By Mellisa Broder
A woman arrives alone at a Best Western seeking respite from an emptiness that plagues her. She has fled to the California high desert to escape a cloud of sorrow for both her father in the ICU and a husband whose illness is worsening. What the motel provides, however, is not peace but a path, thanks to a receptionist who recommends a nearby hike.
Out on the sun-scorched trail, the woman encounters a towering cactus whose size and shape mean it should not exist in California. Yet the cactus is there, with a gash through its side that beckons like a familiar door. So she enters it.
What awaits her inside this mystical succulent sets her on a journey at once desolate and rich, hilarious and poignant. This is Melissa Broder at her most imaginative, most universal, and finest. This is Death Valley.
Published by Bloomsbury.