Picked by Dennis Lehane for his imprint “Dennis Lehane Books” and published by Ecco, this looked right up my alley—a literary novel powered by a strong suspense plot. Rich, textured and peopled by characters who are immediately vivid, this story reminded me of Richard Price or… Dennis Lehane. As with both those writers, the plot pulls you through but you’re there for the community and the characters–in this case the immigrant rich community of Red Hook in Brooklyn.
The advance reviews have been amazing—all the majors gave it a starred review. Add the media line up and this might be one of the breakout reads of the summer. It was included in the summer books round up of Publishers Weekly, Newsday, People and the LA Times. Reviews at on sale include the New York Post, O, The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple and the Chicago Tribune, with more to come.
Blue-collar Red Hook, a section of Brooklyn’s waterfront in rough transition, becomes one big outdoor theater as temperatures rise in Pochoda’s beyond-category urban drama….On one particularly stifling night, Val and June, “hot and stir-crazy” white teenage girls, dare to take a pink rubber raft out onto the treacherous Hudson River. Val is found unconscious beneath the pier; June is missing. During the ensuing investigation even the dead have their say. The mysteries of sexuality, guilt, race and class conflicts, artistic pursuits, and psychic abilities are all in play as Pochoda transforms Red Hook into a microcosm of human longing. With prose as cleansing and propelling as a sea breeze, and characters running like strong currents, Pochoda pulls us deeply into this transfixing tale of visitations both alarming and liberating.”
– Booklist (starred review)
“The book is rich with characters and mood and will make readers feel like they’ve walked the streets of Red Hook. Everyone in the story deserves a measure of sympathy, from the girls on the raft to the shoplifting teenager to the pathetic uncle who won’t tell anyone anything for free. Red Hook itself feels like a character-hard-worn, isolated from the rest of New York, left behind and forgotten. A terrific story in the vein of Dennis Lehane’s fiction.”
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Visitation Street has a wonderfully eerie and intriguing premise that drives the book from the end of the first chapter on, but it’s the evocation of place, the spot-on rendering of a diverse cast of characters, and the poetic pitch of the writing that elevates the book into the sphere of literature. If I just want a plot, I can watch a movie. If I just want language, I’ll read poems. A great novel embraces both those things and so much more.”
— Library Journal (starred review)
“Exquisitely written, Pochoda’s poignant second novel examines how residents of Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood deal with grief, urban development, loss, and teenage angst. … Pochoda couples a raw-edged, lyrical look at characters’ innermost fears with an evocative view of Red Hook.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Visitation Street (9780062249890) by Ivy Pochoda. $25.99 hardcover. 7/9/13 on sale.