CATALINA by Liska Jacobs
  Book Reviews    September 30, 2017     Mackenzie Kiera

All her life Elsa was told she was pretty. Since she was a little girl Elsa was handed makeup, given new hair styles and told that she was such a pretty girl. All grown up, Elsa has everything she’s ever wanted: a good job in a New York art museum, an attractive, older man (her married boss) at her side. To top it all off? She’s using her art degree everyday at the museum.

Elsa has everything.

Until her boss decides to end the affair, and Elsa’s perfect life comes crashing down around her. She’s given a huge severance check and told to get some air, go on vacation. Only problem is: she has nowhere else to go but back home to the friends she left in her dust.

But she is such a pretty girl, and concealment was her first lesson. Through a cacophony of men, drugs, and booze, Elsa spins a tale to her friends that she’s actually doing very well and came back just to see them. Have a vacation. Get some time away from her busy, wonderful, perfect New York life.

A drowning woman will grasp at anything to keep herself afloat. When Elsa feels herself sinking, the question is: who will she pull down into the depths with her? Who will have to pay for Elsa’s lies?

Catalina is Catcher in the Rye if Holden Caulfield met up with Hunter S. Thompson in Las Vegas and partied until they ran out of money and moonlight. Jacob’s descriptions were so on point I felt like I was vacationing right next to Elsa, sharing in her woes and witnessing her downfall, unable to help.

See, Catalina is not about a hero’s journey but rather, a woman’s undoing. It would appear that Jacobs took one look at the usual, epic protagonist and decided to run as fast and hard as she could in the other direction, tugging the reader along, assuring us that this would be a wild ride.

It was indeed.

Take some pills, drink all the booze, pick up a copy of Catalina. Be sure to make like Elsa, and let it go.


Check out our short interview with Jacobs, and come meet her in-person Nov 10th.



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