Calling Ivy Pochoda’s mystery, Visitation Street, (HarperCollins/Ecco, releasing tomorrow), “utterly transporting,” the new issue of People designates it a “People Pick.”
Set in Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood, described by reviewer Ellen Shapiro, as “a onetime longshoremen’s enclave that’s now a mishmash of abandoned warehouses, hipster renovations and housing projects … [that] emerges as a captivating small town,” it is about the disappearance of a 15-year-old girl, who, with a friend, launched a raft into the New York harbor to try to beat the Brooklyn heat.
On the Saturday of BEA, a dozen GalleyChatters, who had been talking the book up since March, got to soak in the Red Hook atmosphere (not to mention the heat and humidity), during a tour arranged by EarlyWord and the HarperCollins Library Marketing team (Virginia Stanley, Annie Mazes and Kayleigh George who recently left to join the RH/Hogarth imprint). We experienced the starkly contrasting neighborhood elements; within blocks of a large housing project are an upscale chocolate factory, fancy bakeries and even a winery. They all come together in a bar that features prominently in the book. We went there, of course (research demands sacrifice). Once we told the bar owner that we were fans of the book, he said, “Oh, right! Ivy lived across the street. I have a copy of the book I’m giving people on two-week loans. I’ll let you know if anyone come in who appears in the book.”
UPDATE: One of the participants, Robin Beerbower, posted her photos of the trip , complete with quotes from the book.
True enough, we witnessed a woman bring in the precious copy to hand it off to the next reader and, yes, the model for one of the book’s characters dropped by for an afternoon beer.
Visitation Street is the second under the “Dennis Lehane Books” imprint and no wonder. As Kaite Stover, Kansas City P.L, said when she highlighted it during the “Librarian’s Shout ‘n’ Share,” at BEA, “Ivy Pochoda does for Brooklyn’s Red Hook what Dennis Lehane does for South Boston.”