Pasadena, CA

5 Books Set in Pasadena, California

Claire Handscombe

There are lots of reasons to love Pasadena. And if you do, you'll enjoy visiting the small city thanks to these novels. (Descriptions are taken from online bookstores.)

Autobiography of Pasadena, by Aria Beth Sloss

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=0aY03Q_0ZgiH9aX00
book cover

Coming of age in the patrician neighborhood of Pasadena, California during the 1960s, Rebecca Madden and her beautiful, reckless friend Alex dream of lives beyond their mothers' narrow expectations. Their struggle to define themselves against the backdrop of an American cultural revolution unites them early on, until one sweltering evening the summer before their last year of college, when a single act of betrayal changes everything. Decades later, Rebecca's haunting meditation on the past reveals the truth about that night, the years that followed, and the friendship that shaped her.

Helen of Pasadena, by Lian Dolan

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=25gb2Z_0ZgiH9aX00
book cover

Helen Fairchild is leading a privileged Pasadena existence: married to a pillar of the community; raising a water polo-playing son destined for the most select high school; volunteering her time on the most fashionable committees.

And then along comes a Rose Parade float, killing her philandering husband and leaving Helen broke, out of her “forever" house, and scrambling to salvage her once-rarefied existence. Enter Patrick O'Neill, excavator of Troy and wearer of nubby sweaters.

Helen's world widens to include a Hollywood star, a gossip columnist, an old college nemesis, a high-powered Neutron Mom, an unforgiving school headmistress, the best Armenian real estate agent in the biz, and, of course, the intriguing Patrick O'Neill. While uncovering secrets about ancient Troy alongside her archaeologist boss, Helen discovers something much more: a new sense of self and a new love.

Pasadena, by David Ebershoff

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=0NGoJW_0ZgiH9aX00
book cover

From the award-winning author of The Danish Girl and The Rose City, Pasadena tells the story of Linda Stamp, a fishergirl born in 1903 on a coastal onion farm, and the three men who change her life: her jealous brother, Edmund; Bruder, the orphan Linda’s father brings home from World War I; and a Pasadena orange rancher named Willis Poore. The novel spans Linda’s adventurous and romantic life, weaving the tales of her Mexican mother and her German-born father with those of the rural Pacific Coast of her youth and of the small, affluent city, Pasadena, that becomes her home.

Pasadena, by Sherri L Smith

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=4Pv2Kp_0ZgiH9aX00
book cover

Bad things happen everywhere. Even in the land of sun and roses.

When Jude’s best friend is found dead in a swimming pool, her family calls it an accident. Her friends call it suicide. But Jude calls it what it is: murder. And someone has to pay.

Now everyone is a suspect—family and friends alike. And Jude is digging up the past like bones from a shallow grave. Anything to get closer to the truth. But that’s the thing about secrets. Once they start turning up, nothing is sacred. And Jude’s got a few skeletons of her own.

Unscripted, by Claire Handscombe

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3LaqFP_0ZgiH9aX00
book cover

Nobody is a bigger fan of actor Thomas Cassidy than Libby. Nobody. That's why she's totally going to marry him.

She’s going to write a novel, name the main character after Thom, and find a way to get it to him. Intrigued and flattered, he will read it, fall in love with her prose, and ask to turn it into a movie. She will pretend to think about it, then say, ‘Sure, but can I work on it with you?’ Their eyes will meet over the script… and fade to black.

But with four interwoven lives in play, can anything be that simple? Thoughtful, quirky, and moving, Unscripted is a story of friendship and second chances, and asks the question: how far can you take your dream?

(disclaimer: this one's mine.)

Comments / 0

Published by

Claire Handscombe is a British writer who moved to Washington, DC, in 2012, ostensibly to study for an MFA in Creative Writing, but really, let’s be honest, because of an obsession with The West Wing. She is the host of the Brit Lit Podcast, a monthly show about news and views from UK books and publishing; the author of Unscripted, a novel about a young woman with a celebrity crush and a determined plan; and the editor of Walk With Us: How The West Wing Changed Our Lives.

Washington, DC
192 followers

More from Claire Handscombe

Comments / 0