Visitation street A novel

Ivy Pochoda

Book - 2013

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FICTION/Pochoda, Ivy
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Suspense fiction
New York : Ecco c2013.
1st ed
Item Description
"Dennis Lehane books."
Physical Description
306 p. : map ; 24 cm
Main Author
Ivy Pochoda (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Blue-collar Red Hook, a section of Brooklyn's waterfront in rough transition, becomes one big outdoor theater as temperatures rise in Pochoda's (The Art of Disappearing, 2009) beyond-category urban drama. African American kids from the projects, including pretty Monique, a singer of soaring power, hang out in cliques and gangs, while Monique's smart, ambitious cousin, Cree, keeps to himself in various hideouts, including his late father's grounded fishing boat. An exceptionally talented young street artist lives in a makeshift shelter in a weedy area known as Bones Manor. Smart and observant Fadi strives to upgrade his bodega to attract the neighborhood's new hipsters, among them lost-soul musician and music teacher Jonathan. On one particularly stifling night, Val and June, "hot and stir-crazy" white teenage girls, dare to take a pink rubber raft out onto the treacherous Hudson River. Val is found unconscious beneath the pier; June is missing. During the ensuing investigation, even the dead have their say. The mysteries of sexuality, guilt, race and class conflicts, artistic pursuits, and psychic abilities are all in play as Pochoda transforms Red Hook into a microcosm of human longing. With prose as cleansing and propelling as a sea breeze and characters running like strong currents, Pochoda pulls us deeply into this transfixing tale of visitations both alarming and liberating. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Pochoda's second novel (after The Art of Disappearing) is the second book from Dennis Lehane's eponymous imprint at Ecco (after Attica Locke's The Cutting Season), and it's easy to see why he's throwing his significant weight behind her work. Set in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn, the novel opens on a warm summer evening when 15-year-old Val and June push a small pink raft onto the bay and set sail. Only Val makes it back to shore, and as the resulting drama unspools as readers meet a full cast of utterly believable characters including Fadi, a shopkeeper-turned-newsman; Cree, a local boy who winds up targeted by the police; and Jonathan, a music teacher who gets entangled in the mystery of June's disappearance. It's an opera set in one small community, and as Val struggles to cope with the loss of her friend and the neighborhood characters play their parts, large and small, Pochoda's riveting prose will keep readers enthralled until the final page. VERDICT The prose is so lyrical and detailed that readers will easily imagine themselves in Red Hook. A great read for those who enjoy urban mysteries and thrillers with a literary flair. [See Prepub Alert, 1/14/13; see also an interview with Lehane about his new imprint in Kristi Chadwick's Mystery Genre Spotlight feature, LJ 4/15/13.—Ed.]—Amy Hoseth, Colorado State Univ. Lib., Fort Collins [Page 75]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Exquisitely written, Pochoda's poignant second novel examines how residents of Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood deal with grief, urban development, loss, and teenage angst. In a fit of boredom, 15-year-old best friends Val Marino and June Giatto take a raft out on the bay one July evening, but only Val returns, her unconscious body washed up on the shore. June's disappearance and what might have happened on the raft become the linchpin for Fadi, a Lebanese native who wants his bodega to be the pulse of neighborhood news; Jonathan Sprouse, a Julliard dropout with dark secrets; and 18-year-old Cree James, a kid from the projects who longs for a better life but remains stymied by his father's murder. Pochoda (The Art of Disappearing) couples a raw-edged, lyrical look at characters' innermost fears with an evocative view of Red Hook, a traditionally working-class area of Brooklyn undergoing gentrification that still struggles with racism and the aftermath of drug violence. By the end, the gap between "the front" of Red Hook with its well-tended streets near the waterfront and "the back" with its housing projects remains wide. Agent: Kim Witherspoon at Inkwell Management. (July) [Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

When a late night adventure on the bay takes a tragic turn, resulting in the disappearance of her best friend, Val, who was washed ashore semi-conscious, is left to deal with the aftermath in their blue-collar neighborhood of Red Hook, Brooklyn.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

When an adventure on the bay takes a tragic turn, resulting in her best friend's disappearance, Val, who was washed ashore semi-conscious, is left to deal with the aftermath, while their teacher, a Julliard drop-out and barfly, must confront a past riddled with sins of omission. 75,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Chosen by Dennis Lehane for his eponymous imprint, Ivy Pochoda's Visitation Street is a riveting literary mystery set against the rough-hewn backdrop of the New York waterfront in Red Hook.It's summertime in Red Hook, Brooklyn, a blue-collar dockside neighborhood. June and Val, two fifteen-year-olds, take a raft out onto the bay at night to see what they can see.And then they disappear. Only Val will survive, washed ashore; semi-conscious in the weeds.This shocking event will echo through the lives of a diverse cast of Red Hook residents. Fadi, the Lebanese bodega owner, hopes that his shop will be the place to share neighborhood news and troll for information about June's disappearance. Cree, just beginning to pull it together after his father's murder, unwittingly makes himself the chief suspect, 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 buries deep inside. Her teacher Jonathan, a Julliard School dropout and barfly, wrestles with dashed dreams and a past riddled with tragic sins.