Release Date: March 31, 2020
Genre: Adult Fiction / Literary Fiction
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 Ramírez 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.
I have seen so many glowing reviews for Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore that I went into it having high expectations. Unfortunately, while it is definitely atmospheric and heartbreaking, it just didn’t do it for me.
I wasn’t a fan of all of the different characters, and a few of them seemed to be a story in and of themselves when I expected the entire book to be solely about what happens to Gloria. I think Valentine would have been a lot better with only a couple of viewpoints to focus on. I also found myself skimming because the writing is just so descriptive. It reminded me of a Truman Capote novel and I have to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of that.
If you are looking for a descriptive, vivid, atmospheric and character-driven novel then I definitely recommend reading Valentine. It wasn’t for me, but it was definitely an incredible debut novel that will break your heart.
MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️ / 5