top of page
New River Books Wave Background
Perris California Cover Packshot_edited.png

“Stark captures female solidarity, a shared maternal understanding, and the sacredness of keeping each other’s secrets… An extraordinary debut that insists that we can—and must—mend each other.”

Kirkus, starred review

Perris, California

In this unforgettable debut novel, twenty-seven-year-old Tessa, pregnant with her third child and living in a trailer on her mother-in-law’s property, encounters the woman she used to love—leading Tessa to question the very foundations of the life she’s built.

Abandoned by first her father and then her mother, as a girl Tessa is left to live with her abusive stepfather and stepbrother. She survives by finding reserves of strength in herself, and by the surprising, transformative love of another teenage girl, Mel, who sees through Tessa’s tough exterior to the vulnerable, scarred, loving woman inside. When she suddenly loses Mel, too, Tessa stumbles into a saving grace of a different kind with Henry and his mama, Angie, becoming a mother and finding herself in a familial existence that somehow carries her into adulthood—until the day she runs into Mel, who has just returned to Perris after years away.

Filled with violence, tragedy, tenderness, longing, and the unvarnished courage of women living in a mostly unseen America, Perris, California is the utterly gripping story of Tessa’s journey from trauma to healing, and it introduces us to one of the most indelible female characters since Bone Boatwright in Dorothy Allison’s Bastard Out of Carolina or Ruth Langmore in Ozark.

Pre-order information coming soon

Pub date: 28th September 2024

Format: Hardback

About the author:


Rachel Stark

Rachel Stark grew up in Perris, California. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from University of California...

bottom of page