A teenage girl and her unraveling family travel cross-country in preparation for the Rapture in this radiant, highly anticipated debut.
With The Last Days of California, Mary Miller bursts into the literary world, taking up the mantle of Southern fiction and rendering it her own with wry vulnerability and contemporary urgency. Miller’s revelatory protagonist, Jess, is fourteen years old and waiting for the world to end. Her evangelical father has packed up the family and left their Montgomery home to drive west to California, hoping to save as many souls as possible before the Second Coming.
With her long-suffering mother and rebellious (and secretly pregnant) sister, Jess hands out tracts to nonbelievers at every rest stop, waffle house, and gas station along the way. As Jess’ belief frays, her teenage myopia evolves into awareness about her fracturing family. Using deadpan humor and savage charm belying deep empathy for her characters, Miller’s debut captures the angst, sexual rivalry, and escalating self-doubt of teenage life in America while announcing Miller as a fierce new voice.