Wonder Valley by Ivy Pochoda

Wonder Valley

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 ...

Details Wonder Valley

TitleWonder Valley
Release DateNov 7th, 2017
GenreFiction, Literary Fiction, Contemporary

Reviews Wonder Valley

  • Diane S ☔
    A man is running down the Hollywood freeway, he is completely nude, seemingly without a care in the world. As the cars sit in the usual crawling traffic, another man, a man on impulse will leave his car sitting in traffic and take off running, following the naked man. This is the beginning of this novel, which will take us from the streets of Los Angeles, to skid row and out to a desert commune with a divergent group of characters.THey are lost s...
  • Cheri
    !! NOW AVAILABLE !!”All the lonely peopleWhere do they all come from?All the lonely peopleWhere do they all belong?” Eleanor Rigby – John Lennon / Paul McCartneyShock Value. Violence. Overcrowded freeways, overcrowded lives. Living on the edge, physically, mentally, financially, and what follows when they break away. Life beyond the edge, beyond rules.The man runs down the freeway, he has shed all but his skin and his inner self, running as...
  • Chelsea Bashore
    I received this book as an ARC from Book of the Month, but in no way was my opinion influenced. This book was so wonderful. Set in current L.A it sort of gives you that Lalaland feel ( except gritty and less music). The setting is gritty and completely believable. The story weaves through our main characters lives past and present, and leaves use with a journey that helps you debate what it means to be a good person, how events can grip your life...
  • Mainlinebooker
    Written with raw energy and palpable emotion, this gritty novel covers the disappearance of a teenage boy twin who runs away from his father's "spiritual" commune like structure, leading to exposing the stories of several other characters who are enterwined with one another.The story begins with a naked runner running down the California freeway with and against the traffic. A terrific hook to get the reader wanting to explore the mystery of his ...
  • Diane Hirt
    Although I enjoyed the ability the author provided for the reader to step into the seamy side of LA and the desert, I could not get pulled into the characters. A bit of a trudge to stick with it. I wanted so much for it to be engaging.
  • Aleta
    Really loved this book. The writing was beautiful and vivid, primarily in describing scenery. The settings were so clear in my mind, from the desert to skid row to the traffic jam on 110 (although, it's impossible not to overlay the prologue of this novel on the opening scene from La La Land!). The interweaving of the stories was excellently accomplished, with purpose to each decision in plot and character's actions. The whole story has a sort of...
  • Ilyssa Wesche
    This book really surprised me - for some reason I was expecting some straight-up literary fiction about the slightly-wealthy/young & beautiful in LA, and that is NOT what I got. Which turned out to be awesome! I was surprised to check my list to see I read her previous book, but then I remembered it - same kind of characters but a better story. However, I experienced the same kind of surprise last time - it was on the Dennis Lehane imprint but it...
  • Mary Holstein
    From the first page of this wonderful new novel, Ivy Pochoda draws the reader into her world of contemporary Los Angeles and the area of the Mojave Desert known as Wonder Valley. While the characters are first introduced in a series of seemingly unrelated vignettes, as the book progresses, the author skillfully merges their stories to intersect and intertwine. This group is from the seamier side of life--living each day under the radar and just t...
  • Lou
    This tale starts the pace with a retrospective look on one morning in suburbia stuck in traffic whilst man running in a kind suit or lack of suit.Some fine writing within, in the thick of that first scene and has you hooked in the need to know, the undoing of the scene how did the tale get to that timeline in all the wonder.Over the timeline of 24 hours there are many journeyings in Los Angeles starting with the bizarre one of a man running to or...
  • Alexander Davidson
    Six lost characters find their way as their stories converge during one man's streaking on a California highway. Basically all of these character's are running from something in their past towards new lives they just can't seem to grasp. Britt tries to escape a world of college partying and disappoint but ends up on a chicken farm in the middle of a desert. Twins Owen and James dream of leaving the hippy compound where their father is a mystical ...
  • Patricia Linville
    A naked young man is running against traffic on the Pacific Coast Highway, weaving through cars that have reluctantly stopped to avoid hitting him. Tony, a commuter, is uncontrollably compelled to chase him. In Wonder Valley, author Ivy Pochoda slowly unravels the tale that brought the young man to the freeway through Tony, Blake, Britt, Ren and James uncovering the chaos that is life for those unfortunates living in the underbelly of California....
  • Suzanne
    WONDER VALLEY has an amazing opening scene that grabs the reader and just doesn’t let go. For those that have ever been caught in rush hour traffic, but especially those experienced in LA rush hour traffic, the opening is exquisite. If only the rest of the book was as finely wrought and beautifully detailed. A small group of disparate characters, all with personal stories heavy with loss and seeking redemption, find their paths crossing in and ...
  • Kathleen Gray
    Pochada has done for Los Angeles and the Mojave what she did for the east coast in Visitation Street- pulled disparate characters together into a story where you'll only see the links near the end. THere's some terrific imagery here (although I could have done without the chicken slaughter) of the commune, the people, the streets, and so on. The characters are less engaging than I would have liked but I think that might be part of the point. Note...
  • Andrienne
    The lives of 4 seemingly unrelated characters are chronicled in a great setting (downtown Los Angeles) and its environs. A naked man streaks through the 110 freeway and we get a glimpse of a lost son searching for his unstable mom, a successful family man strangled by his well-crafted life, a penitent young woman adding more wrongs than right and a crook with a fiercely loyal connection to a fellow criminal. Access to review copy provided by the ...