Odessa. The five female narrators of Elizabeth Wetmore’s debut novel titled, Valentine, never flinch as they describe their lives in Odessa, Texas during the 1970s oil boom. After an opening scene involving the brutal rape of a young Mexican by a violent oil worker, the pace never stops as Wetmore lets these women tell us of their struggle for survival in a culture that stacks the deck against them at every turn in life. Wetmore develops complex characters and leads readers to hear their stories with compassion and feel their struggle with empathy.
Rating: Four-star (I like it)
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