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Golden State by Michelle Richmond
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Golden State

by Michelle Richmond

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10726112,824 (3.65)13

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Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
I finally got to this one, the 4th novel I’ve read by this author. I’d just finished my 3rd, her latest book, and wanted more by her.

4 ½ stars

It was published in 2014 but I kept thinking how it felt as though it could have been published right now or a few years from now. At 2017-2016 California leaving the country seems even more current than it did a few years ago. It might be no more likely but the discussion about it is definitely more common since Election Day last November.

As is usual for this author the book has interesting, relatable characters easy to care about, and stellar storytelling, and perfection when it comes to describing San Francisco and particularly the Richmond District in San Francisco. (I’ve spent almost all of my adult years in 2 dwellings in different parts of the Richmond District so I know it well and I get a kick out of reading about it, and I’ve lived in San Francisco most of my years and appreciate reading about all neighborhoods/places this author mentions.)

Even though I live nearby and have known people directly connected with the V.A. campus, I wasn’t sure about some of the details described regarding it. As I was reading I wondered about the school and hotel described. In the interview section that comes at the end of the book the author confirmed the existence of the school and I researched the nearby hotels and found a hoptel that fits, and I suppose other places might also fit.

I wish that more book authors got San Francisco right. This author has for the 4 books by her that I’ve read so far and for me it contributes to the joy I feel when reading them. I especially appreciated how in addition to the San Francisco setting, the author’s southern roots and some locations are included in this story. I got a good sense of both locales.

I thoroughly enjoyed the back and forth time lines. I thought that this technique worked particularly well for this story.

I appreciated how much is tied up at the end and also how a couple of main things are left open and left to readers’ imaginations.

½ star off because so much is going on: the marriage story, the sister story, the child story, the California secession vote story, the hostage story. I’m not 100% sure all of them were needed, though I admit the whole thing did work, beautifully really. I just wanted a tad more of each part.

At the end of my paperback edition there is a short but enlightening interview with the author, a playlist for the book, and a list of questions for discussion. They’re all interesting and worthy inclusions.

This author’s books are always quotable. Two quotes (of many) from this one that resonated with me are: “We tend to see life as a continuum, but really, it's a series of phases, generating a series of different selves. You leave one life behind and start another. And each time, a different version of yourself emerges.” AND “History is made not of facts set in stone but of the stories we tell.”

I have to say something not about the book proper but about the cover of my edition, sans any spoilers. In the text of one of the mini-reviews that are included, one by an author whose books I enjoy, while no plot specifics are mentioned a feeling word is mentioned when referring to the end of the book, and that’s something I did not want to know and I consider it a spoiler. My gripe is with the edition publisher for including it/not editing out that word. It’s too much information for text that’s often read before readers read the book. When I got to the end of the book I realized that reading it was not as much of a spoiler issue as I’d feared but I still think it would have been best for it not to have been there. ( )
  Lisa2013 | Aug 28, 2017 |
4.5 stars. Another unexpected and suprisjngly great read. I liked the unconventional timeline. I liked the character development. I liked the seemingly different plot lines with Julie at the center of all of them. I just really liked this book. Definitely recommend. ( )
  Maureen_McCombs | Aug 19, 2016 |
There are plenty of books that I've read and didn't like while others raved about it. This is the first time I can say that I categorically hated reading a book. The only reason I read it to completion is it's a book group read and I'm leading the discussion. Hopefully, I'll be able to keep my opinion in check until the end of the meeting. I sincerely wish we could rate a book as 0 stars! (Wishing I could get a refund, but alas it is an ebook purchase so I'm stuck with it, although I am removing it from my device.) ( )
  BookDivasReads | Jan 17, 2016 |
Golden State takes place on one exceedingly eventful day in the life of Dr. Julie Walker, a physician at the VA hospital in San Francisco. She’s turning 40 and signing divorce papers, after having spent one last night with her soon-to-be ex-husband. Her unmarried younger sister is about to give birth. It’s the day that Californians are voting on whether to secede from the United States—which could leave Julie out of a job. It’s the day that she finds that she has caused a hostage situation because local upheaval over the secession vote delayed her getting to work…and that situation will force her to deliver her sister’s baby. As Julie tries to manage her sister’s labor and the hostage-taker’s demands, she reflects on her long and complicated relationships with both of these people, and how they factored into the breakdown of her marriage.

MORE: http://www.3rsblog.com/2014/07/book-talk-golden-state-michelle-richmond.html ( )
  Florinda | Jun 30, 2014 |
*I received this ARC through Goodreads First Reads*
Doctor Julie Merrill is having a bad day, to say the least. Not long after signing her divorce papers she must rush to deliver her sister’s baby. Julie faces multiple obstacles on the way since the state of California is in the middle of political crisis and the streets are choked with people both angry and exited. Once she makes it to her sister she’s told that people she cares about are in danger, and the only way she can help them is to face the truth about her strained relationships while making some tough decisions.
I really didn’t know or hear much about this novel so I went into it without expectations. After a day of waiting to write the review I have decided to stick with the 4 stars. If I could’ve developed more of an investment in the protagonist I would have given it 5 stars. I liked her story but she didn’t make an impression on me. The plot is great and all of the characters’ individual stories are gripping. The story and the relationships is what kept me reading and what drew me in. There’s a bit of a mystery the novel is wrapped around and even though it’s on the predictable side it keeps the pages turning quickly. This was a fast read for me and could easily be read in one sitting if the reader has the time. If you like reading stories about families and complicated relationships, this is a novel I would recommend. ( )
  shayrp76 | May 4, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
"Remembering a quote from Richmond's protagonist is probably the best way to approach her intricate, unusual story. Julie Merrill must focus and "recalibrate her world. And so must the reader of this amazing, turbulent novel woven of disparate threads...Nearly every feature of this mesmerizing novel is provocative, as Richmond explores the fragmented, hopeful lives of complex characters. This is gripping, multilayered must-read fiction from the best-selling author of The Year of Fog."
added by michrichmond | editLibrary Journal, starred review, Andrea Tarr (Nov 1, 2013)
 
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385343280, Paperback)

Perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult, Jacquelyn Mitchard, and Anna Quindlen, Golden State is a powerful, mesmerizing new novel that explores the intricacies of marriage, family, and the profound moments that shape our lives.
 
Doctor Julie Walker has just signed her divorce papers when she receives news that her younger sister, Heather, has gone into labor. Though theirs is a strained relationship, Julie sets out for the hospital to be at her sister's side--no easy task, as the streets of San Francisco have erupted into chaos. Today is the day that Californians vote on whether or not to secede from the United States. Today is also the day that Julie will find herself at the epicenter of a violent standoff in which she is forced to examine both the promising and painful parts of her past--her Southern childhood; her romance with her husband, Tom; her estrangement from Heather; and the shattering incident that led to her greatest heartbreak.
 
Infused with emotional depth and poignancy, Golden State takes readers on a journey over the course of a single, unforgettable day--through an extraordinary landscape of love, loss, and hope.
 
Praise for the novels of Michelle Richmond
 
"Highly recommended [for fans of] authors like Jodi Picoult and Jacquelyn Mitchard."--Library Journal (starred review), on The Year of the Fog
 
"An intelligent, emotionally convincing tale."--The Boston Globe, on No One You Know
 
"A work of fiction [that] raises our sights to higher truths."--South Florida Sun-Sentinel, on Dream of the Blue Room
 
Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader's Circle for author chats and more.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:35 -0400)

After signing her divorce papers, Dr. Julie Walker receives news that her younger sister, Heather, has gone into labor, and sets out to be at her side -- no easy task since the streets of San Francisco are filled with tension and strife. Today is also the day that Julie will find herself at the epicenter of a violent standoff in which she is forced to examine both the promising and painful parts of her past. Golden State takes readers on a journey over the course of single, unforgettable day -- through an extraordinary landscape of love, loss, and hope.… (more)

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