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Driftwood

Overview

How far would you go for your family? A smart and funny debut about road trips, music, love, and California for fans of The Perks of Being A Wallflower, Run River and Killing Yourself to Live.

Los Angeles, California: Clem Jasper is a trust fund kid with a world famous rock musician for a father. When he dies suddenly (playing ping pong) she discovers he’s left her a strange legacy—a series of letters that take her on a mysterious road trip around California. Ignoring her aunt’s...

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Driftwood: A Novel

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Overview

How far would you go for your family? A smart and funny debut about road trips, music, love, and California for fans of The Perks of Being A Wallflower, Run River and Killing Yourself to Live.

Los Angeles, California: Clem Jasper is a trust fund kid with a world famous rock musician for a father. When he dies suddenly (playing ping pong) she discovers he’s left her a strange legacy—a series of letters that take her on a mysterious road trip around California. Ignoring her aunt’s suggestion that she pitch the trip as a reality show, she embarks on her own—to discover just what it was that her father meant her to find. What secret could be so powerful that he had to die before telling her?

With a voice reminiscent of Rainbow Rowell, Dutton’s Driftwood is a surprising, poignant, and funny debut. Dutton perfectly captures the mythology of California with this bright and unusual take on the freedom of the open road, the power of music, and what it means, even in the midst of grief, to be a family. Fans of The Perks of Being A Wallflower, Run River and Killing Yourself to Live will find much to savor here.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Dutton’s fiction debut is a stellar, thought-provoking novel about life, death, California, music, and more. Clem is a wry narrator, and the dialog is sharp and refreshingly realistic (F-bombs!). Born and raised in California, Dutton is well qualified to describe the various locales, and her renderings are poetically descriptive without being overdone or cloying. If you’ve never been to California, you might feel like you have visited after reading this creative and unforgettable story. For connoisseurs of singular fiction." —Library Journal, starred review

"[Dutton's] voice springs off the page as if she's speaking aloud. A little short on originality but so full of heart and humor that you keep reading anyway. A road trip novel that will make readers want to hop into the car alongside Clem and keep driving, even if they've already seen all the sights and sounds before and know exactly how the journey ends." —Kirkus Reviews

Library Journal
★ 10/01/2014
Clem (Clementine) Jasper is a 27-year-old trust fund kid whose father is rock music royalty. A middle child, Clem drifts aimlessly through her days. When her dad dies at 58 of complications from a heart attack, her life takes an unexpected turn. Little sister, Dena, gets the Matisse, big brother, Simon, gets the guitars, and Clem gets…a stack of sealed letters that will take her on a road trip through California, visiting places her father wants her to see. He reveals his reasons for each destination in the missives, instructing Clem to open them on a specific schedule. Against her mother's wishes, Clem embarks on the life-changing journey and learns more about her father than she ever knew—or ever wanted to know. VERDICT Dutton's fiction debut is a stellar, thought-provoking novel about life, death, California, music, and more. Clem is a wry narrator, and the dialog is sharp and refreshingly realistic (F-bombs!). Born and raised in California, Dutton is well qualified to describe the various locales, and her renderings are poetically descriptive without being overdone or cloying. If you've never been to California, you might feel like you have visited after reading this creative and unforgettable story. For connoisseurs of singular fiction.—Samantha Gust, Niagara Univ. Lib., NY
Kirkus Reviews
2014-10-05
Rich girl Clem Jasper is drifting through life with no plan or purpose until her rock-singer father dies, leaving her a mysterious pack of letters that will take her on a road trip through California and a journey into his past. Facing strong opposition from her mother, who fears digging up the past will unearth dark secrets, Clem follows her late father's instructions, determined to make good on his last gift to her. Along the way, she grieves, ruminates on the nature of family and realizes some startling truths. While she doesn't find any easy answers and uncovers more than she wants to know about her father's past, she discovers that sometimes in order to find yourself you have to get lost in mind, body and spirit. Dutton (1,033 Reasons to Smile, 2011) tells an old tale but doctors it with fresh surprises that keep the reader turning the pages. Clem's epiphanies are often clichéd, but her voice springs off the page as if she's speaking aloud. A little short on originality but so full of heart and humor that you keep reading anyway.A road-trip novel that will make readers want to hop into the car alongside Clem and keep driving, even if they've already seen all the sights and sounds before and know exactly how the journey ends.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781629144993
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
  • Publication date: 11/4/2014
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 354,192
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Dutton is the author of 1,033 Reasons to Smile. She is a graduate of the creative writing masters program at the University of Glasgow and has worked for Mother Jones magazine. Born and raised in California, Elizabeth now lives in Chesterfield, South Carolina where she teaches English at the local community college. Driftwood is her first novel. Find out more at elizabethdutton.com.

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