The Talking Stick
- 408 Pages
- April 23, 2024
- ISBN: 9781648210310
- Trim Size: 6in x 9in x 0in
Four women find humor, truth, romance, and a better path forward by deconstructing memory and emotion—and expose a wannabe cult leader along the way.
Hunter is lost. Her husband left her for Angelica, her former best friend whose new hit memoir is spreading unsavory lies about Hunter. She’s unemployed with no prospects, and the San Francisco flea market she’s wandering on a weekday is so foggy that she literally doesn’t know where she is.
It’s only after a helpful visit and a gift from a stranger who appears from the mist that Hunter finds her resolve. She begins a support group for women looking for new beginnings—only to have Angelica start one, too. In the next room over. One that feels very cult-y.
The Talking Stick is the adventure of Hunter and the three women who join her reclamation journey. Together, they reexamine their pasts, explore their grief, addictions, parenting, and marriages, and discover that some of their most-cherished memories are romanticized versions of the truth. Meanwhile, they unearth other memories—memories that challenge how they’ve been living for years. And, with the help of a lawyer who prefers life on a houseboat to the pretensions of the city, Hunter unravels Angelica’s scheme.
The Talking Stick is a fast-paced dramedy set in the Bay Area, told with the characteristic humor of Donna Levin, an author whom Kirkus called “A witty, modern voice” and the Los Angeles Times deemed “a novelist to keep high on your reading list.”
Donna Levin is the author of four acclaimed novels, Extraordinary Means, California Street, There's More Than One Way Home, and He Could Be Another Bill Gates. She has also written two books on the craft of writing: Get That Novel Started and Get That Novel Written. Her work is included at Boston University, in the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, and in the California State Library’s collection of California novels. She lives in San Francisco.
The solution: have friends. Also, magic.
The result: A thoroughly engaging, completely entertaining novel by the great Donna Levin."
—Karen Joy Fowler, PEN/Faulkner award winner, Man Booker award nominee, and New York Times bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club
"A witty, modern voice."
"A novelist to keep high on your reading list."
—Digby Diehl, Los Angeles Times
"Donna Levin invites you to laugh, reflect, and revel in the magic of camaraderie in this unforgettable journey of self-discovery and friendship."
—Lalita Tademy, bestselling author of Cane River (an Oprah’s Book Club pick), Red River, and Citizens Creek
"Donna Levin takes us into the heart of Marin County, where she introduces us to a cast of fascinating and sympathetic characters. Readers will want to spend more time with all of them—even the cheating husband.
—Nancy Nicholas, former fiction editor at Vogue
"I love every one of Donna Levin’s books, and especially this latest one, The Talking Stick. She’s a terrific writer, and so funny."
—Anne Lamott, bestselling author of Bird by Bird and other works
“Donna Levin paints mesmerizing portraits of contemporary women in search of answers. There's biting satire along the way."
—Charles Haid, award-winning director and actor
"Donna Levin's Talking Stick is as funny and dramatic as California. It's a rare novel that takes you so deeply into the minds of its characters that it makes you rethink your own life."
—Joe Mathews, co-founder of Zocalo Public Square, Schwarzenegger biographer
"Can a talking stick have magical powers? I don’t know, but I do know that Donna Levin is a natural storyteller.
—Gregory Rodriguez, author, essayist, and former Los Angeles columnist
"A magical story about growth, moments, how our stories are not ourselves, and how our guided universe and higher selves reveal the path to us when the time is right."
—Sofia Karstens, film and television actress
"Donna Levin uses her trademark humor to look at how we shape our memories to suit our present needs. In the process, she gives a shout-out to the healing power of female friendships. Our four heroines are flawed, funny, and unforgettable."
—Adair Lara, author and columnist