Visitation Street by Ivy Pochoda, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Visitation Street

Visitation Street

3.7 63
by Ivy Pochoda
     
 

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Chosen by Denis 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

Overview

Chosen by Denis 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.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times - Alexander Nazaryan
Fans of Richard Price will immediately recognize his New York here, with its barely concealed ethnic tensions played out on a landscape of grit sprinkled with flecks of beauty…despite the perfunctory presence of two detectives, this is not a paint-by-numbers thriller. As June's disappearance grows longer, and the flowers on her dockside memorial begin to wilt, it becomes clear that Visitation Street is less about the one who is missing than the ones who remain…Teenage girls are always going missing in mystery novels; something about their mixture of youthful innocence and nascent sexuality must make them ripe subjects for mystery writers. So while they are often convenient plot devices, they are rarely conceived as fully as Ms. Pochoda's Val, who acts as a rejoinder to all those Philip Marlowe epigones crowding the genre.
The New York Times Book Review - Marilyn Stasio
Visitation Street, a powerfully beautiful novel by Ivy Pochoda, lingers on the moment the working-class neighborhood of Red Hook, Brooklyn, changed forever…Pochoda picks her moment well and lets people from the neighborhood—diverse characters who are vibrantly, insistently alive—tell the story.
People
“Utterly transporting.”-People
Kirkus Reviews
A mystery about a missing girl and the ghosts she leaves behind. One summer evening, teenagers Val and June float on a rubber raft out into the bay off Brooklyn's Red Hook section. Only Val returns, her near-dead body washed upon the shore. But Val can't seem to tell anyone what happened to them or why June disappeared without a trace. For weeks afterward, the Lebanese shopkeeper Fadi tries to keep his customers informed about developments and neighborhood rumors in the case. Meanwhile, Jonathan, an ex-Julliard student turned jingle writer and music teacher, may be getting too emotionally close to Val. The novel's focus isn't on the police investigation, but on the missing girl's effect on her neighbors and friends. Who saw Val and June take the boat out? Can June possibly be alive? Can young Cree tell what he knows without being automatically accused of a crime since he's a black man? The book is rich with characters and mood and will make readers feel like they've walked the streets of Red Hook. Everyone in the story deserves a measure of sympathy, from the girls on the raft to the shoplifting teenager to the pathetic uncle who won't tell anyone anything for free. Red Hook itself feels like a character--hard-worn, isolated from the rest of New York, left behind and forgotten. A terrific story in the vein of Dennis Lehane's fiction.
Publishers Weekly
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)
Dennis Lehane
Visitation Street is urban opera writ large. Gritty and magical, filled with mystery, poetry and pain, Ivy Pochoda’s voice recalls Richard Price, Junot Diaz, and even Alice Sebold, yet it’s indelibly her own.”
Deborah Harkness
Visitation Street explores a community’s response to tragedy with crystalline prose, a dose of the uncanny, and an unblinking eye for both human frailty and resilience. Marvelous.”
Emma Straub
“Ivy Pochoda makes the saltiness of Brooklyn’s Red Hook come to life so vividly that every time I looked up from the pages of this intoxicating novel, I was surprised not to be there. Visitation Street is imbued with mystery and danger.
Michael Koryta
Visitation Street [is] beautiful, haunting. Ivy Pochoda brings forth the full palette of human emotions in this gripping urban drama, a story that hurts you on one page and gives you hope on the next. A marvelous novel.”
Lionel Shriver
“Pochoda’s premise is inspired, the novel that unfolds even more so. Rich characters, surprising shifts of plot and mood. I loved it.” -Lionel Shriver, award winning author of We Need to Talk About Kevin
Los Angeles Times
“VISITATION STREET is a quiet, literary thriller told in lyrical, exacting prose. It’s in the vein of Donna Tartt’s “The Secret History” or Alice Sebold’s “The Lovely Bones”—Los Angeles Times
Entertainment Weekly
“A stunner of a literary thriller. Grade A-” -Entertainment Weekly
Library Journal
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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062249890
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
07/09/2013
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
1,119,341
Product dimensions:
6.44(w) x 9.12(h) x 1.10(d)

What People are saying about this

Dennis Lehane

Visitation Street is urban opera writ large. Gritty and magical, filled with mystery, poetry and pain, Ivy Pochoda’s voice recalls Richard Price, Junot Diaz, and even Alice Sebold, yet it’s indelibly her own.”

Meet the Author

Ivy Pochoda grew up in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn and lived in Red Hook for several years. She is the author of The Art of Disappearing. She attended Harvard University, where she studied classical Greek. She also holds an MFA from Bennington College in Fiction. A former professional squash player, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband.

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