Welcome to my stop on the Arroyo blog tour sponsored by Suzy Approved Book Tours! Thank you to Suzy for the invitation!
About the Book:
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.
Arroyo is such an engaging and interesting story. There are two parallel stories about an inventor and his soothsayer dog. The timelines are 1913 and 1993. At the center of both stories is the “Suicide Bridge,” also known as the Colorado Street Bridge. This bridge has a history and a story to tell of its own.
Arroyo is also about Pasadena, California. Nick and his dog follow such local characters as Teddy Roosevelt, Adolphus Busch, and Upton Sinclair. Through it all, Nick continues to be drawn to this eerie, mysterious bridge.
I enjoyed the peek into Old Pasadena. I didn’t know much about this time or place, and I found it fascinating. Arroyo was adventurous, original, and surprised me. The characters were fun and quirky, and overall, Nick and Royo stole the show as they likely should as the main characters.
I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.
About the Author:
Jacobs’ writing has been honored, among others, by the Independent Publishers’ Book Awards (IPPY), the Indies Book of the Year contest, Foreword and Booklist magazines (for starred reviews and top books in genre), The Green Prize for Sustainable Literature, the Southern California Book Festival, the Shanghai Book Awards, and as a Chinese “Most Influential” and “Outstanding Popular Science” book. Jacobs and his subjects have appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Marketplace Radio, Slate, Wired, NPR-syndicate stations, C-Span, Politifact and elsewhere. He lives in Southern California.
Have you read Arroyo, or is it on your TBR? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR