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 “processing error”―Daphne takes refuge in a mobile home left to her by her grandparents in hopes that the quiet will bring clarity.
But clarity proves elusive. Over the next ten days Daphne is anxious, she behaves a little erratically, she drinks too much. She wanders the town looking for anyone and anything to punctuate the long hours alone with the baby. Among others, she meets Cindy, a neighbor who is active in a secessionist movement, and befriends the elderly Alice, who has traveled to Altavista as she approaches the end of her life. When her relationships with these women culminate in a dangerous standoff, Daphne must reconcile her inner narrative with the reality of a deeply divided world.
Keenly observed, bristling with humor, and set against the beauty of a little-known part of California, The Golden State is about class and cultural breakdowns, and desperate attempts to bridge old and new worlds. But more than anything, it is about motherhood: its voracious worry, frequent tedium, and enthralling, wondrous love.

Title:The Golden State
Edition Language:English
ISBN:null
Format Type:

About Lydia Kiesling


    The Golden State Reviews

  • Tyler Goodson

    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....

  • Lolly K Dandeneau

    via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/“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...

  • Mary Robinson

    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 (particula...

  • Autumn

    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 boo...

  • Mattia Ravasi

    Video reviewSplendidly crafted portrait of a stressed mind going through a breakdown. Terrible advertisement for the actual Golden State....

  • Colleen

    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 wor...

  • Jim

    Imagine if Holden Caulfield was a late twenty-something woman with a baby.Or..."On The Road" but with a baby in the backseat.Or...Imagine if the narrator from "Notes From Underground" meandered about ...

  • Susie | Novel Visits

    {My Thoughts}What Worked For MeKiesling Nailed New Motherhood – The Golden State is Daphne’s story and one of the many things you should know about Daphne is that she’s the mother of a 16-month ...

  • Samantha

    i just very, very deeply loved everything about this book and its often desperate, often sweet, often lonely portrayal of motherhood and expectations and love and loss....

  • Chris Roberts

    "Desolation Soundtrack" = Bad Jack Kerouac stream of consciousness = Cloaked night savagely come, next day exhaling century - every false step a blooding = One-star.Advice to said author: To write a n...