Book Review: ‘Wonder Valley’ Is A Beautifully Written Story

When a teen runs away from his father’s mysterious commune, he sets in motion a domino effect that will connect six characters desperate for hope and love, set across the sun-bleached canvas of Los Angeles.

‘Wonder Valley’ is a very strange mixture of hope and despair, love and hate and a yearning for isolation. This story is a combination of people you could know, people that frighten you and a touch of violence that leaves you breathless. Author Ivy Pochoda has brought to life a myriad of larger-than-life characters for your reading entertainment.

Patrick runs a commune in the desert, a haven for lost souls and as a self-professed healer, access to a plethora of those waiting to be saved, or used. Blake and Sam are on the run and their muted violence is terrifying and they find a home in the commune. Britt has to expiate her sins and doesn’t care if lying with Patrick, in spite of his wife, is a way, as twisted as it seems. Ren, just out of jail, is searching for his mother. She lives on skid row and the people, including his mother, that he meets, living on the streets, is wonderfully insightful.

Tony, a very successful lawyer, has all he needs but realizes that he has nothing. Driving to work one day, he sees a naked runner, weaving in and out of traffic and is powerfully moved to follow the runner and ask him why. The journey Pochoda takes you on is quite remarkable and I’m positive that what I took away from it will not be the same as you.

At the end of the day, everyone has an answer, of sorts, to their searching and you are left a little bewildered as not all ends are tied up neatly for you. It is enjoyable and the scope of what is presented to you is largely well-drawn and a very good read!

Now available in bookstores

Ann McDonald

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