A Different California: The State of Jefferson: Background information when reading Barbed Wire Heart

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Barbed Wire Heart

A Thriller

by Tess Sharpe

Barbed Wire Heart by Tess Sharpe X
Barbed Wire Heart by Tess Sharpe
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Mar 2018, 416 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2019, 416 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Tomp
Buy This Book

About this Book

A Different California: The State of Jefferson

This article relates to Barbed Wire Heart

Print Review

Barbed Wire Heart is set in the wilderness forest of northern California. In a state widely known for its big money areas of Southern California and the Silicon Valley Bay Area, as well as its rich farmland in the center, the northern region—from Sacramento to the Oregon border—is starkly different in geography, economics, and politics. The community portrayed in Tess Sharpe's story feels quite a bit like southern Appalachia.

Mount Shasta, towering over the summit of Lassen Peak In contrast to large metropolises in the rest of the state such as Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, northern California counties are made up of much smaller cities. The state capital Sacramento, by far the largest city in the area, is ranked only sixth in population for the state. About 90 miles northeast of San Francisco, Sacramento's population, at slightly over half a million, is an eighth of LA's, which has close to four million. From the Sacramento River basin, out to the world renowned vineyards of Napa and Sonoma Valleys, the land is rich and wide open. The giant redwoods grow on the western coast and the Klamath Mountain range looms on the horizon. Northern California is also home to the Emerald Triangle, one of the largest cannabis-producing regions in the United States (marijuana is now legal in California).

Political views tend to be more conservative here than in the rest of the state. In general, political views inland tend to be more conservative than on the coasts, and political views in rural areas (mostly inland) are also more conservative than the cities. For the 2016 presidential election, California as a whole voted for Hillary Clinton. However, of the twenty counties in the northern counties of the state, sixteen voted for Donald Trump.

As with many other regions in the country, this disconnect between rural residents and major city inhabitants has led to an increased vocalization of discontent. There is a growing call among northern California residents for more representation and less regulation. With only three out of 40 seats of representation in the state senate, and two out of 53 seats in the United States House of Representatives, a few activists want to secede and form a new, 51st state. First proposed in 1941, with periodic resurgence of the movement, the "State of Jefferson" would combine the northern California counties with those of southern Oregon. Their "Declaration of Unity" makes it clear they do not wish to leave the United States, but to have their beliefs more fully represented "within the greatest nation ever designed."

Regardless of your political views, there is no doubt northern California is a beautiful place to visit. Lakes and rivers, the Pacific coastline, Lassen Volcanic National Park, Redwood National and State Parks, and immense mountains including iconic Mount Shasta, offer stunning views of our natural world.

Picture of Mount Shasta, towering over the summit of Lassen Peak, even from a distance — in northeastern California by Kai Schreiber

Article by Sarah Tomp

This "beyond the book article" relates to Barbed Wire Heart. It originally ran in April 2018 and has been updated for the March 2019 paperback edition.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Everything Inside
    Everything Inside
    by Edwidge Danticat
    Edwidge Danticat is a Haitian-American writer, and Haiti looms large as a presence in this ...
  • Book Jacket: The Beekeeper of Aleppo
    The Beekeeper of Aleppo
    by Christy Lefteri
    In Christy Lefteri's sophomore novel, The Beekeeper of Aleppo, the author introduces readers to ...
  • Book Jacket: Marilou Is Everywhere
    Marilou Is Everywhere
    by Sarah Elaine Smith
    "The point is that at that moment in my life," writes the narrator of Sarah Elaine Smith's debut ...
  • Book Jacket: Let's Call It a Doomsday
    Let's Call It a Doomsday
    by Katie Henry
    However the world will end, Ellis Kimball is ready for it. Her obsessive stash of survivalist ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Yale Needs Women
    by Anne Gardiner Perkins

    A tale of courage in the face of arrogance that remains eerily relevant on U.S. campuses today.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Secrets We Kept
    by Lara Prescott

    Reese Witherspoon's Sept Book Club Pick!
    "This is the rare page-turner with prose that’s as wily as its plot."—EW
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
Today We Go Home
by Kelli Estes

Illuminating and deeply human, Today We Go Home shines a light on the brave military women of the past and present.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Chase Darkness with Me

How One True-Crime Writer Started Solving Murders

Have you ever wanted to solve a murder? Gather the clues the police overlooked? Put together the pieces? Identify the suspect?

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

S S A C A Big S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.