Happy Monday all!
This is a book you NEED to put on your TBR! It comes out March 31 and I cannot put into words how authentic, profound, and beautiful the story was!
Profound. Poignant. Authentic. Raw. Beautiful. Elizabeth Wetmore’s debut Took my breath away and left me speechless. There is no way that my words can do this story justice. It was so beautifully written, so emotionally evocative, so true and authentic. West Texas 1976 The land is dry, the oil is pumping, guns are prevalent, racism is rampid, the good ole boys are in charge, and the women are in the home. When 14-year-old Gloria shows up on Mary rose’s porch battered and bruised she does not see the young girl as a Mexican she sees her as her own daughter. When Gloria’s attacker shows up Mary Rose stands up to him a tense standoff ensues. Corine is a cantankerous older woman who is dealing with the recent death of her beloved husband Porter. When Mary Rose moves into town across from Corine the women form a bond based on mutual respect.
The story is primarily told from the perspectives of Mary Rose, Gloria, and Corrine. We also get some snapshots from other characters including 10-year-old Debora Ann whose mother has just split town. Every character in this book has such a unique voice, such a profound story, and were so well drawn I just knew I would know who they were if they were walking down the street. The time and place was also perfectly developed, I could taste the dust in my mouth and smell the oil on my skin. I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to listen to this on audio and the narrators Cassandra Campbell and Jenna Lamia were superb. They really brought this poignant and vivid story to life with their voices. A beautiful story about ugly subject matter, this is the type of book that stays with you long after you have finished the last page.
This book in emojis. 🛢 🔫 🙏🏻 👭
*** Big thank you to Harper Collins and Harper Audio for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***
About the Book
Written with the haunting emotional power of Elizabeth Strout and Barbara Kingsolver, an astonishing debut novel that explores the lingering effects of a brutal crime on the women of one small Texas oil town in the 1970s.
Mercy is hard in a place like this….
It’s February 1976, and Odessa, Texas, stands on the cusp of the next great oil boom. While the town’s men embrace the coming prosperity, its women intimately know and fear the violence that always seems to follow.
In the early hours of the morning after Valentine’s Day, 14-year-old Gloria Ramírez appears on the front porch of Mary Rose Whitehead’s ranch house, broken and barely alive. The teenager had been viciously attacked in a nearby oil field – an act of brutality that is tried in the churches and barrooms of Odessa before it can reach a court of law. When justice is evasive, one of the town’s women decides to take matters into her own hands, setting the stage for a showdown with potentially devastating consequences.
Valentine is a haunting exploration of the intersections of violence and race, class, and region in a story that plumbs the depths of darkness and fear, yet offers a window into beauty and hope. Told through the alternating points of view of indelible characters who burrow deep in the listener’s heart, this fierce, unflinching, darkly funny, and surprisingly tender novel illuminates women’s strength and vulnerability, and reminds us that it is the stories we tell ourselves that keep us alive.