Drift by Victoria Patterson (2009)
Sex, money, power, and status are the compass points in Patterson’s collection of linked stories set in Newport Beach. In “Castaways,” a man is dumped by his wife and faces losing his son, his job in his father‑in‑law’s company, and his country-club lifestyle; in “Henry’s House,” a beautiful single mother marries a wealthy man she doesn’t love with the tacit approval of her mother and her best friend. Patterson, who graduated from Corona del Mar High, considers herself a survivor of her Newport Beach upbringing. “There was something about the area that rubbed me the wrong way. The entitlement, and everyone going to USC,” Patterson told Orange Coast last year. “There are people (from Newport Beach) who I’ve bumped into over the years, who have that same sort of, ‘Oh, yeah, I was there. I remember.’ It’s a survivor’s thing.”
POSTSCRIPT Patterson’s most recent book, “The Little Brother,” fictionalizes a notorious local crime, the sexual assault of a teenage girl in Corona del Mar that the perpetrators captured on videotape.