The Golden State

By Lydia Kiesling
Read by Amanda Dolan

9.16 Hours 09/04/2018 unabridged
Format: Digital Download (12Tracks) (In Stock)
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A gorgeous, raw debut novel about a young woman braving the ups and downs of motherhood in a fractured America 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 her grandparents in hopes that the quiet will bring clarity. But clarity proves elusive. Over the next ten days Daphne is anxious, she behaves a little erratically, she drinks too much. She wanders the town looking for anyone and anything to punctuate the long hours alone with the baby. Among others, she meets Cindy, a neighbor who is active in a secessionist movement, and befriends the elderly Alice, who has traveled to Altavista as she approaches the end of her life. When her relationships with these women culminate in a dangerous standoff, Daphne must reconcile her inner narrative with the reality of a deeply divided world. Keenly observed, bristling with humor, and set against the beauty of a little-known part of California, The Golden State is about class and cultural breakdowns, and desperate attempts to bridge old and new worlds. But more than anything, it is about motherhood: its voracious worry, frequent tedium, and enthralling, wondrous love.

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Summary

Summary

A BuzzFeed Books Pick of the Best Books of Fall 2018

A Millions.com Pick of Most Anticipated Books

Nominated for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize

An Amazon Best Book of the Month

A Nylon Magazine Pick for Fall

A gorgeous, raw debut novel about a young woman braving the ups and downs of motherhood in a fractured America

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 her grandparents in hopes that the quiet will bring clarity.

But clarity proves elusive. Over the next ten days Daphne is anxious, she behaves a little erratically, she drinks too much. She wanders the town looking for anyone and anything to punctuate the long hours alone with the baby. Among others, she meets Cindy, a neighbor who is active in a secessionist movement, and befriends the elderly Alice, who has traveled to Altavista as she approaches the end of her life. When her relationships with these women culminate in a dangerous standoff, Daphne must reconcile her inner narrative with the reality of a deeply divided world.

Keenly observed, bristling with humor, and set against the beauty of a little-known part of California, The Golden State is about class and cultural breakdowns, and desperate attempts to bridge old and new worlds. But more than anything, it is about motherhood: its voracious worry, frequent tedium, and enthralling, wondrous love.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“A perfect evocation of the beautiful, strange, frightening, funny territory of new motherhood.” Karen Russell, New York Times bestselling author
"The Golden State anchors Daphne’s journey in the visceral and material realities of motherhood…The novel beautifully depicts the golden light of California, the smell of the fescue grasses, the thinness of the air, and the way that Daphne and Honey often feel overwhelmed by the scale of the spaces they find themselves in.” New Yorker
“Kiesling vividly renders the high desert town, its beauty and its starkness, its juniper-scented air and its neglect, the way it both centers and saps Daphne. Kiesling is also an astute cultural commentator, shedding light on our current political divide.” San Francisco Chronicle
“In heartrending prose, Kiesling weaves through an exploration of the political and the private, fear and love, survival and obligation, loneliness and longing.” BuzzFeed
“An unusually accomplished debut, the book has all the elements this interviewer reads for: flow, language, ideas, surprises, humor, and a great big heart.” Millions
“Portrays a frazzled mother and a fractious America…Kiesling depicts parenting in the digital age with humor and brutal honesty…But perhaps best of all is her thought-provoking portrait of a pioneer community in decline as anger and obsession fray bonds between neighbors, family, and fellow citizens.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Encapsulates the intense and often conflicting feelings of early parenthood: frustration, tenderness, isolation…The Golden State sparks the lovely, lonely feelings inside us all.” Booklist
“Kiesling is a talented author…with a unique voice. She’s very smart, very funny, and wonderfully empathetic…A skilled and promising writer.” Kirkus Reviews
“A lyrical look at the often alienating, disorienting experience of early motherhood, the way in which it frays at already unraveling nerves, and the way in which external realities contribute to that fraying.” Nylon

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Lydia Kiesling

Lydia Kiesling is the editor of The Millions. Her essays and criticism have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Guardian, Slate, and the New Yorker online, and have been recognized in The Best American Essays 2016. She lives in San Francisco with her family.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Literary
Runtime: 9.16
Audience: Adult
Language: English