A novel about subprime mortgages, ruthless Hollywood economics, and the
unraveling of a young marriage.
This Is Where We Live tells the story of Claudia and Jeremy, a young, artistic married couple (she's an aspiring filmmaker; he's an indie musician) who are on the verge of making it. Her first film was a sensation at Sundance and is about to have its theatrical release; he’s assembled a new band and is a few songs shy of an album. They’ve recently purchased their first home — an adorable bungalow with a breathtaking view of the city of Los Angeles — with the magical assistance of an adjustable rate mortgage. But a series of seismic events — the tanking of Claudia’s film, the return of Jeremy's ex-girlfriend (a manipulative, self-destructive, fabulously successful artist), and the staggering adjustment of their monthly mortgage payments—deals a crushing blow to their dreams of the bohemian life and their professional aspirations, and makes them question their values and their shared vision of the future.
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Praise for This Is Where We Live
"Enthralling... Brown is at her best when she is exploring the neurosis of the ambitious artist, and many who are struggling to make a life in a creative profession will find This Is Where We Live to be almost uncomfortably familiar." - Slate
"Brown's follow-up to her biting debut, All We Ever Wanted Was Everything, is another addictive read. This telling look at how the current economic crisis affects one family shows that Brown is no one-hit wonder. The writing is crisp and fast, and while this book lacks the dark humor of her first novel, it's still a great contemporary read." - Library Journal - Starred Review
"Part social satire, part melodrama, part intimate domestic portrait, the book feels like a natural follow-up to Brown's bestselling 2008 debut, "All We Ever Wanted Was Everything," which was set amid the crumbling edifice of a different -- though equally evocative -- version of the dream: one of Silicon Valley McMansions, country clubs and billion-dollar IPOs. The cover of that book depicted a melting ice cream sundae, its cherry-on-top about to slip off the side; this new one shows a tulip-filled vase being shattered by a tremendous impact, as if shot at close range. Both images evoke that moment when one's ideals and plans collide with the messy chaos of life -- the very quality that makes both books such page-turners...Brown has an uncanny eye for contemporary characters and settings, and that's definitely part of the fun." - Los Angeles Times
"Alternating between Claudia’s and Jeremy’s perspectives, Brown proves adept at fully inhabiting both male and female characters in her sympathetic portrait of a troubled marriage. She also elevates her material with sharp cultural observations and pointed commentary on the current economy, while gamely tackling what it means to be a “grown up,” and how our idea of who we think we should be gets in the way of who we really are. At once playful and heartbreaking, this novel never feels less than wholly true". - Booklist
"Brown’s tart second novel couldn't be more timely.... a cringingly funny satire of love and money among the artsy class." - Kirkus
"Former Salon editor and Bay Area native Janelle Brown—now a Los Feliz resident—clearly understands the dramatic nuances of life in the City of Angels. But with her second novel, she’s also created characters whose relationship growing pains alone are poignant enough to give This Is Where We Live the page-turning qualities of a real thriller." - 7x7 magazine
"Devouring "This is Where We Live" as I BARTed home from an evening of guilt-free pleasures, I forgot where I live, and actually missed my stop..... Brown is a gifted, au courant novelist whose most grievous literary sin is serving up too much of a good thing.." - San Francisco Chronicle