Finalist for the Northern California Book Award
Included in The Millions' Great 2011 Book Preview
The year is 2008; the place, California. Vic Mahler, famous for having inspired cult followers in the seventies, serves time on death row, awaiting his execution in ten days. For years, his daughter, Lana, has been in hiding, but her friend Rose, a lawyer, is determined to bring the two together. Yet when Rose succeeds in tracking down Lana at a California health spa, the pair must negotiate land mines of memory in order to reconcile the past and face their futures. A story infused with pathos and wit, insight and lyricism, Lola, California "matches metaphoric wit with an American state that defies summary....A hypnotic and suspenseful tale, tightening toward an irresistible end" (Elizabeth Rosner, author of The Speed of Light).
“In this intense and tumultuous tale, Meidav adeptly limns the dark and sinuous obsessions of friendship with penetrating insights.” —Booklist
“A psychedelic spiraled-out mystery.”—The Onion A.V. Club
Press and Reviews
"Meidav captures the self-indulgence of adolescent friendship and the tension underlying familial bonds, languidly teasing out the surprising secrets of the past." -- The New Yorker
“A meditation on the grand themes of motherhood, redemption, and choice… It’s both dreadful and awesome, brilliant… thought-provoking in its depiction of a dysfunctional family—indeed a dysfunctional American state.”
“This gorgeous, audacious novel goes far beyond a story of two girls, though. Lana and Rose grew up in Berkeley, California in the 1980s, and the book is as much about that town and the millennial Northern California zeitgeist as any character. Meidav is harrowingly precise in her descriptions of the place . . . Lola, California is a startling novel, as prodigiously smart as it is technically proficient. Her characters may be narcissistic zeligs, but Meidav is an American original.”
"Lola, California is a powerful, innovative and lyrical American novel. To read it is to enter a rich territory — the landscape of memory and choice."