Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Last Days of California

Cover image for The Last Days of California : a novelThe Last Days of California
By Mary Miller
Liveright Publishing Corperation, 2014. 233 pgs. Fiction

Jess is a 15 year old with a compulsive sweet tooth on a road trip from Alabama to California with her parents and older sister in order to convene with a group of evangelical believers for 'the rapture'. Her father, convinced they will all be zapped into heaven, spends money they don't have with abandon, her mother softly tries to connect with her distant daughters, her older sister who is pregnant (unbeknownst to their parents) openly flaunts her disbelief in the rapture and god, while Jess is torn between her own faith, doubts, love of her parents and curiosity about the world.

The story takes place in the four days it takes them to make the drive, and gives a candid, poignant, and very real look into the pain, awkwardness, and empowerment that all teens experience. As the rapture draws nearer, each character and the family itself seem to unravel more and more. Miller's debut novel shows good promise and is a strong new voice in contemporary literature.


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