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Book Review

California

8/6/2014

bookCourtesy of Beaverdale Books

Review by Fay Jones

Little, Brown and Company

7/8/14

$26

HIV

393 pages

When the world as they know it starts to crumble, Frida and Cal begin their own transformative journey for both survival and security, but above all, toward hope. Abandoning L.A. for the wilds of California after it crumbles from a variety of calamities, Cal and Frida live in their memories while trying to eke out an existence with only each other for support. At first the thoroughly modern couple doesn’t seem to have a chance living alone in the wilderness, but they make it through, at least until Frida learns she’s pregnant. Faced with no choice but to join a suspicious community they discover near their settlement, they learn that safety has a price — and it may be more than they can afford.

This is a story of marriage and partnership — how it flexes and changes when all you have left is each other. It tests the limits of love, commitment and what it means to be a couple in the most trying of times. How can you maintain a relationship in a world where nothing is certain, and even those you thought you knew cannot be trusted?

Edan Lepucki shines in her debut novel, taking an overused trope and making it seem new and powerful all over again. Testing the limits of her characters also tests the reader and creates the perfect setting for drama and a story that will stay with you long after it’s over. Lepucki’s skill is glaringly evident as she achieves perfect balance of substance and story. It’s a great read for anyone who craves a well-told, thought-provoking story.

Julie Goodrich is a collector of pretty words, geeky T-shirts and obsolete college degrees. She lives in Grimes with two weird cats and an obscene number of books. She recently earned a shiny new master’s degree in library science and is actively looking for a job.

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