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Publisher Description

An instant New York Times Bestseller
A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick!

"A thrilling debut that deserves your attention." –Ron Charles, the Washington Post

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.

Fiction & Literature
March 31

Customer Reviews

kaykaybean13 ,

Great historical story about Texans &Mexico

The story begins with a Mexican 14yo girl being raped and abused by a young man. She wakes the following morning and walks 3 miles to a farmhouse. The woman Mary Rose lets her in tell her daughter to call the sheriff Dept and the man who raped Glory shows up demanding that Mary Rose let her come out. Sheriff arrives arrests the man but the town is taking the mans side bc of their bigotry and hatred for Mexicans. It follows the woman Mary Rose to the home she rents in town bc she’s being targeted by the whites for testifying against the man. The neighborhood is full of women who were married too young pregnant and oppressed in this small town. It speaks mostly of the oppression of women and minorities the bigotry and racism that are the hallmark of Odessa Texas and the hypocrisy of their religious beliefs and the pain of being oppressed

theaney ,


This is a three-dimensional journey into West Texas, deep into the hearts and souls of courageous and (some) despicable Texans. The characters jump off the page, struggling to find meaning in a brilliantly described land.

Libda B ,

Heartbreaking and so true.

I cried all the way through the story. The ugliness that was unleashed is still with us today.

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