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Publisher's Summary

Summer in Red Hook, Brooklyn, an isolated blue-collar neighborhood where hipster gourmet supermarkets push against tired housing projects and the East River opens into the bay. Bored and listless, 15-year-olds June and Val are looking for fun. Forget the boys, the bottles, the coded whistles. Val wants to do something wild and a little crazy: take a raft out onto the bay. But on the water during the humid night, the girls disappear. Only Val survives, washing ashore in the weeds, bruised and unconscious.

This shocking event echoes through the lives of Red Hook's diverse residents. Fadi, the Lebanese bodega owner, hopes that his shop is a place to share neighborhood news, and he trolls for information about June's disappearance. Cree, just beginning to pull it together after his father's murder, unwittingly makes himself the chief suspect in the investigation, but an enigmatic and elusive guardian is determined to keep him safe. Val contends with the shadow of her missing friend and a truth she's buried deep inside. Her teacher Jonathan, a Juilliard dropout and barfly, wrestles with dashed dreams and a past riddled with tragic sins.

In Visitation Street, Ivy Pochoda combines intensely vivid prose with breathtaking psychological insight to explore a cast of solitary souls, pulled by family, love, betrayal, and hope, who yearn for a chance to break free.

©2013 Ivy Pochada (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.6 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Story
  • Janet
  • Allen, TX, United States
  • 07-24-13

Visitation Street - An odd place to visit

This book defies categorization, in my view: part mystery, part class struggle study, part mood piece. Interesting characters and situations, the story told in overlapping vignettes from various character's points of view. It all adds up to a well written slice of life in a seemingly contemporary New York neighborhood, its residents alternately struggling not to slide into poverty, or struggling to rise from it.

The narrator seems sluggish at first, but stay with him - he improves as the story revs up and the characters develop. He does a good job with the variety of character types, each distinguishable without specific identification for each conversation. it may also be just really good writing.

Don't listen to this when in the mood for fast-paced action. It is in there, but this is a story primarily about the perception of individuals about their surroundings. A very satisfying character study.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Snipets

What would have made Visitation Street better?

I enjoyed the character descriptions but there were just too many and the book didn't really add up to be a mystery.

Would you ever listen to anything by Ivy Pochoda again?

No, I will not be looking for any other of her works.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Ray Porter?

Yes

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Just overload. There were so many characters introduced and some of them were really interesting. It was kind of like jumping into an ocean of people with a microscope. The people that you pass by are examined closely, but just briefly because you're still falling.

Any additional comments?

There was some really good writing in the book, but for me, I'm all about the mystery. And this book seemed to fail in that respect.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A rare book.

Any additional comments?

This is a rare book that becomes more interesting, more compelling, and more evocative as it progresses. Too often, it seems an author has a wonderful idea, but can't sustain it. I hope Ivy Pochoda has a long and fruitful writing life. She seems to have confidence in her reader, as well as in herself.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Dark complicated interesting

I really enjoyed listening to this story -- narration was excellent and had exactly the right tone for this nourish tale ... Not quite gloomy not quite despair not quite hopeless but always right on the verge of being lost forever or being redeemed. This one keeps running through my head again and again. Highly recommended.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • RAMON
  • Gray, TN, United States
  • 08-06-13

Highly Recommended

This was an exceptionally good read. The story and characters are original. The book does not shy away from the racial, sexual and economic tensions in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn. Or the same tensions experienced by adolescents and young adults. As performed, the dialogue has an authentic ring. Most of the characters are damaged-the way life damages everyone--but many are trying to do their best. There is a dose of "magical realism" but it serves the story. I think endings make or break a book and I found this book's ending satisfying.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Dragged Out!

I loved the beginning and how the end tied every character together through Ren and Creed. I just felt like it dragged through several chapters and could have been 5 chapters shorter. I liked the narrator though. Great ending!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Uneventful

Once I realized the obvious path the story was taking, it was hard to finish.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Wonderful

Took a chapter or two to get into it, but a beautiful story, well narrated.

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