BookBrowse Reviews The Golden State by Lydia Kiesling

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The Golden State

by Lydia Kiesling

The Golden State by Lydia Kiesling X
The Golden State by Lydia Kiesling
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  • Published:
    Sep 2018, 304 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Michael Kaler
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Set in the High Desert of California, Lydia Kiesling's debut novel explores the emotional trials of early motherhood while drawing attention to an important social issue.

In spite of author Lydia Kiesling's stimulating experiments with form, the premise of her debut novel The Golden State is quite simple. Daphne Nilsen is verging on nervous collapse, so she flees her life in San Francisco for the "not exactly thriving" desert town of Altavista, where she owns a mobile home she has inherited from her grandparents and will have "literally nothing to do except mother [her] child," a 16-month-old toddler named Honey. On the drive there, Daphne contemplates the many woes that have led her to abandon the city, which include the deportation of her Turkish husband Engin and the burden of singlehandedly caring for a toddler while working a full-time university job. The novel's ten chapters correspond to the ten days of Daphne's stay in Altavista, but beyond Daphne's daily effort to maintain a schedule, Kiesling makes little attempt to build a unifying ...

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Beyond the Book:
  Maternity Leave in America

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