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Visitation Street by [Pochoda, Ivy]
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Visitation Street Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Length: 323 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description


Gritty and magical, filled with mystery, poetry and pain, Ivy Pochoda's voice recalls Richard Price, Junot Diaz, and even Alice Sebold, yet it's indelibly her own. (Dennis Lehane)

A powerfully beautiful novel (New York Times Book Review)

VISITATION STREET explores a community's response to tragedy with crystalline prose, a dose of the uncanny, and an unblinking eye for both human frailty and resilience. Pochoda's vivid portrait of grief, hope, and redemption lends power to the small moments of grace and beauty that may be found in the wake of loss. Marvellous. (Deborah Harkness, author of A Discovery of Witches)

Skilful... nuanced... Ms. Pochoda aspires to join female suspense novelists - among them, Tana French, Laura Lippman and Kate Atkinson - who are arguably writing more serious genre fiction than their male counterparts. (ALEXANDER NAZARYAN New York Times)

VISITATION STREET immersed me completely in the neighbourhood of Red Hook, and brought its inhabitants to life in a beautiful, haunting, and thought-provoking crime novel. Ivy Pochoda brings forth the full palette of human emotions in this gripping urban drama, a story that hurts you on one page and gives you hope on the next. A marvellous novel. (Michael Koryta, author of So Cold the River)

Intoxicating. . . . Reading VISITATION STREET, imbued as it is with mystery and danger, I am utterly convinced that Pochoda is herself a medium, capable of communicating across boundaries real and imagined, across noisy courtyards and over rough waves. She is simply too good at hearing voices--and sharing them--for that not to be the case. (Emma Straub)

Worth seeking out... a writer to watch (Shortlist)

A terrific story in the vein of Dennis Lehane's fiction. (Kirkus)

The dealings with the tragedy within the first few chapters, reminded me so much of Twin Peaks . . . with Pochoda's clever prose, it soon becomes evident that between each of the characters there lays a gulf of isolation . . . Pochoda's prose and storytelling skill has managed with a clear and beautiful tact, to turn the town of Red Hook into the most fascinating character within the book. This makes the story both enchanting and tangible. (Huffington Post)

Pochoda's use of third person multiple point of view serves to paint a unique portrait of a community drawn together and pulled apart by grief, while at the same time creating a fully realized emotional arc for each primary character. In another turn from the traditions of the mystery genre, the novel's thick description and lush prose invite readers to steep in the heady elixir of the dockside neighborhood. (The Rumpus)

Book Description

Utterly compelling literary crime from a major new voice.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1374 KB
  • Print Length: 323 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre (18 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #198,070 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This wonderful book is set in Brooklyn, in the district of Red Hook that fronts the East River. It is a mixed zone - the poorer Housing Projects, the better off streets including the one checked in the title, and derelict wastelands like Bones Manor, home to the marginalised. Despite divisions of race, class and religion, it has survived the worst of the drug wars. A community exists. Ivy Pochoda has a real feel for the rhymes and rhythms of Red Hook, right down to the graffiti on its warehouses.
In the heat of summer two teenage girls, Val and June, take a frail pink raft onto the waters of the river for an adventure, their young silhouettes caught by the light of the moon. The voyage ends in tragedy. The remaining pages are about coping with grief and guilt. Beyond the two girls a whole cast of Red Hook characters come into play, each colourful in their own way as well as indispensable to the tale. We have the music teacher, Mr Sprouse, a promising life unfulfilled; we have the shop owner, Fadi, gamely writing a community newsletter; we have Lucy who can see the dead, we have her daughter Gloria, pining for her murdered husband Marcus; and we have Cree, Marcus's son. There are many more.
A recurrent theme is the sea, its vessels and the hopes they carry- the pink raft, the big cruise liners offering jobs and tourist dollars, and then the abandoned boat that belongs to Cree - a boat he dreams of taking to Florida.
This is really a touching and moving book. I am surprised it has not received more attention.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Don’t come to this book expecting a crime novel, let alone a thriller. This is an altogether different beast, a tale that uses a historic crime and then a second death to analyse what binds individuals to each other, and what keeps them apart, in their blue-collar Brooklyn community.

Apart from some great writing, what distinguishes ‘Visitation Street’ is the extraordinary empathy Ivy Pochoda shows for her characters. She has an eye for detail and an even better one for dialogue, bringing the daily struggles of people of disparate age, ethnicity and background to life. In the portrait she paints, a strong whiff of the supernatural seems perfectly plausible, and the plot when it finally kicks in draws together everything that’s gone before satisfyingly. A fine achievement.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is quite a refreshing story in some ways as it makes us contemplate life and our own personal baggage, which we all carry. Starting off with two friends going out on an inflatable raft from Red Hook, Brooklyn we find that only one will return, found half dead by a local resident.

We follow some of the people from the area after this event, the person who saved this girl, her, the shop keeper who called an ambulance, and some others. Although there are quite a few other characters in this book, by really coming in close contact with a small number we find out more about the area, and the lives lived there. As we read this we are reading of the relatively recent history of Red Hook, once notorious for its crime and crack, also the starting point of a legendary Al Capone (which isn’t mentioned here). This book doesn’t delve too deeply into the buildings and history as it is about community.

There are police picking up usually the same person with regards to the missing girl (June), Cree, who is poor and black. There is Cree’s family, whose father was shot and killed in the past. We meet these characters who are at the low end, and those who are lower, due to drugs and alcohol, as well as some who are trying to improve themselves. What happens to the missing girl June is in some ways an irrelevance, as we read of people who are just trying to get on, and others who are just about living.

With Fadi and his shop we see someone who wants to build a community spirit, although he doesn’t live in the area, and has taken the shop over from his father. Watching Fadi here we see someone who cares about others and what happens, but as we also see that many people can’t be bothered.
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By Raven TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 17 Sept. 2013
Format: Hardcover
In all honesty, I could simply reduce the length of my review of Visitation Street to a stream of complimentary adjectives, such is the mesmeric beauty of this book.
The first notable quality of this novel is the way that it encompasses not only the best of contemporary American fiction in its depth of issues and characterisation, but also how it threads into the central narrative a compelling crime strand. Focussing on the New York shore-dwelling community of Red Hook, the book opens with two young girls embarking on a trip to the shoreline armed with a raft in the hope of adventure. Only one makes it back to safety, with the crux of the story then revolving around the disappearance of the other. From this initial mystery, Pochoda weaves a multi-layered narrative, perfectly constructing the lives of this run-down community and the minutiae of their personal troubles. Each character is filled with a vibrancy and clarity of depiction, that truly reflects the socio-economic pressures of life within their community be they a humble store owner, a struggling music teacher or a youth attempting to rebuild his life in the shadow of past sins. Pochoda captures the themes of poverty and race with pinpoint precision, and imbues the book with protagonists who will draw your empathy or dislike in equal measure. There are scenes within the book that will simply transfix you in their brutal simplicity and the rhythmical and utterly authentic dialogue sings from the pages.
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