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Visitation Street Hardcover – Color, July 9, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
The story started off well for me, with teenagers Val and June looking for adventure and heading to the Beard Street Pier with a bright pink raft, dodging questionably dangerous territory along the way. They shove off in the dirty water and only Val comes back.
Sounds good so far, doesn't it? And it was. But then an overabundance of characters wander through the story and the storytelling becomes thinner and thinner. The Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn itself is a very predominant part of the story and at first I enjoyed reading about the different sections of Red Hook, from the projects to the houses to Bone Manor but the descriptions got tiresome after the first couple of tellings.
Same with the many characters - some were an integral part of the story but some were extraneous and could have been booted out with no negative effect on the tale.
I did like the characters of Ren, Acretius "Cree", and especially Fadi, the Lebanese bodega owner. But the main character of Val I couldn't appreciate and that was a huge minus to the story for me.
I am giving the story three stars because there are parts I did like but I was disappointed overall. And the ending really fizzled for me.
Red Hook, a sketchy area of Brooklyn, is a town of struggling blue-collar workers, modest bodega owners, and also various losers. Beneath the surface is a racial and ethnic tension that is precariously kept at bay. One summer night, two white fifteen-year-old girls, Val and June, take a rubber raft out on the harbor to float under the moonlight. The next morning, Val is found with a head injury, but June has disappeared. This is the trigger that opens the story.
The rest of the novel observes and explores a select number of inhabitants that all have a tenuous connection to Val, although none of them are friends or family (well, the family connections stay rather superficial). June's disappearance is the vehicle for an exploration of Red Hook, as the town burgeons into a character, made up of many characters who are isolated from each other, but desperately trying to connect.
"A chorus of new voices...They are rough and eroded. They sound like the ache of the wind in a charred forest, the rattle of a can rolling down an empty street, the whisper of dust in a gutted building--hollow, noises unaccustomed to an audience.Read more ›
I liked this book and was drawn into the lives of these different characters. The prose is beautiful and the author captures the aching sadness that accompanies the sad decline of a once proud neighborhood. Still, the story has some flaws. Val is insipid and her relationship with Jonathon is just creepy. June is almost an afterthought. The anger, racism and violence is muted and the characters from the projects are sanitized. The ending was weak and a major disappointment.
It was a disservice to label this book a mystery. It is not victim driven in the traditional sense. The victims are the survivors of almost unspeakable loss.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mysterious Book Report No. 120
John Dwaine McKenna
Across from lower Manhattan, on the eastern shore, at the mouth of the East River, is a... Read more
Ms. Pochoda EXPERTLY turned the setting of her story into the main character of the story. If I didn't live in Japan, I'd hop on a train to Red Hook and check it out.Published 3 months ago by kmutter
Never have I read a book as unusually profound about aspects of the greater New York neighborhoods which most of us only think about superficially and without much interest. Read morePublished 3 months ago by TeaLover
Visitation Street is a perfect reminder of why I love reading. An exquisitely written book can make you feel, taste and experience something you've never actually seen. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Sandy's Toy
Visitation Street is about June and Val, two fifteen-year-old girls who live on Visitation Street, a ‘nice’ street, in Red Hook, Brooklyn, New York. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Martina A. Nicolls
With Dennis Lehane's name associated with this book, I was expecting a well-written mystery. This was something different, a well-written unusual book. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Katharine M
I wanted to like this book and I gave it a good try (read about 1/3 through) but I realized every time I picked it up I was just not excited with the story line or invested in the... Read morePublished 9 months ago by PJWolf