The Golden State

The Golden State

In Lydia Kiesling?s razor-sharp debut novel, The Golden State, we accompany Daphne, a young mother on the edge of a breakdown, as she flees her sensible but strained life in San Francisco for the high desert of Altavista with her toddler, Honey. Bucking under the weight of being a single parent?her Turkish husband is unable to return to the United States because of a ?proc In Lydia Kiesling?s razor-sharp debut novel, The Golden State, we accompany Daphne, a young mother on the edge of...

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Title:The Golden State
Author:Lydia Kiesling
ISBN:The Golden State: A Novel
Edition Language
  • The Golden State
  • The Golden State
  • The Golden State
  • The Golden State
  • The Golden State: A Novel
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Showing 1-30
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:304 pages pages

The Golden State Reviews

  • Colleen
    Sep 07, 2018
    My thoughts on this brilliant, challenging, innovative novel are not yet fully formed but will eventually be impossible to contain in a space as small as this text box. For now, I'll say that this work is a high-water mark in the canon of motherhood books. And yet, to reduce it to ...
  • Elyse Walters
    Nov 09, 2018
    Library overdrive by Amanda Dolan This novel might have been good... Parts were engaging... But MOSTLY... I was exhausted- drained - and agitated. Let me try to explain... I ?did? admire the prose - FOR AWHILE - Wearing a puzzled semi- smile ... I ?di...
  • Laura
    Nov 01, 2018
    Have I ever read a book like this? I mean, a book that really understands and dignifies the daily mixture of work and boredom that comes from spending your day with a toddler? I don't think I have. I always get annoyed by kids who get paraded around in books or on television as conveni...
  • Bob Lopez
    Jan 06, 2019
    What even is this book? A lot of minutiae little plot, the most interesting part was the last section of the book with Alice in the woods, and I don?t know if it was genuinely interesting or if it was bc the rest of the book was such a snore. The immigration issues occupied so little...
  • Saya
    Dec 15, 2018
    Ever read the right book at the right time? This October I gave birth to my first child. Reading Kiesling?s account of parenting a small child and the associated banalities, joys, and anxieties really hit home for me. It all felt so real, from the relationship with the crone, to the ...
  • Alexandra Sweet
    Jun 16, 2018
    This is the first book where I've taken photos of the pages because Lydia Kiesling's writing so perfectly captures the experience of parenting (so loving, so tedious, so constant) that I have returned to the images on my phone to laugh or sigh or cry. ...
  • Jerrie (redwritinghood)
    Nov 20, 2018
    DNF. This book is boring me, so gotta bail. Taking care of a toddler can be brief moments of joy interspersed among frustrating and tedious days. Reading almost 300 pages about it even more so. There are some other political issues highlighted in the book, but there?s just not enough...
  • Trixie Fontaine
    Oct 02, 2018
    Love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love. That's all I want to say right now. ...
  • Jessica Sullivan
    Nov 13, 2018
    This profound and insightful debut novel is ALL about the voice, with stream-of-consciousness prose that?s so sharp and wry. I think some readers may struggle with it. I loved it. Daphne is in the midst of a crisis and needs to escape. Her husband has been stuck in Turkey for eigh...
  • Diane Yannick
    Oct 26, 2018
    I?ve been trying too many debut authors. I need to go back to my reliable favorites for a bit. The minutiae of parenting was described in detail. Way too much detail for me. Too many diapers, cheese sticks and tantrums. If you?re really nostalgic for your wee 16 month old, this cou...
  • David
    Mar 10, 2019
    There is a demographic out there for whom this story will have greater appeal, but I am not part of it. I do think that young adults, single parents, and those who struggle more with the sacrifices required to raise children (and everybody does to some extent) will find plenty that res...
  • Lolly K Dandeneau
    Aug 15, 2018
    via my blog: ?This is my house, ? I say aloud, and everything in the house contradicts me, down to its dubious foundation. It is to this house in the desert of Altavista with her baby girl Honey that Daphne flees, leaving behind her work a...
  • Mary Robinson
    Jul 29, 2018
    While I enjoyed the plot and character development in "The Golden State" by Lydia Kiesling, the first few chapters were tough reading as I adapted to the author's style (lack of punctuation (particularly commas), run on sentences, stream of conscious narrative). The intensely told stor...
  • Janet
    Feb 11, 2019
    Wonderful debut. My only criticism (and I've seen this from others) is no doesn't so much cause confusion as detract from the flow of the reading but overall this book has good narrative fluidity. I'm a slow reader and I read it in a day and a half. I wish she had named...
  • Autumn
    Oct 08, 2018
    I saw a review of this book that said they didn?t like the stream of consciousness or lack of punctuation. This made me laugh because that?s exactly why people love ULYSSES. In many ways, this book is like ULYSSES. It?s nine days in the life of a 30-something who?s trying to ju...
  • Judy
    Nov 09, 2018
    Let me start by saying that I adored this novel. I have spent more time thinking about how to review it than I did reading it. (It was compulsively easy to read.) During the days I spent thinking about what I wanted to say, I have gone out to lunch, picked up new glasses, had dinner...
  • Bailey
    Oct 30, 2018
    I was so undecided on this one most of the way through - it's more literary than what I usually read and enjoy, but at the same time it cuts through to some issues that are pressing (the banal horror of immigration issues) and endlessly fascinating/horrifying (the State of Jefferson ba...
  • Lisa
    Mar 11, 2019
    I was hesitant to read this as I have no experience with being a young mother, but Kiesling pulled me in. She does a great job capturing Daphne's claustrophobic fear. The lack of commas annoyed me but not enough to rate it below 5 stars. I love books that take me completely out of my o...
  • Tyler Goodson
    May 16, 2018
    The Golden State is a novel of sparse landscape and deep emotion. When Daphne and her baby drive to the high desert of Northern California, they are alone in a way that feels enervating and dangerous. Daphne is written with such a strong sense of feeling, it inevitably carries over to ...
  • Erin Glover
    Jan 31, 2019
    Honey falls. A lot. Her forehead is probably covered in purple bruises. But that's what toddlers do. Daphne, thirty-something, leaves her grant-writing job at a university one day on a whim, scoops up her 18-month-old daughter from daycare, and heads out north from San Francisco in ...
  • Jan
    Nov 27, 2018
    There's a lot going on here--primarily the tedium, joy and primordial anxiety of early parenthood, but also things like the bureaucratic absurdities that befall a character caught up in US immigration laws, rural Westerners feuding with the Feds, and the toll of accumulated grief. The ...
  • Jaclyn Crupi
    Oct 17, 2018
    Kiesling did not come to play. If her aim was to evoke the tedium and bright love of parenting, the infernal frustration of dealing with racist and Islamophobic bureaucracy, the stomach-dropping feeling of complicity in hazy situations, she has nailed it. I love novels where the plot i...
  • Mattia Ravasi
    Sep 28, 2018
    Video review Splendidly crafted portrait of a stressed mind going through a breakdown. Terrible advertisement for the actual Golden State. ...
  • Alison Hardtmann
    Dec 26, 2018
    The Golden State begins with a woman's sudden decision to leave work mid-morning, pack a few bags, collect her baby from daycare and drive out to the high country of northern California, where she has inherited her grandparent's house. She misses the space and the smell of the air and ...
  • Sarah at Sarah's Book Shelves
    Sep 14, 2018
    DNF at 3% I immediately didn?t like the writing style?it was wordy, overly descriptive, and full of run-on sentences. I knew pretty quickly I wouldn?t be able to tolerate 300 pages of it. ...
  • Michelle
    Jan 31, 2019
    3.5 stars Daphne is at her wit?s end and she has many reasons to be. ~ She has been torn from her Turkish husband, Engin due to an ?accidental click of the mouse?. His green card stripped, the two are now hundreds of miles away. ~ She worries over her husband. Her cynical na...
  • Michael
    Nov 27, 2018
    My full review can be found on BookBrowse. Set in the High Desert of California, The Golden State explores the emotional trials of early motherhood. The novel, written in the stream of consciousness mode, centers on the inner life of Daphne Nielsen, a new mother who suffers a nervou...
  • Katie Long
    Jan 29, 2019
    Another meh book from #TOB2019. A young mother tries to flee the stress of her life after her husband is deported, under complicated circumstances, and a crisis at work, to her grandparents' home in rural Alta Vista. Kiesling does well to create a feeling of isolation, loneliness, and ...
  • Sunita
    Dec 10, 2018
    3.5 stars. Stylistically this is excellent. The close focus on the day-to-day childcare of a toddler, with all the pleasure and frustration and mind-numbing boredom that it entails, made me flash back to days when I was doing that kind of labor. Reading the book doesn't just recall ...
  • Matthew
    Jan 20, 2019
    So much truth in this fully interior, stream of consciousness style narrative about parenting a small child, secession-fringe politics, and injustices of the U.S. immigration system. Never hits a wrong note. ...