Published by Rare Bird BooksDate Published: October 15, 2019
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Set against two distinct epochs in the history of Pasadena, California, Arroyo tells the parallel stories of a young inventor and his clairvoyant dog in 1913 and 1993. In both lives, they are drawn to the landmark Colorado Street Bridge, or "Suicide Bridge," as the locals call it, which suffered a lethal collapse during construction but still opened to fanfare in the early twentieth century automobile age. When the refurbished structure commemorates its 80th birthday, one of the planet's best known small towns is virtually unrecognizable from its romanticized, and somewhat invented, past.
Wrought with warmth and wit, Jacobs' debut novel digs into Pasadena's most mysterious structure and the city itself. In their exploits around what was then America's highest, longest roadway, Nick Chance and his impish mutt interact with some of the big personalities from the Progressive Age, including Teddy Roosevelt, Upton Sinclair, Charles Fletcher Lummis, and Lilly and Adolphus Busch, whose gardens were once tabbed the "eighth wonder of the world." They cavort and often sow chaos at Cawston Ostrich Farm, the Mount Lowe Railway, the Hotel Green and even the Doo Dah Parade. But it's the secrets and turmoil around the concrete arches over the Arroyo Seco, and what it means for Nick's destiny, that propels this story of fable versus fact.
While unearthing the truth about the Colorado Street Bridge, in all its eye-catching grandeur and unavoidable darkness, the characters of Arroyo paint a vivid picture of how the home of the Rose Bowl got its dramatic start.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Author/Publisher and was under no obligation to post a review, positive or negative.
Arroyo is a book I wasn’t sure I would like, honestly. It’s a debut novel and it’s set in two different time lines, one 1913 and one in 1993. Those kinds are sometimes hard for me to get into. But, I pushed through it all, and by the end, I was left with my jaw on the ground because what do you know? I loved it! It was well written and definitely captivating!
Jacobs creates a story that is filled with wonderful characters that will make you happy to follow them on their journey. He fills the story with vivid details of the Suicide Bridge in Pasadena, California and it helped me to feel as if I was truly there, walking beside Nick and his pup Royo, and all the other amazing characters along the way.
This is a fast read, one that will keep you hooked until the end and leave you wanting more of Jacobs’ talented writing. For a debut, alternate timeline novel, I was pleasantly surprised and definitely recommend this book to all! Grab a copy for yourself and see if Royo, Nick and the other characters don’t grip your soul and make you feel a part of the story! Well done to Jacobs!