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The Golden State

A Novel
Narrated by: Amanda Dolan
Length: 9 hrs and 9 mins
4 out of 5 stars (31 ratings)
Regular price: $24.47
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Publisher's Summary

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 10 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.

A Millions.com Pick of Most Anticipated Books. Nominated for the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize.

©2018 Lydia Kiesling (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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Tedious read but delightful reader Amanda Dolan

I was so bored by Kiesling's self-absorption. Though she pretended that she was fascinated by her daughter, she was really fascinated by herself--and every sentence contained a "look at me, look how awesome I am" vibe. Big, big ego even as she self-deprecated. Anxious moms may enjoy it. The reader, however, did an amazing job. Kudos to Amanda Dolan