Second Tuesday Book Club will meet from 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. on Tuesday, August 10, using Zoom. You can join this Zoom session via computer or phone. Email Cathe Spencer at email@example.com with questions; register online here. This will be our last Zoom meeting of the year–Second Tuesday returns to in-person meetings at Schimelpfenig Library in September.
Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore
“When I think back on that day, and finding Gloria Ramirez on my front porch, my memories are stitched together like pieces of a scrap quilt, each a different shape and color, all bound together by a thin, black ribbon, and I expect it will always be this way.”
Set in the oilfields outside Odessa, Texas, during the boom years of the1970s, Valentine is a first novel by Elizabeth Wetmore. A terrible crime on Valentine’s Day 1976 links teenager Gloria and Mary Rose, the young wife and mother she comes to for help, and sets in motion this thrilling and unsettling debut. Told from the perspectives of seven girls and women, Valentine gives us a compelling, unforgettable Texas story.
Writing in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Marion Winik comments, “Valentine evokes the physicality of the place with a visceral power…This literary landscape has been defined by men as surely as the reality it represents. Wetmore sweeps them to the sidelines, defiantly and confidently claiming West Texas for the women and girls … Valentine joins the best Texas novels ever written.”
Mary Helen Specht of The Texas Observer notes that “Elizabeth Wetmore’s debut novel, Valentine, is a revelation not for what it explores but how. She masterfully juggles the complex chronology of her structure—rich embedded flashbacks, surprising and satisfying flash-forwards. She describes the land with a gorgeous lyricism…and uses the concrete, physical world to develop her fascinating characters’ emotional lives.”
Elizabeth Wetmore was born in West Texas, but now lives in Chicago with her family. Her website, elizabethwetmore.com, has biographical information, reviews, and a short story called Women & Horses which is linked to Valentine. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and two fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council, as well as a grant from the Barbara Deming Foundation.
Visit the News & Events page of her website to listen to and read interviews and podcasts on Beth’s work and her novel.
August 10, Second Tuesday Book Club at 7 p.m.
Join a live discussion of our August title, Valentine, on Zoom. See you online soon!