[Ebook] Valentine By Elizabeth Wetmore – Sisnlaw.co.uk

Valentine I am kind of short of words to describe all the emotions this novel granted me Having received a library copy, I read it just in two days and finished this morning.Those of my GR Friends who have already reviewed Valentine remark on the outstanding writing power that you can find in this novel and the fact that it is a debut makes it evenremarkable The voices of female protagonists of different age are strong The stories of their lives in Odessa, Texas, in the mid seventies made my he I am kind of short of words to describe all the emotions this novel granted me Having received a library copy, I read it just in two days and finished this morning.Those of my GR Friends who have already reviewed Valentine remark on the outstanding writing power that you can find in this novel and the fact that it is a debut makes it evenremarkable The voices of female protagonists of different age are strong The stories of their lives in Odessa, Texas, in the mid seventies made my heart beat faster and faster as my reading progressed I felt for all female characters, no exception there, and just hated the male dominance and lack of respect There are just two male characters who go against the tide and who have some softness about them Some scenes have such intensity that I all I could do was just to sit still, listen too my heart pound and read The psychological background is amazing and I found nothing artificial, superficial or unbelievable in any scenes I was right there, with Glory, Corrine, Mary Rose and Karla Their problems and will to protect themselves against men make the core of this book It is rare for a debut novel to feel so mature and realistic and natural My opinion is that this novel deserves all the positive hype it has been generating since the publication Definitely one of the top books I have read this year, and as a result, I am going to get my own copy of Valentine Valentine by Elizabeth Wet is a 2020 Harper publication Phenomenal Debut After fourteen year old Gloria Ramirez is beaten and raped, she escapes her attacker, finally making her way to the doorstep of Mary Rose Whitehead Mary Rose was home alone with her daughter, but bravely keeps Gloria safe with so small danger to herself However, once the immediate threat has passed, Mary Rose discovers the community is far from impressed by her act of courage and heroism.Because the accused rapist i Valentine by Elizabeth Wet is a 2020 Harper publication Phenomenal Debut After fourteen year old Gloria Ramirez is beaten and raped, she escapes her attacker, finally making her way to the doorstep of Mary Rose Whitehead Mary Rose was home alone with her daughter, but bravely keeps Gloria safe with so small danger to herself However, once the immediate threat has passed, Mary Rose discovers the community is far from impressed by her act of courage and heroism.Because the accused rapist is a well connected young white man and Gloria is a Hispanic girl Mary Rose s non conformity not only earns her sharp rebukes from other women she associates with, but she could be the target of revenge especially since she refuses to let the matter die Eventually, the boiling hot stew of racism, misogyny, injustice, fear, and stress, brings Mary Rose to the brink of madness I chose this book for several reasons One, it was set in Texas in mid seventies in Odessa and because I noticed how well it was received, and because I just had one of those feelings like the book was calling me My instincts paid off but this book was farimpressive than I had anticipated In fact, I m not sure my review could do this book justice When Mary Rose lays eyes on the battered Gloria Ramirez, she sees the hard, cold truth about her environment, she fears for her daughter s future, and knows that someone has to speak up for Gloria, that someone has to fight for her, because evidently, no one else will Yet her determination to see justice done, to testify to what she saw and experienced that fateful day when Gloria came to her home, will place her in a very dangerous position, heightening her distress, but never beating back her courage Still, her constant worry takes a toll on her mental state, the pressures and internal turmoil eventually reaching a breaking point The author absolutely nails the atmosphere of Odessa The seclusion, the attitudes, the climate, and the economical tension bubbling beneath the surface while exquisitely capturing an era of time where women are mere extensions of their husbands, where their jobs are to be someone s wife and someone s mother The accurate divide between class and race is vivid, and painfully drawn as are the stellar characterizations Besides, Mary Rose, whose husband is often away and who is pregnant with her second child, her neighbor Corrine, a recent widow, instantly wins my respect The two women form an unlikely bond, sharing the same feelings of frustration I loved the way Corrine protected Mary Rose and stuck up for her, keeping a watchful eye on her Debra Ann, a child whose mother abandoned her, and who is left mostly to her own devices, is also a vibrant character who befriends a homeless war veteran Each character has an internal dialogue, giving the reader a personal and intimate look at their thoughts, revealing their hopes, fears, regrets, and longing It is easy to lose oneself in each of these narratives, which are like vignettes inside a broader story This strong feminine cast shines brilliantly against the stark, gritty reality of the old dusty oil town, and will leave an enduring imprint on my soul Overall, this is a gritty, compelling, and powerful debut It is unflinching, no holds barred, driving home a clear message that will resonate with many readers and women who still fight against a system that favors good ole white boys, who come from a good family Trust me, the author knows and understands this landscape intimately The love hate emotions for Odessa and Texas is palpable, and although I ve never made it that far west, on many days, that conflict is a feeling I know all too well Yet, despite the stormy, and nearly unbearable, suspense, there is also an undertone of sensitivity, too The writing is splendid goose pimply good drawing comparisons to some heavy hitters in Texas literature This one earns a top spot on the 2020 favorites list Hitting the recommend button on this one READ THIS BOOK 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, 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, The Stage Is Set 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 Reader S Heart, This Fierce, Unflinching, 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. 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 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 The year is 1976 and Odessa, Texas is experiencing an oil boom Men from different locations have all come to the fields, looking for work and a chance to make big money They are hard working, but also hard drinking, which creates potential problems for the women in the town.The book opens with an act of violence against a 14 yr Old Mexican girl When she turns up on Mary Roses doorstep, her horrifying condition brings out the defender in her Her defense of this girl and the violence done by The year is 1976 and Odessa, Texas is experiencing an oil boom Men from different locations have all come to the fields, looking for work and a chance to make big money They are hard working, but also hard drinking, which creates potential problems for the women in the town.The book opens with an act of violence against a 14 yr Old Mexican girl When she turns up on Mary Roses doorstep, her horrifying condition brings out the defender in her Her defense of this girl and the violence done by the young man who arrives shortly after looking for the girl, will change the life of her family.Many in the town defend the young man and Mary Rose receives threats and pressure to not testify Many in the town think the girl was asking for it and even if not she was only a Mexican so what does it matter.We hear from the women themselves, those who support Mary Rose and try to help her We hear from a young ten year old girl, whose mother has left and whose father is always working She befriends a young man who is living in a drainage pipe Soon things will get out of control.Terrific renderings of time and place, one feels as if they were living in this dust laden town The way the story is put together reminds me of Elizabeth Strout and the way she structures her stories This is about women living within and trying to avoid the potential violence that is all around Women s strength and vulnerability Although it is violence that starts this story it is not a thriller, but rather about a town divided by racial injustice and how the women cope with what has happened and their lives as they try to hold on to what is important This is a terrific book with a real message that is evenimportant today.ARC from Edelweiss Again I found myself lost in the descriptive writing to a story and I struggled through the story trying to figure what it was exploring I was intrigued by Gloria and Mary Rose s storyline here but it felt likeof a side story and I wanted to seefocus on it There were too many characters and I struggled with keeping track of who was who I couldn t connect with any of the characters and this one just didn t work for me I received a copy on EW A must read I will never forget this book or my experience reading Valentine It wasn t easy to be a girl or woman in Odessa, Texas in 1976, and this book is about those women living the day to day When Gloria Ramirez is violently attacked, the town is ripped apart Gossip, blame, shame, and pure meanness rear their ugly heads.Valentine was not an easy book to read, but it s one that I ll always be grateful I read Crimes against women are nothing new, unfortunately, but the tim A must read I will never forget this book or my experience reading Valentine It wasn t easy to be a girl or woman in Odessa, Texas in 1976, and this book is about those women living the day to day When Gloria Ramirez is violently attacked, the town is ripped apart Gossip, blame, shame, and pure meanness rear their ugly heads.Valentine was not an easy book to read, but it s one that I ll always be grateful I read Crimes against women are nothing new, unfortunately, but the time period and the story itself were told in a captivating, original voice Even in the darkness and despair, the story offered hope and inspiration, and I think that s what made me love it all theEmotional stories get to me like no other I love the investment I feel when a book is something I can relate to, and once again, I ll repeat myself This book left its mark on me.I received a gifted copy from the publisher All opinions are my own.Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram www.instagram.com tarheelreader Odessa, Texas It s 1976 and a young fourteen year old Mexican girl, Gloria, is beaten and raped by a white oilfield worker She shows up on Mary Grace s porch, bloodied and battered This attack divides the town and pits neighbor against neighbor Readers learn what happens next through the eyes of the women in the town There are multiple points of view but these three had my heart Mary Grace, a young mother who opens the door to the battered Gloria She keeps Gloria safe but the repercussio Odessa, Texas It s 1976 and a young fourteen year old Mexican girl, Gloria, is beaten and raped by a white oilfield worker She shows up on Mary Grace s porch, bloodied and battered This attack divides the town and pits neighbor against neighbor Readers learn what happens next through the eyes of the women in the town There are multiple points of view but these three had my heart Mary Grace, a young mother who opens the door to the battered Gloria She keeps Gloria safe but the repercussions affects her life forever Corrinne, a new widow mourning her husband Potter My heart ached for her and I loved hearing her backstory She and Mary Grace become a support system for each other Debra Ann, a spunky ten year old girl who is dealing with being abandoned by her motherIt s a man s world in Odessa and life is hard for the women Odessa is as much of a character in this novel as the characters themselves mercy is hard in a place like this But so is justice Who will stand up for Gloria I love a novel that gives me a glimpse into the inner lives of the characters, their hopes, dreams, struggles, and regrets, and this novel does just that Each of these women are different ages and each has their own story to tell that resonated deeply The book doesn t focus on the details of the rape, but on the aftermath on the women in the town This is not a pretty story that is tied up in a neat bow at the end, but it s an amazing debut with characters that have left a lasting impression.Recommended for fans of emotional, slow burn, atmospheric character driven stories This is 100% my wheelhouse and I loved it Hey there, Valentine His soft drawl marked him as not from here, but not that far away either, and his words took the ugly right out of the parking lot Her mouth went dry as a stick of chalk She had been standing next to the lone picnic table parked in the center of the drive in, a shaky wooden hub in the middle of a few cars and trucks, doing what she always did on a Friday night hanging around, drinking limeades and begging smokes, waiting for something to happen, which it never did, not Hey there, Valentine His soft drawl marked him as not from here, but not that far away either, and his words took the ugly right out of the parking lot Her mouth went dry as a stick of chalk She had been standing next to the lone picnic table parked in the center of the drive in, a shaky wooden hub in the middle of a few cars and trucks, doing what she always did on a Friday night hanging around, drinking limeades and begging smokes, waiting for something to happen, which it never did, not in this piss ant town Not until tonight.The next morning, February 15, 1976, Gloria Ramirez wakes to find herself out in an oil patch, on the ground, the handsome young roughneck passed out in his pickup Miles from home, she gathers articles of her scattered clothing, puts some of them on, and heads off in search of the nearest house, praying that he does not wake up before she can find her way to safety Gloria has been raped and beaten to within an inch of her life She walks across miles of rough country on bare, bloody feet, finding a house minutes before Dale Strickland, having come to, and realizing the need to cover his tracks, kicking up clouds of road dust in pursuit, arrives at that house and demands that Gloria be turned over to him Thankfully, Mary Rose, very pregnant with her second, but in possession of a rifle named Old Lady, that she has had since she was a teen, fends off the increasingly threatening Mister Strickland until the sheriff she had had her daughter, Aimee, call, arrives to keep things from getting any worse Gloria will survive this day, a different person from who she was the day before She is fourteen years old.Elizabeth Wet image from Balti ReviewGloria s rape and the ensuing trial is where we begin in Elizabeth Wet s lyrical, moving tapestry of a time and a place, Odessa, Texas, the late 1970s It may not be that misery was born in Odessa, but it sure seems eager to stop by and visit as often as possible on its way to bigger game Why did God give oil to West Texas To make up for what he did to the land The focus is primarily, although not exclusively, on the females of this town, particularly four living on Larkspur Lane.Mary Rose Whitehead stepped up to protect young Gloria in her hour of need, in heroic form Her reward Frequent calls, every day, of a threatening nature, enough to drive her to take a place in town, on Larkspur Lane, sparing her the vulnerable feeling of being left to fend for herself out near the oil patches while her husband was away at work.Corinne Shepherd had been doing her best to drink and smoke herself to death following the departure of her husband, Potter, six weeks dead She had already been forced to retire from a lifetime of teaching by mouthing off to the wrong person in the teachers lounge I think we might imagine the general subject matter But she gets drawn into the vortex created by Dale s crime and Mary Rose s willingness to man up and testify, ironic, as MR s husband gives her crap for having opened her door to Gloria in the first place.Debra Ann Pierce is ten, and the epitome of na ve optimism This is the first Spring she has known since her mother, Ginny, left, promising, promising, promising to come back for her in a year, when she finally gets settled someplace else Pop may not be really up to the task of raising his daughter alone Debra Ann seems keen on connecting with Corinne, maybe looking for a substitute mother, or grandmother Corinne s impulse is to do the equivalent of waving a broom and yelling at her to get off her lawn, but DA persists She is a great kid and you will love her Particularly when she strikes up a heart warming friendship with PFC Jesse Belden, late of the war, deaf in one ear, exploited by a relation in town, and living in a drainage pipe And we follow Glory, who sees herself as a new person after her experience, so alters her name Her trials are not over with surviving the rape and beating Will she testify Will she be able to return to school While she is recovering from her many injuries, and laying low, there is an incredibly beautiful scene in which Glory is befriended for a time by an unlikely person Have your tissues ready.There are , Ginny Pierce, DA s mother, fits the local demo for parenthood What do you call a single mother who has to be up early in the morning A sopho She may love her kid, but not enough to live this godawful withering life any longer She really, really, really intends to come back for DA Karla Sibley is a 17 year old single mother working hard to make a better life Suzanne Ledbetter, is trying to do better for her family that her ancestry might have predicted Men are happy if you stay, but only on their terms Women are meant to be at home, not in the work force They are expected to tend the nest, making, and then taking care of babies Appealing, no Women in Odessa seem to either get burned out or burned up, dying to get out, or just dying Most with the ability to dream want to leave, but some never get the chance A local woman s burned body has been found, the fourth in the past two years What a thing an oil boom is for a town, Corinne used to tell Potter bitterly, it brings in the very best sort of psychopath What is it like to be a woman, a female, growing up in a place where the land is sere and cold hearted, the attitudes antediluvian, and where the opportunities for things to go bad far outweigh the chances for some actual self realization, a place where good old boys tend to look after their own, regardless of their crimes, and crime victims are expected to shut up and somehow conclude that they had it coming It is pretty tough to stand up when the local winds blow dark and hard and encourage one to dive for shelter Yet, in this flat, miserable landscape there are glimmers of hope Maybe this girl, this young woman can find a way to a better life Maybe that woman can make something better out of a marriage gone stale Maybe some people will be able to communicate meaningfully with some other people to stave off the darkness of solitude It is these flashes of light that give us, that give any of the characters here, hope Every August for the nearly thirty years she taught English, in an overheated classroom filled with farm boys and cheerleaders and roughneck wannabes reeking of aftershave and perfume, Corinne would spot the name of at least one misfit or dreamer on her fall roster In a good year there might be two or three of them the outcasts and weirdoes, the cellists and geniuses and acne ridden tuba players, the poets, the boys whose asthma precluded a high school football career and the girls who hadn t learned to hide their smarts Stories save lives, Corinne had said to those students To the rest of them she said, I ll wake you when it s over DA and Glory both loved the stories their mothers told them DA getsfrom her friend, Jesse It is one of the things that binds them The novel alternates perspectives, Mary Rose s being the only first person account Gloria s horrific experience may be the MacGuffin of the novel, but Mary Rose is the character we spend the most time with, the one whose life remains in peril, even after Dale s arrest, the one through whom other characters link Wet is impressively skilled at conveying backstory We get a very good idea of how all her major characters wound up where they are in 1976, and find out where some of them are headed in their lives ahead I confess to pining to learn the where are they now about manyof them Each chapter contains links to other characters story lines, reminding me of the backstitch, binding the individual tales together to make a stronger wholeThe issue, the problem, the reality of secrecy pervades the story Almost everyone is hiding something now or has done some serious squirreling away of intel in the years before And, of course, there are those who cover the truth in self serving lies, even though the truth is barely secret at all Hoping for better, for example, can be a heavy secret when resignation is the norm.Panhandle Dust Storm image from the author s siteOdessa is a scary place The weather is a large player here, the landscape oppressive, persistent, and hostile Wet s descriptions give aspiring writers something to aim for Tonight the wind blows like it s got something to prove It moves from window to window, a small animal sharpening its claws on the screens Out at the ranch you hear this sound and you think possum or maybe armadillo Here in town you might think of a squirrel or somebody s cat Lately the wind makes me think of animals that have not been here for a hundred years, panthers and wolves, or twisters that threaten to lift my children impossibly high in the air, only to fling them back to earth Small animals dash across the stage from time to time, almost always toting some smaller creature in their mouths It is a red in tooth and claw place, and not just for the people Danger also comes in the form of dark intentioned telephone calls Mary Rose is not the only woman who gets them.You may be reminded in reading this of another excellent ensemble cast look at an out of the way place, Bryn Chancellor s beautifully written 2017 debut, Syca, or maybe Jennifer Haigh s Baker Towers, weaving together the lives of a community to tell a whole story I have read only two books The other being My Dark Vanessa so far slated for publication in 2020 It now being July, 2019 As it happens, both of them are bloody spectacular, both deserving candidates for book of the year recognition It promises to be an amazing year.The only real gripe I have is that it will be such a long wait until March, 2020, when Valentine is scheduled for release really, not February But I assure you it will be worth the wait Elizabeth Wet has written a masterful novel, one that will touch your heart, and impress you, whether you are a casual reader or literary deconstruction sort It is a beautifully written book that takes on real world subjects, a great, great novel This is one Valentine you will want to make all yours The harvest moon has come early this year, blood red and beautiful against the darkening sky Try floating with your ears under the water, Tina had said to Glory as they drifted across the swimming pool that afternoon Listen, she said, the sounds from the highway will blend together a truck hauling pipeline or water, a flatbed turning onto the highway, the drill on a rig slowly winding itself up, they will all start to sound alike You can tell yourself you re hearing anything, Tina said, her large white arms floating next to her like buoys And will you look at that sky It s a wonder, a damned wonder Review posted July 26, 2019Publication date March 31, 2020 EXTRA STUFFThe author s personal, FB, Instagram, and GR pages Wet teaches creative writing in the Chicago area She has received multiple fellowships and held sundry residencies Her writing has appeared in The Iowa Review, Kenyon Review, Colorado Review, Balti Review, and probablyI admire and respect her for this, but as much for having once driven a cab By the author Balti Review Women Horses 1976 The story of Debra Ann s mother leaving It does not exactly match the chapter in which Ginny says goodbye to Debra Ann, but it is worth a look It works as a top notch stand alone piece It was published in 2013 The Iowa Review Shelter in Place Jon Ledbetter Suzanne Ledbetter s husband in the book heading into the plant to deal with an accident, possible benzene spill Good stuff.Items of Interest Anne Sexton s Live or Die Ella Fitzgerald My Funny Valentine A hauntingly powerful, and beautiful debut This is a longer than usual review, but I just had to be sure I could do it justice Odessa Texas in 1976, and believe me when I say I felt as if I was there The brown dry land and the beautiful purple sky on the cover are portrayed in beautiful prose The intimate thoughts and feelings of the characters make such an impact, as we become privy to the burdens they carry as they make their way through life in this dry, brutal land where oil and men rul A hauntingly powerful, and beautiful debut This is a longer than usual review, but I just had to be sure I could do it justice Odessa Texas in 1976, and believe me when I say I felt as if I was there The brown dry land and the beautiful purple sky on the cover are portrayed in beautiful prose The intimate thoughts and feelings of the characters make such an impact, as we become privy to the burdens they carry as they make their way through life in this dry, brutal land where oil and men rule These characters and their stories, how they connect are so perfectly drawn in multiple alternating points of view.The novel opens with Gloria Ramirez, a fourteen year old Mexican American girl, who after being brutally attacked and raped, has so much taken from her As for Gloria, she will never again call herself by the name she was given, the name he said again and again while she lay there with her face in the dirtBut not any from now on, she will call herself Glory A small difference, but right now it feels like the world Her afterthoughts following the gut wrenching physical attack are heartbreaking Mary Rose Whitehead, wife of a cattle rancher, mom of a young daughter and pregnant, who finds Glory on her doorstep, faces a harrowing encounter that will forever change her Corrine Shepard is a grieving widow, drinking to ease the pain of her loss, is besides her late husband, the last person to see Gloria before the attack A former teacher, she believes Stories can save your life Debra Ann Pierce, a precocious 10 year old, grieving and missing her mom who has left My heart was broken for this little girl, who is kind and fearless beyond her years These are the main characters, whose lives intersect, but there a few other shorter points of view of women impacted by the misery they share of being a woman in this place and doing what they need to do to survive Sometimes it s leaving and sometimes it means staying The story takes an emotional toll, right from the start I held my breath, heart in my throat in the opening chapters, but by the end, my heart was almost back in place and these characters were in it There is so much here grit and violence, injustice and prejudice, but amid the worst of this I found strength of conviction, caring and the kindness of women and a ten year old girl who manage to rise with a little hope for a way forward A debut from one very talented writer who knows how to tell a gripping story with characters that I ll remember What I love the most about reading new books by a new author is discovering a debut novel that is just so good in every way that I immediately wonder when the author will write another It s only June, but I can safely say that this novel will most definitely be on my list of favorites for the year I will have my eyes out for Elizabeth Wet with hopes of another book So many of my GR friends read and reviewed this within the last few months I didn t read some of them or very many books for a while because of a personal issue, but I m going to read every one of their reviews if I haven t yet I received a copy of this book from Harper through Edelweiss Apologies for for not getting to it sooner

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