California, families, forced removal and internment, Japanese Americans, ranch life, ranches, United States, World War 1939-1945
A New Yorker Best Book of 2022
Fifteen years after the publication of Evidence of Things Unseen, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize finalist Marianne Wiggins returns with a novel destined to be an American classic..(Amazon). I never wanted this book to end. I just kept slowing down to forestall the inevitable. A stunner.
“A changing American landscape is beautifully portrayed in PROPERTIES OF THIRST, a moving and gripping new novel by Marianne Wiggins. At the start of World War II, while Japanese families are relocated to Manzanar, the Rhodes family, who live on a ranch near the camp are equally uprooted by memories and circumstances. What follows is a rich and powerful portrayal of love, loss, and the enduring strength of family. A novel to be read and savored.”—Gail Tsukiyama, bestselling author of Women of the Silk and The Samurai’s Garden
“A sweeping, cinematic story of love and family set against the dramatic backdrop of World War II and the American West…. What makes the novel soar is the way Wiggins can evoke landscapes both interior and exterior, especially the expansive valley that has come to exemplify America’s best qualities—and its worst. This majestic novel will satisfy those thirsting for an epic saga of love, family, and the complexities of the American way.”—Kirkus *Starred Review*
“Wiggins manages to capture a big swath of mid-century America by placing a blue-blooded family into a desert inland complete with adobe haciendas, desert blooms, and Hollywood movie sets, while throughout, the Rhodes hold out hope for Stryker’s survival. Wiggins’s masterpiece is one for the ages.”–Publishers Weekly, *Starred Review*
“[a] grand novel of principled and creative individuals caught in the vise of history… Loss, desire, moral dilemmas, reflection, and zesty dialogue with the do-good energy of Frank Capra films generate a WWII home front tale of profound and far-ranging inquiry and imagination, scintillating humor, intrepid romance, and conscience.”—Booklist *Starred Review*
“Masterful…. Readers won’t be able to look away. Wiggins’ characters are raw and honest… [her] writing, which can be fragmented or polished depending on the page, opens up microscopic universes and sprawling landscapes alike. It’s a joy to read.”—Bookpage *Starred Review*