Girl locked herself out and is trying to find a way to get to her apartment. Los Angeles.

I was on the second story of a duplex, but you could kind of get to the patio from the front stairs; so I walked up the stairs, climbed onto the railing, and tried to grab on to the rail of my patio. If I could get my hand on it and swing a leg around, I was pretty confident I could get onto the patio without much chance of falling to my death.

Taylor Jenkins Reid "Forever, Interrupted"

I'm totally confused about the meaning of patio. Is it balcony? Where do the front stairs lead? Google doesn't provide any pictures of dublex with patio on the second story and stairs to some patio:(

  • I also find it confusing. Maybe someone familiar with Los Angeles will have a better answer. Jul 29, 2022 at 8:40
  • Yes, it appears that the “patio” was a balcony. Notice that the book is set in California so we should expect oddities. However, if a balcony is considerably larger than the typical balcony (so that it was equivalent in size to a typical patio) and is not roofed, the word “patio” would make sense. This is a guess. I have never been to Los Angeles. Jul 29, 2022 at 8:45
  • The writing is not good. Perhaps "I was on the second story" means "I lived on the second story." [The way you direct your cab-driver: "See the shop? I'm just there, on the left."] If so, she's downstairs at the beginning. I've no idea where the railing is though. Jul 29, 2022 at 8:48
  • It sounds like there aren't actually stairs to the patio, the narrator is just climbing the outside of the building to get there and there happen to be stairs below that provide a little bit of a boost. Jul 29, 2022 at 8:55

1 Answer 1


A patio is a paved outside area.

It appears that "patio" is some kind of balcony. Noting that the story is set in California, I'd imagine some kind of flat roof, tiled, with enough space for a couple of chairs and barbeque, for use by the people living upstairs.

It might be a deck over a garage, for example. The stairs lead to her door (on the upper floor) and there are railings around the stairs. There are also railing around the "patio" (for safety), but one would have to stretch to reach the patio railings from the stairs.

Overall it is not very well written, and not very clear.

  • 1
    This picture shows an arrangement where you could climb across from the stair, although it's more of a balcony than a patio. Jul 29, 2022 at 11:39

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .