Don’t be misled by the title of this book. It is not a sappy love story. Far, far from it. Here is my book review Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore.
My friend Lisa sent me a note and told me she thought this was the kind of book I would like. She gets me. A nitty-gritty story of small town life in Texas in the 1970’s and the racist, good ole boy justice that permeates every aspect of the town of Odessa.
Parts of this book were painful to read. The book begins with a violent rape and continues in this vein as the victim, 14- year old Gloria Sanchez of Mexican descent, is vilified in the small town long before the case goes to trial. The rapist, a white young man and the son of a preacher is presumed innocent…or said to have been seduced by the victim.
This story delves deep into the back story of the women of Odessa, a town on the verge of an oil boom in 1976. The women see what the town has become, is becoming, as they try to protect their image, their reputation, their children. It’s all a ruse.
Does anyone ever really know how a person is really struggling deep down? Behind closed doors, phony smiles, and everyday facade? The women of Odessa know.
The brutal attack of Gloria will resonate throughout this community, and be told in this novel through the alternating voices of some remarkably developed and indelible characters. Characters you will not soon forget. Women of strength and perseverance in a time and place still so backwards in the late 1970’s that today we might think it’s all made up.
Book Review Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore – A brilliantly written first novel for Wetmore, who was raised in West Texas. I couldn’t put it down.
*****Five stars for Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore.
My current read Oona Out of Order