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Visitation Street    by Ivy Pochoda order for
Visitation Street
by Ivy Pochoda
Order:  USA  Can
Ecco, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

It's a warm night and two Brooklyn teens looking for a little adventure take a rubber raft out onto the Hudson River. Of the two friends, only one returns to shore and she is found semi-conscious in the weeds beneath a pier.

What happened on this tragic June night galvanizes the Red Hook neighborhood where the two girls lived. Author Ivy Pochoda develops her story through a number of unforgettable characters who react to the accident, if that is what it was, in a number of surprising ways.

There's Cree, a young black man, who is reluctant to share what he knows, fearing he will be blamed for what happened; and Fadi, a Lebanese bodega owner, who markets information like he does his groceries to attract customers and feel important.

As more questions arise about the girl's disappearance, the reader comes to realize that not only is this a story about the relationship between the two fifteen years old friends but also about the place where they grew up. The Red Hook neighborhood is a fascinating place and, as you'll discover, understanding the lives of its inhabitants and the personal dramas that unfold on these pages is as important as solving the mystery of what happened to these two teens.

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