Book tip: "Wonder Valley"

Book tip

Wonder Valley

Ivy Pachoda

Ivy Pachoda was the James Merrill House Writer-in-Residence in Stonington in the spring of 2009, and her latest novel, “Wonder Valley,” is a gripping work set in the dusty, forgotten realm that is the underbelly of California. The characters are mostly poor and struggling. Don’t worry; Pachoda doesn’t wallow. Rather, she creates a world that feels real and complex, full of conflict and despair, hope and humanity. Different characters running from their past — two hardened criminals on the lam, a USC student who joins a threadbare commune in the desert, a man sprinting naked through standstill L.A. traffic — are established in separate chapters, and then, slowly, Pachoda brings their narratives together. “Wonder Valley” builds in its power, becoming more and more absorbing.



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