingly despises, packs up her 16 month old daughter and escapes to her inherited ancestral home in the very north of California to try to figure out her life.

She arrives to discover that some of the members of the community want to secede from the state, and the racism and separatism they exhibit is disturbing. But she also finds a friend in Alice, an elderly woman who is passing through. She and Alice develop a wonderful friendship. Alice and Cindy, the racist next door neighbor are the best part of the book- characters that are opposites, and are themselves.

Reading the above, this book sounds right up my alley- a fascinating character study with a plot that includes varying viewpoints and eccentric people. Instead, it was about 100 pages too long. The storyline was good. But the prose was not. There is only so much angst and new mommy anxiety I can take in real life. To listen to it was okay at first, but became excruciating after the, I swear, 15th time I had to hear every single step in a diaper change. I get that parenthood is a lot of repetition. But been there, done that.

I think the audio was what "saved" this book- if I'd had to read it, I probably wouldn't have finished. I wonder if the author was trying to be clever with this prose style. Unfortunately, it fell really flat for me, which is too bad, because this really had potential to be a great novel.


message 2: by Meli (new)

Meli (melihooker) | 3394 comments I am childless by choice so books heavy on motherhood themes are not usually my thing... may have to skip this.

I am currently reading The Couple Next Door and it is heavy on domesticity and anxiety of motherhood. I relate more to the childless bitch next door even though I don't think I am supposed to :P

Thanks for the review!


message 3: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7871 comments Meli wrote: "I am childless by choice so books heavy on motherhood themes are not usually my thing... may have to skip this.

I am currently reading The Couple Next Door and it is heavy on domesticity and anxi..."


😂-although I do have 1 daughter, I understand completely!


message 4: by Meli (new)

Meli (melihooker) | 3394 comments I am relieved... I was thinking "maybe I shouldn't admit this."
I don't hate kids, I have beautiful wild crazy fun nieces and nephews, but it's just a story trope I don't relate to usually.


message 5: by Amy (new)

Amy | 8853 comments Meli, never feel bad for speaking your truth. It takes guts to choose your own storyline!


message 6: by Susie (new) - added it

Susie | 4488 comments Definitely don’t hide your choice Meli. I am a mother and it’s a trope that wears thin for me too!


message 7: by Amy (new)

Amy | 8853 comments I love this trope. But I don’t choose melodies or storylines any more than I choose books for others.


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