The Golden State by Lydia Kiesling

The Golden State

In Lydia Kiesling’s razor-sharp debut novel, The Golden State, we accompany Daphne, a young mother on the edge of a breakdown, as she flees her sensible but strained life in San Francisco for the high desert of Altavista with her toddler, Honey. Bucking under the weight of being a single parent―her Turkish husband is unable to return to the United States because of a “processing error”―Daphne takes refuge in a mobile home left to her by...

Details The Golden State

TitleThe Golden State
Release DateSep 4th, 2018
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Literary Fiction

Reviews The Golden State

  • Tyler Goodson
    The Golden State is a novel of sparse landscape and deep emotion. When Daphne and her baby drive to the high desert of Northern California, they are alone in a way that feels enervating and dangerous. Daphne is written with such a strong sense of feeling, it inevitably carries over to the reader. You are filled with love for Honey, Engin, the old crone Alice, and hate for the unfairness of the situation they have found themselves in. I was so sad...
  • Lolly K Dandeneau
    via my blog:“This is my house, ” I say aloud, and everything in the house contradicts me, down to its dubious foundation.It is to this house in the desert of Altavista with her baby girl Honey that Daphne flees, leaving behind her work at the University of San Francisco, a student who has never quite finished her PhD despite encouragement from those around her because “working at the institute has ampl...
  • Mary Robinson
    While I enjoyed the plot and character development in "The Golden State" by Lydia Kiesling, the first few chapters were tough reading as I adapted to the author's style (lack of punctuation (particularly commas), run on sentences, stream of conscious narrative). The intensely told story of Daphne, a young mother who's husband has been sent back to Turkey due to an "input error" on his green card, of sorts. She works for a university foundation, a...
  • Chris Roberts
    "Desolation Soundtrack" = Bad Jack Kerouac stream of consciousness = Cloaked night savagely come, next day exhaling century - every false step a blooding = One-star.Advice to said author: To write a novel, you must destroy your ego, mythical hero in your new identity.Chris Roberts, God of the Face Shifting Tribes
  • Susie | Novel Visits
    {My Thoughts}What Worked For MeKiesling Nailed New Motherhood – The Golden State is Daphne’s story and one of the many things you should know about Daphne is that she’s the mother of a 16-month old. She adores her daughter, Honey, but she’s also been going it completely alone for the last 8 months. Kiesling got all that right, weaving Daphne’s story together beautifully, but what stood out to me was how right she got motherhood. That ba...
  • Beth Roberts
    This book is really attempting a lot of different things and I'm having trouble piecing it together from what it wanted to be into what it actually came off to me as.Here is what I know:1. We have Daphne and her baby, Honey. Daphne is married to Engin, who is a Turk and through bureaucratic loopholes has been deported back to Turkey. He's been gone 8 months.2. Daphne works for some sort of Islamic Affairs institute at a university in San Francisc...
  • Michael Wear
    Busy work week, so can't leave the review I want, but this book is so very good. Will read again soon, and will (and have) recommend to everyone I meet with effusive praise. Also, pro-tip, the narrator on Audible, Amanda Dolan, is phenomenal.
  • Mainlinebooker
    Imagine stepping inside one's consciousness, trapped with all the confusing thoughts that are a part of the yin and yang parts of our lives. Now imagine the character feeling trapped as well. Deliverance comes in the form of an emotional "tug at your roots" feeling toward the character.However, when it continues for so long despite the beautiful prose and despite the agony and ecstasy you feel, it can get a bit tiring. Those were my thoughts read...
  • Alexandra Sweet
    This is the first book where I've taken photos of the pages because Lydia Kiesling's writing so perfectly captures the experience of parenting (so loving, so tedious, so constant) that I have returned to the images on my phone to laugh or sigh or cry.
  • Anneke
    Book Review: The Golden StateAuthor: Lydia KieslingPublisher: MCD/Straus, Farrar and GirouxPublication Date: September 4, 2018Review Date: August 23, 2018I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Here’s amazon description of the book. I find it easier to use their descriptions than try to write it myself. “In Lydia Kiesling’s razor-sharp debut novel, The Golden State, we accompany Daphne, a young mother on the ed...
  • Andrea
    I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.The setting--over 10 days when, Daphne, a young, mostly functional mother, flees her university job/life in San Francisco with her toddler, Honey, for the high desert of Altavista, California. Her Turkish husband, Engin, is back in Turkey because of a "processing error." Daphne heads to the mobile home she inherited from her mother who inherited it from her mother. She sets up h...
  • Up All Night With Books
    3.5 StarsReview by Amy Late Night ReviewerUp All Night w/ Books BlogI was so excited to read The Golden State by Lydia Kiesling. I have been a Golden State girl my whole life and enjoy reading about regions that I am familiar with.The premise of the story was drawing, as I’m sure everyone at some time or another has envisioned running away from daily stresses and hiding out for a while. That is exactly what Daphne does when she leaves bustling ...
  • Cecilia Rabess
    This book was really great and surprising! I found the writing style very engaging and propulsive. The sort of laissez faire attitude toward punctuation *really worked* for me. It gave the novel a very sort of fresh vibration that I haven't encountered much, but would very much like to encounter again. (YMMV.) Other things that really worked about the book:- The baby! So much personality for someone who cannot speak- We were stuck in Daphne's hea...
  • Emily Molina
    I received an ARC of this novel from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.The story takes place over 9 days, and is about a young woman who is not satisfied with her current life, so she takes her 2 year old daughter to her grandparents mobile home in Altavista, CA. She meets a few interesting people during her hiatus. The writing style made the book hard to read at times due to the lack of punctuation, which led to a stream of consciousnes...
  • Kathleen Gray
    I like punctuation. I get what Kiesling is trying to do and appreciate the style is meant to reflect Daphne's internal thought process. However, she lost me about a third of the way through because it was just too unbound. The dialogue between Daphne and Honey (well, the one way dialogue) is well done but it wasn't enough to carry the book for me. The other characters in the desert didn't feel new. That Daphne's husband Engin is Turkish and unabl...
  • Rebecca H.
    There’s so much I loved about Lydia Kiesling’s The Golden State. What stands out to me most is its portrayal of motherhood, but I also loved the picture of the northern Californian landscape and culture we get in the book, the portrayal of university life in the book’s beginning, and the poignancy and political commentary in the situation with the protagonist and her husband. I also really liked the novel’s voice — it was sharp, funny, ...
  • Y.Z.
    I wasn't sure how I'd feel when I started because I'm ambivalent towards the idea of having children but that's on me and once I was a couple dozen pages in I was completely drawn and emotionally invested in this story. The writing is warm and wonderful the characters are winning it stirred up so many feelings for me and I hope a lot of people read and enjoy it. This novel made me hug my loved ones tighter and that's one of the best things a book...
  • Janilyn Kocher
    I didn't see the point of this book. The main character leaves her good job in California to stay at her grandparents' former home where she idles away time, sending emails to her colleagues to make them think she's still working. Her husband is stuck in Turkey because of bureaucratic machinations. The baby is the only character that's likeable. I didn't care for the book. Thanks to NetGalley for the advance read.
  • Nick Moran
    Wow. Not only an engrossing depiction of a very particular parent's mind, but an exploration of what it means to connect with others, raise them, be influenced and repulsed by them, and overwhelmed by them alike - as a bonus, there's also an absolutely ruthless and necessary skewering of modern university administrative work. I cannot wait to read what Lydia writes next.
  • C Zhang
    Incredible, totally enthralling. This book has ferocious intellect and a huge heart all at once. I'll be thinking about Daphne for a long, long time to come - her voice is so precisely rendered on the page.
  • Christina
    So many feelings about this book and its complex subject matter. Will post a full review soon and it will be on my blog.