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Mecca  By  cover art

Mecca

By: Susan Straight
Narrated by: Frankie Corzo,Patricia R. Floyd,Shaun Taylor-Corbett
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Publisher's Summary

"Against the alternating currents of boosterism and doom-speak so often associated with California, Susan Straight's Mecca focuses on the people who don’t usually appear in literary and cinematic depictions of a place so big it could be a country. A heartbreaker from beginning to end, Mecca both shocks and moves in its powerful and unrelenting portrait of this sunny, fiery state." (Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of The Committed)   

From the National Book Award finalist Susan Straight, a stunning epic tracing the intertwined lives of native Californians fighting for life and land. 

Johnny Frias has California in his blood. A descendant of the state’s Indigenous people and Spanish settlers, he has Southern California’s forgotten towns and canyons in his soul. He spends his days working for the California Highway Patrol pulling over speeders, ignoring their racist insults, and pushing past the trauma of his rookie year, when he killed a man who was in the midst of assaulting a young woman named Bunny, who proceeded to run away. But like the Santa Ana winds, which every year bring risk of fire, Johnny’s moment of action 20 years ago sparks a slow-burning chain of connections that unites a vibrant, complex cast of characters in ways they never saw coming.   

In Mecca, the celebrated novelist Susan Straight crafts an unforgettable American epic, examining race, history, family, and destiny through the interlocking stories of a group of native Californians all gasping for air. With sensitivity, furor, and a cinematic scope that captures California in all its injustice, history, and glory, she tells a story of the American West through the eyes of the people who built it - and continue to sustain it. As the stakes get higher and the intertwined characters in Mecca slam against barrier after barrier, we find that when push comes to shove, it’s always better to push back.

©2022 Susan Straight (P)2022 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Mecca

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I live in the area

The story was OK but for me it was personally interesting because I live in the areas and I have been in many of the specific areas mentioned in the book. Nice to read how someone describes your geographic area.

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An eye opening read

Never will I take my comfortable white life for granted after this provocative read. Susan Straight paints pictures of people and cultures and assumptions and prejudices that will linger with me and should be required high school reading especially in California.
Looking forward to my book club discussion!

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Loved this story of my homeland

Don’t think I know of other novels that capture my homeland, it’s people, and the contemporary conflicts arising from history, so I found this story enthralling. Knowing many similar people from this part of California (Inland Empire), and the description of the landscape resonated with me.

Sorry when it ended. I was ready for much more.

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Disappointing

Something was off. Never really knew the characters, just the words they said. It left a negative feeling for me.