The dam broke and Linda looked up and saw the bluff collapse, a waterfall of mud.”

Pasadena tells the story of Linda Stamp, a fishergirl born in 1903 on a coastal onion farm, and the three men who change her life: her jealous brother, Edmund; Bruder, the orphan Linda’s father brings home from World War I; and a Pasadena orange rancher named Willis Poore. The novel spans Linda’s adventurous and romantic life, weaving the tales of her Mexican mother and her German-born father with those of the rural Pacific Coast of her youth and of the small, affluent city, Pasadena, that becomes her home. Pasadena is a novel of passion and history, about a woman and a place in perpetual transformation.


“Wuthering Heights meets East of Eden.” –The Wall Street Journal

“A luxurious tragedy…gorgeous, full of romance and disaster…Pasadena is a novel to get lost in.” –The Christian Science Monitor

“Ebershoff’s crafting of characters is so sharp, so perfect, that we ache for most of them…[He] has us in thrall, and every word he writes counts.” –Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“Full of detail and unerring language…magically evokes the rich and varied landscape of Southern California.” –The Boston Sunday Globe

Discussion questions for Pasadena