!!> BOOKS ✷ Valentine ✭ Author Elizabeth Wetmore – Burberry-outlets-online.co.uk
I m still basking with profound aw Review to come.Update My little book review Valentine , by Elizabeth Wet will be released in April 2020..Put it on your wishlist Pre pay order it beg borrow or steal it Literary readers will fall in love with this novel Fiction readers will simply love the characters will ache at times, be moved other times Emotions will be felt Readers who appreciate beautiful writing will melt I m a reader not a writer I could never do this book the justice it deserves but its so so so darn GOOD Yet this book deserves all the praise one could give it I fully appreciate this books blurb All of it A great written blurb Its TRUTHFUL Elizabeth Wet can definitely be compared with Barbara Kingsolver, and Elizabeth Strout I might even add Wallace Stegner She couldn t possibly be a beginner novelist this might be her first novel but her talent is exceptional Wet s compassionate authorial generosity toward her characters are brimming with wisdom about the human spirit It s one of the best literary debut novels I ve read in years..written with purpose beyond the storytelling I found this novel to be deeply introspective, both visionary and lucid fiction for humanity with many passages to relish In Valentine , we become entranced with the rich complexities between man, woman, and land WOMAN MAN and LAND Will Byrnes wrote a terrific review on Goodreads He did such an outstanding job describing the characters the plot time place with highlighted excerpts even stole an excerpt I, too, was going to include in my review haha So rather than re invent the wheel I ll do my best to try to contribute other aspects that resonated with me Heck the ENTIRE NOVEL resonated with my heart my soul and my mind If this novel doesn t win some major book award then something is very wrong Tidbit teasers sumptuous prose excerpts setting, late 70 s, Odessa, Texas Mary Rose Whitehead.the young mother 26 years old and 7 months pregnant who first sees Gloria Ramirez after she walked away from a brutal rape..says The church I grew up in taught us that sin, even if it happens only in your heart, condemns you all the same Grace is not assured to any of us, maybe not even most of us, and while being saved gives you a fighting chance, you must always hope that the sin lodged in your heart, like a bullet that cannot be removed without killing you, is not of the mortal kind The church wasn t big on mercy, either When I tried to explain myself to Robert in the days after the crime, when I told him I had sinned against this child, betrayed her in my heart, he said my only sin had been opening the door in the first place, not thinking of my own damned kids first The real sin, he said, was some people letting their daughters run the streets all night long I can hardly stand to look at him Corrine Shepard.its only been six weeks since her husband Potter died It was easy to understand why she often added a bit of bourbon to her ice tea Sitting in a bar alone one night reminded me what depression looks like The man looked at her briefly and then decided to ignore her It was the best thing about being an old lady with thinning hair and boobs saggy enough to prop up on a bar Finally, she could sit down on a barstool and drink yourself blind without some jackass hassling her Corrine and her deceased husband, Potter, had fights over money, and sex, or who would mow the yard or wash the dishes or pay the bills.and they both might have fallen for other people for a few years.but they always waited for their love to return to each other and when they did oh.what a wonder I ached for Corrine and her loss I have two friends whose husband s died this summer they would give anything to have them back dirty smelly socks, fights and and all Debra Ann Pierce is a spunky 10 year old girl Perhaps her clothes will give you a small flavor of her sassiness personality a hot pink T shirt that says Superstar and a pair of orange terrycloth shorts that barely cover the tops of her thighs This bouncy young girl will steal your heart Ginny Pierce.says What kind of woman runs out on her husband and her daughter The kind who understands that the man who shares her bed is, and will always be, just the boy who got her pregnant The kind who can t stand thinking that she might someday tell her own daughter All this ought to be good for you The kind who believes she s coming back, just as soon as she finds someplace where she can settle down Debra Ann wants her mother, Ginny to COME BACK Karla Sibley was barely 17.a local waitress She had a new baby at home with her mama Dale Strickland is the man charged with aggravated sexual assault and attempted murder As we read and wonder how justice will be served it wasn t the getting there and the outcome that drove this novel for me it was the characters themselves I really cared for them Suzanne Ledbetter is a kick supporting character a redhead who wears ironed orange petal pushers She was the Mrs Volunteer of American She believed in sunlight, bleach, and not hiding little white lies Annoyingly loving funny woman Aimee, Robert, Pastor Rob, Keith Taylor are other characters you ll get to know Gloria Ramirez.insisted on being called Glory after the night she was raped.a horrifying night hard to talk about impossible to forget Elizabeth begins and ends her story with Gloria Glory harrowing inspiring Even the buffalo and blue grama grasses, thin and pliant as they are, have been holding their breath I held my breath a few times too Why did God give oil to Texas To make up what he did to the land Why don t girls from Odessa play hide and go seek Because nobody would go look for them.Powerful, passionate, intimate, astonishing, an unforgettable rich cast of characters I don t think I ll ever forget this novel.It would make a great film Thank you Emily Griffin , and HarperCollins publishing for sending me a copy of this wonderful novel Thank you Will Byrnes for being my friend and inspiration for this novel I m always skeptical when a novel is compared to the works of authors that I admire, in this case Strout and Kingsolver, because I ve been burned too many times by this PR tactic But Valentine , by Elizabeth Wet is indeed an amazing debut Be prepared to be immediately thrust into the day after Valentine s Day, 1976, in the Permian Basin oil fields area of West Texas As dawn approaches we meet Gloria Ramirez who is 14 and has just been raped by a young, white roughneck You re hooked, you re gripped with the suspense, but mostly you are thrust into a world of characters Each section is told from the point of view of one of a collection female characters of various ages and places in life Wet masterfully creates a compelling, diverse, and realistic group of related characters each with a distinct voice and interesting story line, as it relates to Gloria and the search for justice Among these memorable characters are 10 year old, Debra Ann Pierce, and retired widow Corrine Shepard who reminded me very much of Olive Kitterage hence the Strout shout out, I m sure Each character is drawn with revealing detail, like uber mother Suzanne, and her savagely bitten cuticles That Wet can write with confidence and realism of such diverse characters is a testament to her talent Not only does Wet create memorable characters, and a riveting story line, her prose is remarkable take this description The day is lit up like an interrogation room, the sun a fierce bulb in an otherwise empty sky I know I have a pre published copy, but there is no way that line is going to get cut from the final draft The novel is full of sentences I stopped to savor Texas is as much of a character in this novel, as the women depicted Wet skillfully illustrates the vastness of Texas and the variability in geography, topography, and ethos Texans know that there are different personalities across the Lone Star State Houston is not like Dallas is not like San Antonio, is not like Odessa, etc I grew up in Houston, a town both literally and figuratively built on oil, when pumpjacks aka Nodding Donkeys were ubiquitous Houston has changed and grown dramatically over the years, but it s still at heart a Texas town So much of Valentine is evocative of the 1970s as I remember it, Vietnam vets returning, songs, fashions, attitudes, racism, sexism, and the un likelihood for justice which served to heighten the impact of this novel which is a snapshot in time, an important story, and a rich and beautifully rendered character study I don t recall a infuriating courtroom scene and it is totally believable, and the climax is so suspenseful that I was on the edge of my reading chair I will be thinking of this story long after I closed the book. Valentine takes place during 1976 in Odessa, Texas on the brink of another oil boom There is nothing romantic about life in Odessa It is a hard place filled with hard men You know those good ole boys that work hard, drink hard and expect women to know their place and stay there but this is really about the women A young girl is brutally raped This act of extreme violence sets off a whirlwind of blame, gossip and vindictiveness that culminates in a show down with potentially lethal consequences One woman tries to tell the truth and is met with nasty repercussions Another runs from this savage town and leaves her sweet ten year old daughter bereft Yet another struggles as a very young single mother trying to make ends meet A crotchety older woman addicted to alcohol and tobacco becomes central to the action A bold and intense novel, Valentine is shockingly powerful. There was so much sadness to this story as well as some parts that made me angry but it made for an incredible reading experience I feel like this book just spoke to me as a woman, and that s not something I say very often, if ever I m kicking myself that I let a copy of this book sit on my shelf for months before finally picking it up This is a book if you can handle tough subject matter, I do recommend giving this one a look.The story takes place in 1979 in Odessa, Texas Fourteen year old Gloria Ram rez has been taken to an oil field by a man who then rapes her She is able to escape and finds a ranch house where a pregnant woman named Mary Rose lives with her young daughter and husband The story shows the aftermath of the rape and how it affected Gloria as well as the public perception of it The story alternates between Gloria as well as other female characters including Mary Rose, Corrine, a recent widow, a young girl named Debra Ann Pierce,and Karla, a waitress and young mother The opening chapters of this book were absolutely heart pounding and terrifying I thought using females of varying ages was an effective way to tell the story Near the end when the story finally featured Karla, I thought what could this character add so late in the game But she really turned out to have a vital role in my opinion While I was already feeling connected to all of the female characters, Karla really drove home the point that as women, we do have to look out for one another and so many times we do it without even thinking about it By instinct and experience, we try our best to protect each other The different things her co workers did for her are just one example of how life for a female is different than that of a male This is a difficult book to read but I absolutely thought it was worth my time There have been many recent fiction books that explore the subject of crimes against females but this is only one of a few I have read that actually features a different time period rather than the current one While many attitudes have changed since 1979, it continues to be frustrating how victims are treated even 40 years later I m thankful the author deemed that as something important to explore in this novel.I won a free copy of this book in a giveaway but was under no obligation to post a review All views expressed are my honest opinion. Such a well written, powerful novel An extraordinary debut Add to your TBRs everyone Out in April. Once upon a time in Odessa, Texas, 1976, during the cyclical boom and bust years, a young oil rigging roughneck raped 14 year old Gloria Ramirez on Valentine s Day Hence the eponymous title Let that sink in Gloria is the daughter of a Mexican immigrant Imagine how quickly the authority figures in this unforgiving scrubland are quick to control the narrative, particularly the men No hearts and flowers Debut novelist Elizabeth Wet captures the casual but lethal misogyny of men toward women with a timestamp both powerful and gripping Her measured, minimalist yet vivid narrative captures the era in all its bone dry and big sky grandeur The sky turns purple in the east, then blue black, then old bucket slate In a few minutes it will be orange and red the land stretched tight beneath the sky, brown stitched to blue The sky is the best thing about West Texas, when you can remember to look at it The first pages begin at the end of the assault, and we watch Gloria pull herself together with her depleted stores of mental strength, because she doesn t want to die In daylight, the landscape opens up to reveal a litter of pump jacks, oil patches, mesquite, and always the hot sun punishing the sand and scrub while the girl, who spots a farmhouse, walks steadily toward it for safety There are piles of caliche rocks and stacks of old pipeline where rat snakes and copperheads and rattlers lie entwined, their breath slow and regular, waiting for spring This traumatic event kicks off a story of interconnected characters, centering on the women and ethnic minorities immersed in this hardscrabble West Texas life Odessa is yet to be progressive back then, it was downright terrifying for women who attempted to assert themselves If you are an ethnic minority and your roots were in Mexico, you re not even a second class citizen as women were you were a third class citizen twice removed.A nuanced, accepted violence mental, emotional, and societal, and the overt objectification and narrow classification of females prevailed during this era The reader is immersed in Odessa s citizenry as well as its flora and fauna Leave sentiment at the door, and when it does emerge, it s earned I could spend pages on Wet s robust, strapping prose, her granular descriptions that also set mood, tone, voice, and atmosphere The second person pov that only a master can pull off convincingly Each sentence is rebellious and transcendent, a portrait of messy characters harboring hard secrets and long fears, salty tongues and a burst of inexorable courage It s primarily the voices of women how they coped, survived, and adapted to their lives I can promise that not once will you find a platitude crawling from under any rock The book just smokes.The main players are Gloria Glory , who triggers the gradually unfolding plot Corrine, a 60 something retired teacher a grieving widow, an iconoclast Debra Ann, a spunky, wiry and optimistic teenager with a weakness for horny toads, construction paper fortune tellers, and lonely outcasts and Mary Rose, a young mother pregnant with her next, weary and sleepless, rousingly so, as her mostly absent husband struggles in the failing cattle trade These women and this story will sear into you with piercing clarity Hope brackets tragedy in a drama peppered with screwball comedy wrapped in fresh tears It s all there, how women connected and men controlled VALENTINE is one of the most lyrical and shattering books of the coming 2020 year it deserves the Pulitzer I cannot imagine a phenomenally written book I may have already said that.Prepare for some potent images that will nevertheless bring you to your knees She imagines her own limbs disconnected, fleeing into the desert to be picked clean by the coyotes she heard calling to each other all through the night She imagines them blanched and worn smooth by the wind a desert filled with dry bones, never to rise again Read it and weep And the sky, that West Texas star filled sky All my senses were piqued as the author tackles sound, sight, heat, cold, taste, as well as the politics between gender and class VALENTINE is bracing in conflict and confrontation You won t read a better domestic and courtroom drama slash literary western it may be the best novel I ve read this year publishing date April 2020 There s something about a flawless portrayal of West Texas that few authors can wrest from their souls Wet nails it Even amid the majestic, endless skies there, women are suffocating and invisible Immigrants are punished with crimes against their families However, this narrative is the space where women also find their voices and let them be heard Sharp and stout, seamlessly structured, Wet creates vibrant characters and a charged, electrifying story.Thank you to Harper Collins for sending me an ARC to review. Set in the harsh land of the soft drawl, Valentine is a debut that is infused with the sublime hell that is the 1970 s Texas oil boom A story of mastering the land this is not it is instead, a love letter to the characters and how they find a way to cope with the unease that comes with where they live Wet s writing burns with an invisible hope Beautiful and raw in its imagery, I found my mind floating back to moments in book while reading the characters calling me from the pages long after I thought I was done reading. 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 SMercy Is Hard In A Place Like ThisIt S February , 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 FollowIn The Early Hours Of The Morning After Valentine S Day, Fourteen Year Old Gloria Ram Rez 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 ConsequencesValentine 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 Reader 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 This book is kind of a conglomeration of short stories that are building blocks for the bigger story A horrible crime is committed in a small, West Texas town, right on the cusp of the big oil boom There are a number of characters that each tell a piece of the story It begins with a 14 year old Mexican American girl as she summons her strength and courage to stand up and walk from the truck where she was assaulted for many hours while the young man was liquored up and on an amphetamine high until he passed out leaving her beaten, bleeding, partially naked, and violated.The questions of a small town and race are at the heart of this book Who will stand up for the under represented Who will see them as children and equals Who will protect the young man who just did something stupid one night Or who will see that maybe he has this violence in him and may offend again The best part about this book is the writing style It was the details that brought visual pictures to mind The sounds of the desert or the sounds of the city, the author describes very well but not ad nauseum Just enough that the reader perks up her other senses and feels for the characters in the book I will gladly read anything Elizabeth Wet writes.Thank you to the publisher for an Advanced Reader s Copy in return for an honest review. Valentine by Elizabeth Wet is a novel about violence, trauma, racism and what it was like to be a woman living in Odessa, a city in western Texas, during the mid 1970 s Oil is spewing from so many oil fields that it is unbelievable This drought ridden desert of a place is a misbegotten city with not much going for it.On February 15, 1976, one of the oil workers picks up 14 year old Gloria Ramirez at a drive through hamburger joint and takes her to a deserted oil rig where he beats and rapes her repeatedly If the young roughneck hadn t passed out before he sobered up enough to find his gun or get his hands around her throat, she would already be dead Gloria, who will never use her given name from this day, manages to walk crawl through the desert, cactus, drought ridden terrain until she gets to a farm house where a pregnant Mary Rose opens the door and lets Glory inside.This novel is brilliant Each sentence contains a world There are no rabbit trails and no fillers This is a book of essence, poetic and literary, yet spot on with its narrative, storytelling and characterization The novel is told primarily through four voices Mary Rose is pregnant and already has one daughter The impact of letting Glory into her home and believing the story of what happened to her will change her life forever Debra Ann is a precocious child who has her ear to the ground and knows the ups and downs of Odessa Her mother has run off and in many ways she is a feral child, but one with spunk, empathy, and intelligence to spare Corrine is a curmudgeonly widow who is about as close to being a misanthrope as one can get Sometimes she will will let Debra Ann get to her but mostly she drinks to stave off her grief and anger at the world Gloria has decided that she will forever be called Glory, that she must leave Odessa in order to survive This will have ramifications she never dreamed of.As many of the women in the United States glory in their newfound freedom by burning their bras, joining NOW, and reading Ms Magazine, this is not what it s like in Odessa Here the women are second class citizens, bred to obey their husbands, go to church, not make waves, and raise their children If they get out of line, they are called out or even shunned Odessa is not on the mailing list for a feminist wake up call Additionally, being hispanic in Odessa is a triple whammy The racism is thick and evil like just fried molasses on your tongue, burning up those who question the righteousness of this hate.As the four women s lives intersect in many ways, a narrative is created that will shake the reader s core If this book was an earthquake, its magnitude will shake the book right out of your hands and into the next world Do I believe that this is Ms Wet s first novel Yes Do I think it s miraculous Also, yes A book like this comes around just a few times in your lifetime, if you re lucky I feel privileged and blessed to have read this amazing novel.