It’s hard to believe this is Ms. Wetmore’s first novel. Told from the point of view of several women living in the oil country of west Texas in the mid-70’s, all of the women are flawed in one way or another, and yet as we hear them tell their story, we understand why. From a young Mexican girl who has been raped, to women who had to leave high school because of pregnancy, to a drunk old woman who, they lay their feelings right out there. But its D.A., the 8 year old whose mother left her has the most poignant story and at the end I have the most hope for her and found her to be the bravest of all. And even in a less hostile climate and the arid region around Odessa Texas, it makes me realize that most likely my neighbors are presenting public faces that don’t mirror struggles they are going through. I still don’t understand why it is called Valentine. A man called a woman Valentine, and a reference is made by one of the women about something that happened on Valentines Day, but that’s all I saw.

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