Fiction Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore (Harper) Elizabeth Wetmore’s weighty, affecting debut takes place in 1970s Odessa, Texas, a beautiful but dismal oil town plagued by racism and misogyny that's only heightened by the roughnecks passing through. At the center is Glory, a 14-year-old Mexican girl who survives a brutal rape by Dale, a roughneck who leaves her for dead. The impact of this horrific event radiates through the community as it gears up for a trial against Dale: There's the very pregnant Mary Rose, whose porch Glory escapes to; Corinne, the widow whose late husband watched Glory get into Dale’s car and is haunted by their failure to stop her; Debra Ann, Corinne’s young, plucky neighbor who befriends a vet experiencing homelessness; and Ginny, Debra Ann's mom, who’s left her daughter and husband to find a life of her own. It’s through the perspectives of these women and girls that we watch the drama unfold in a town dead set on privileging a white rapist over a Mexican child. Wetmore's characters are so rich, her prose so masterful, that it’s hard to believe Valentine is a debut. —Arianna Rebolini Find it at Bookshop , Target , or Amazon . Cleanness… Read full this story
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