Review of “Valentine” by Elizabeth Wetmore

The April 2020 “Read with Jenna” book pick

I read devoured this book in 24 hours. It’s that good.

Set in West Texas in February 1976, gripping and stunning are two words for the debut novel by Elizabeth Wetmore.

Fourteen-year old Gloria Ramirez shows up on the porch of Mary Rose Whitehead’s farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. Gloria has been brutally attacked and is barely alive when she reaches the Whitehead home.

The story unfolds from the perspective of an unforgettable and diverse group of women, including two young girls. Just like real life, they all have a backstory and in some cases, an agenda. Each one struggles to make sense of the crime and in some cases, to rationalize it.

“All her life Corinne has watched this poison move through her students and their parents, through men sitting at the bar or in the bleachers, through churchgoers and neighbors and the town’s fathers and mothers. She has watched her own kith and kin poor this poison into their best glassware, spoon it onto the plates and bowls their ancestors hauled in wagons from Georgia and Alabama, all while proclaiming that they worked for everything they ever got and nobody ever gave them nothing, they earned it, living and dying in that refinery, in those fields . . .”

Valentine – Elizabeth Wetmore

What I loved about this book:

  1. It’s a DEBUT novel!
  2. Book club gold – Read with Jenna put this book on my radar
  3. If the setting can be a character, West Texas is a major one!
  4. The writing is truly breathtaking – I promise I’m not being dramatic – it really is!
  5. It’s available in all formats – even paperback.

If you are stingy with your book dollars, which I completely respect, Valentine is worth the splurge.

Happy Reading!


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