Catalina made me homesick for Southern California in a bittersweet, kind of absurd way. Not because of its opulent locations or its obsession with pharmaceuticals and day-drinking. Rather, strangely, the book made me feel nostalgic for SoCal's creeping foundational rot, and the weird culture of glamorous possibility that allows everyone to willfully ignore it.
Los Angeles and its satellites are the perfect backdrop for the novel's dissection of hetero-feminine sexuality, so often presented as a fetish object or sleek vehicle of personal liberation, but here turned violently and subtly inward, devouring its unwilling hosts.— From Devon
A magnetic, provocative debut novel chronicling a young woman's downward spiral following the end of an affair
Elsa Fisher is headed for rock bottom. At least, that's her plan. She has just been fired from MoMA on the heels of an affair with her married boss, and she retreats to Los Angeles to blow her severance package on whatever it takes to numb the pain. Her abandoned crew of college friends (childhood friend Charlotte and her wayward husband, Jared; and Elsa's ex-husband, Robby) receive her with open arms, and, thinking she's on vacation, a plan to celebrate their reunion on a booze-soaked sailing trip to Catalina Island.
But Elsa doesn't want to celebrate. She is lost, lonely, and full of rage, and only wants to sink as low as the drugs and alcohol will take her. On Catalina, her determined unraveling and recklessness expose painful memories and dark desires, putting everyone in the group at risk.
With the creeping menace of Patricia Highsmith and the bender-chic of Bret Easton Ellis, Liska Jacobs brings you inside the mind of an angry, reckless young woman hell-bent on destruction--every page taut with the knowledge that Elsa's path does not lead to a happy place. Catalina is a compulsive, deliciously dark exploration of beauty, love, and friendship, and the sometimes toxic desires that drive us.