Valentine: A Novel

Written by:
Elizabeth Wetmore

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
March 2020
10 hours 22 minutes
A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick!

Written with the haunting emotional power of Elizabeth Strout and Barbara Kingsolver, 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 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.

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.
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Cindy L.

I was interested in listening to this book because it is based in Texas. Story is a bit scattered , but okay. The narration is lacking. If you don’t mind hearing about the “Peecos” river or “pee cans in a pie” then you won’t be bothered. For me it was like nails scraping a chalkboard.

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A wonderful, well-told story. Clearly the narrators are not from Texas or else they would have known how to pronounce pecan and Pecos. Otherwise, I enjoyed it very much.

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Jennifer C.

The narrator was great, able to use one voice to capture 3 extraordinary main characters. Story is astonishingly good

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