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Pasadena: A Novel

Ebershoff, David

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ISBN 10: 0375504567 / ISBN 13: 9780375504563
Published by Random House Inc, Westminster, Maryland, U.S.A., 2002
New Condition: New Soft cover
From Flash Books (Audubon, NJ, U.S.A.)

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RARE Advance Reader's Edition-Not For sale. 1st Edition-Stated. 1st Printing per Random House policy of starting the number line at 2 before 2005. New copy. Never read. Trade paperback format. Beautiful copy of book and cover. COLLECTOR'S COPY. Bookseller Inventory # 000951

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Pasadena: A Novel

Publisher: Random House Inc, Westminster, Maryland, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Soft cover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


Pasadena, David Ebershoff’s sweeping, richly imagined novel, is set against the backdrop of Southern California during the first half of the twentieth century and charts its rapid transformation from frontier to suburb. At the story’s center is Linda Stamp, a fishergirl born in 1903 on a coastal onion farm in San Diego’s North County, and the three men who upend her life and vie for her affection: her pragmatic farming brother, Edmund; Captain Willis Poore, a Pasadena rancher with a heroic military past; and Bruder, the mysterious young man Linda’s father brings home from World War I.

Pasadena spans Linda’s adventurous and romantic life, weaving the tales of her Mexican mother and her German-born father with those of the rural Pacific Coast of her youth and of the small, affluent city, Pasadena, that becomes her home. When Linda’s father returns from the war to the fishing hamlet of Baden-Baden-by-the-Sea with the darkly handsome Bruder, she glimpses love and a world beyond her own. Linda follows Bruder to the seemingly greener pastures of Pasadena, where he is the foreman of a flourishing orange ranch, the homestead and inheritance of the charming bachelor Willis Poore. As Willis begins to woo her with the promise of money and stature, Linda is torn between the two men, unable to differentiate truth from appearance. Linda’s fateful decision alters the course of many lives and harbingers a sea change just on the horizon, for Pasadena and its inhabitants.

Infused with the rich sense of place for which Ebershoff’s work is known, Pasadena remembers a Southern California whose farms edged the Pacific, where citrus dominated the economy, and where America’s tycoons wintered in a vital city’s grand hotels. Recalling the California character of self-invention that informs the work of John Steinbeck and Joan Didion, Pasadena is a novel of passion and history about a woman and a place in perpetual transformation.


David Ebershoff's second novel, Pasadena, is rich with exuberant details. But instead of overwhelming readers, Ebershoff (The Danish Girl) manages to deftly conduct the symphony found in everyday life. The historical novel opens with Andrew Jackson Blackwood, who has come from the east "with a small wad of money of questionable origin and a full, boyish smile." Blackwood's intent is to buy and develop Rancho Pasaden, and as he passes through the dying orange groves and elaborate halls of the mansion, the realtor tells him the entangled stories of its previous inhabitants. But if Blackwood's character is stretched thin by Ebershoff's drive to reveal the Pasadena that once was, the stories of other characters, such as Linda Stamp, Bruder, and Captain Willis Poore, prove difficult to put down.

As driven as the plot may be, the writing does not suffer. Ebershoff has a luxuriant way with words, and through his beautiful prose he includes readers in the intrigue of a swiftly passing shop window, the refinement of a well-made lobster trap, and the coarseness of a saloon filled with whores and their clients. The many details bring us closer to each character's motives, and when the last page is read we may even realize that the book moved us to a different time and place--just like a good book should. --Karin Rosman

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