Preview: Ivy Pochoda – Visitation Street

It’s a hard living in the secluded blue-collar neighbourhood of Red Hook, Brooklyn, even in summertime. Two fifteen-year-olds June and Val refuse to surrender themselves to the mundanity of their surroundings by seeking a little adventure. Curious about what “wonders” may lie beyond, they decide to sail out on a raft on the East River bay at night. But during their inquisitive quest to break the monotony, things take a turn for the worst, and only one of them returns … washed up amongst the weeds, bruised and unconscious.

The tragedy ripples through the community in ways as diverse as the residents of Red Hook. The store of Lebanese shop owner Fadi becomes a de facto hub of intelligence on the morbid event, as he takes it upon himself to seek answers about June’s disappearance. Meanwhile, Cree, who is just beginning to collect himself after his father’s murder, inadvertently finds himself targeted as the prime suspect in the case; however, an ambiguous protector of sorts does its best to look out for Cree’s interests. Turmoil also stirs in Val as she struggles to come to terms with the loss of her friend as well as a truth she holds to herself.

Visitation Street is a riveting mystery which Ivy Pochoda brings to life through vivid prose. Her tale is at once a psychological examination of a group of disparate individuals who all share the common desire to shake loose their personal chains in order to be free in mind and spirit once and for all.

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Leslie Ken Chu

Leslie Ken Chu