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Valentine: A Novel by Elizabeth Wetmore
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Valentine: A Novel (edition 2020)

by Elizabeth Wetmore (Author)

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4313342,275 (4.15)18
Member:Copperskye
Title:Valentine: A Novel
Authors:Elizabeth Wetmore (Author)
Info:Harper (2020), 320 pages
Collections:Read in 2020, Read but unowned
Rating:*****
Tags:read in 2020, read in Nov 2020, Texas, oil fields, rape, women, crime, fiction

Work details

Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore

Recently added byArina40, lsh63, CNeedham, Cedarfieldlibrary, Lweb80, savannahreads, private library, Beth.Clarke

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» See also 18 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
I'm not always a fan of a book that has multiple narrators, but it works in Valentine. A horrific event told through the eyes of women in the community. It makes one wonder, what would you do? How would you help? Can gossip and misconceptions be stopped? The perspectives are spot on and unfold perfectly. A gripping novel for those that root for the underdog, the misunderstood, the minorities. ( )
  Beth.Clarke | Nov 21, 2020 |
The first chapter tells the story of a brutal rape of a 14 year old Mexican girl, Glory, and her appearance at the home of Mary Rose in a rural area of Texas near Odessa. Mary Rose calls the sheriff and the young man is arrested. The rest of the novel focuses on different characters in the town. Mary Rose's husband is furious that she must testify at the trial. Mary Rose moves into town across from Corrine, a retired English teacher whose husband has just committed suicide rather than succumb to a terrible disease. Debra Ann is a young girl whose mother has left her; Corrine unwillingly takes her under her wing.

Although the story is set in the 1970's the people of Odessa all come across as bigots especially the men. And, probably this is west Texas. ( )
  maryreinert | Nov 16, 2020 |
4.5 West Texas is not kind to women. This book tells their story - they all overlap in various ways in their town of Odessa, TX in 1976 and despite different angles, all have the same issue: powerlessness. A harrowing event at the very start of the book on Valentine's Day forms the center from which their stories fan out. Gloria Ramirez, 14 is brutally raped by a roughneck (Dale Strickland) in a remote oil field and she lands on the front porch of Mary Rose Whitehead's cattle farm with Dale in pursuit. A very pregnant Mary Rose takes Glory in immediately and fends off Dale until the police arrive, and at that moment invites a whole heap of trouble into her life. Due to the time period and the fact that Glory willingly got into Dale's truck at the drive-in, the case is shaky from the start. Mary Rose moves to town with her young daughter Amy as her safety seems compromised out in the country, even though Dale is in custody. There are plenty of haters who don't think she should testify for Glory, who is Mexican. In town, she meets neighbors Corrine Shepherd, a spunky widow who is drowning (and booze) in grief for her dead husband. She can barely stand to be among the living. Suzanne Ledbetter is the "perfect" neighborhood Mom who sells Avon and Tupperware and is always perfectly organized and attired. However, this is her facade for her "white trash" upbringing and her determination to never be wholly reliant upon a man, or anyone else. Amy befriends D.A. (Deborah Anne) Pierce, a feral neighborhood child whose mother left months ago and whose father works long hours in the oil fields and can't look after her. That summer with the Ramirez case on everyone's mind and in everyone's gossip, the women all increase watchfulness over their daughters, D.A. included. But she is wily and independent and befriends a man living in a drain pipe at the edge of their neighborhood. Jesse Belden is a Vietman vet who was tricked into TX from TN by his older cousin who ditched him when he came out for work. He becomes D.A.'s "project" when she discovers him and she steals from all the neighbors to bring him food, blankets, medicine. Suspense builds about his character and motives. Lots of issues circling here, but they are all faced head on by these amazing women who each tell their story and stick to their guns (literally - it is TX afterall!) The barren but lucrative landscape is definitely a character here and a lot of local flavor, but a universal 70s childhood is depicted with days spent on bikes and little oversight, all shadowed by man's inhumanity to woman. Excellent story telling! ( )
  CarrieWuj | Oct 24, 2020 |
Absorbing stories and perspectives, some more powerful than others, in the style of Elizabeth Strout. They all weave around the brutal rape of a 15-year-old Mexican girl in mid-1970s Odessa, Texas. Author Wetmore expertly transports the reader into that place and time - foreign territory for many of us - and peers in, leaving a few loose ends in some cases, but tying things up deftly in others. ( )
  Mona07452 | Oct 23, 2020 |
3.25 ( )
  Jonez | Oct 8, 2020 |
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