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Extended Audio Sample Wonder Valley: A Novel Audiobook, by Ivy Pochoda Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ivy Pochoda Narrator: Will Damron Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2017 ISBN: 9780062695727
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From the acclaimed author of Visitation Street, a visionary and masterful portrait of contemporary Los Angeles

It’s a familiar sight in Los Angeles, traveling on the 110 during peak morning rush hour: an endless sea of commuters, with no respite for miles. But this traffic jam is different—a runner is dodging and weaving between the cars at an astonishing clip. He’s moving so fast he’s almost a blur. But what’s clearly evident is that he is completely naked. This seemingly mundane highway backup turns into a seminal moment for a handful of Angelenos—people whose lives are in desperate need of a change.

Out of this ordinary event, Ivy Pochoda spins a web that stretches all over the City of Angels, from Skid Row to the gentrified enclaves, from the desert to the ocean, all featuring characters in some sort of disarray. There’s Ren, from Brooklyn and just out of juvie, who makes his way to LA to look for his mother on Skid Row who has been lost to him for years. There’s Owen and James, 14-year-old twins who live in a desert commune, where their father, Patrick, a self-proclaimed healer, holds a powerful, dangerous sway over his many disciples. There’s Britt, a wayward soul in search of adventure, who ends up the center of Patrick’s attention. There’s Tony, a successful lawyer who hates his job and his marriage and is looking for meaning. And there’s Blake, a violent drifter laying low in the desert, but who unwittingly gets caught up with James and Patrick and the whole sham healing game.

When one of the twins runs away after a disturbing incident on Patrick’s commune, a series of events bring these characters, all so real and true, and imbued with endless amounts of empathy and wisdom, together. Whether running away from the past, or looking to reclaim their future, they all will do anything for a semblance of peace.

Ivy Pochoda, who the Boston Globe said has “a profound understanding of human resilience,” has written a sweeping portrait of angst, violence, heartache, and yearning—a breathtaking novel of remarkable wisdom and empathy.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Wonder Valley is destined to be a classic LA novel…Impossible to put down.”

    Michael Connelly, #1 New York Times bestselling author

  • “An unforgettable portrait of people who long, above all else, for community and connection.”

    Edan Lepucki, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Incandescent…Pochoda keeps you guessing while bringing these lost souls wonderfully, intensely alive.”


  • “Each character is realized with vivid empathy…A richly Californian novel, drenched in enough sunlight to illuminate the harshest of truths.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “A dizzying, kaleidoscopic thriller that refuses to let readers look away from the dark side of Southern California…Impossible to put down…It’s the memorable characters and beautiful prose that make the novel so successful.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “The gritty lives of Southern California drifters are entwined first by circumstance, then by love and revenge…Absorbing, finely detailed, nasty California noir.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Pochada has written a novel alive with empathy for the dispossessed.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Pochoda takes readers places they don’t often see with authenticity and clarity. Her description of the daily lives of the urban homeless is particularly vivid and sympathetic.”

    Library Journal

  • “Ambitious, absorbing…Pochoda paints Southern California with a vibrant brush, rendering an evocative landscape on which her desperate characters seek out redemption and rejuvenation.”


  • A BookPage Top Pick for November
  • A People Pick of the Week
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About the Author

Ivy Pochoda is the author of Wonder Valley and The Art of Disappearing. She grew up in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, New York, and lived in Red Hook for several years. She attended Harvard University, where she studied classical Greek. She also holds an MFA from Bennington College.

About the Narrator

Will Damron is an award-winning audiobook narrator. His narration of The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin won an AudioFile Earphones Award, and his co-narration with two other readers of The Sixteen of June by Maya Lang was a finalist for the 2015 Audie Award for Best Multi-Voiced Performance. Raised in rural southern Virginia, he has appeared Off-Broadway and on stage and screen throughout the country. He has won a total of four Earphones Awards for his audiobook narration.