The Peripheral has two point-of-view characters—and so the book speaks in two different voices. When you compare the novel’s first sentence with the opening sentence from the second chapter, which is the top of the other point-of-view-character’s thread, you’re suddenly in a different kind of language.
In any case, the first sentence is the handshake, on either side of the writer-reader divide. The reader shakes hands with the writer. The writer has already had to shake hands with the unknown. Assuming both have heard the click, we’ve got it going on.
When the reader first encounters this, it’s weird, and not entirely translatable. Yet it helps situate us in place. The phrasing of it is not formal English, not even formal American English. It’s colloquial American. It places this character you yet haven’t met in an American tradition. (The first sentence of Huckleberry Finn does something similar, though for its day it did something infinitely more radical than what I’m doing here.)
How many people grew up in San Diego? How many people have lived in multiple international cities? Millions! So, those statements are not differentiating enough to be in the first sentence. Something like this would have been better for Jane: