A debut novelist interweaves a trio of voices-haunting, dangerous, full of longing--mysteriously linked by a shocking crime and the search to heal the past
Many long years have passed since the winter of blinding white when Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate drove across the hushed midwestern landscape and left a trail of blood and pain. So why does Lowell, a Manhattan collector of antiquities, still dream of what happened, despite his wife's best attempts to draw him back and offer comfort? And who is Susan, the teenager who appoints herself a detective, piecing together the story of the murders while wondering if she'll ever be loved like Starkweather loved his girl?
And then there's Caril Ann herself, who takes us back to relive the ride she swears she could not control. It began on the day Charlie first saw her, dangling her bare legs off the edge of a tree house. It ended outside Valentine, Nebraska, on that night when she still believed that life could somehow go back to being normal . . .
Every so often a novel comes along that is capable of redeeming the losses it so devastatingly conveys. Disturbing, bittersweet, and lyrical, Liza Ward's Outside Valentine is a story of people torn apart by tragedy and yet, finally, transformed by love.
When I am half asleep and everything is dark, ghosts rise out of the prairie and swim across my eyes. The girl crawls up from the storm cellar with glass in her knee. She peers at me and her fists are clenched. She cries, "Caril Ann, where is my math book?" There is no sense telling that girl in my mind where those schoolbooks got to, pages blowing, by the side of a road in Bennet, Nebraska. And of course Roe Street is always standing in the door of the outhouse with his belt in his hand and a hole in his head, blaming me for all that Charlie did.
I do not call these dreams because dreams are something you wish to have happened. Everyone knows how I never wished any of it. It was not my fault. From the very beginning it was never my fault, not even the skipping of school. People act a certain way when they are treated wrong, and I had already done the eighth grade. It was wrong of Roe to try and send me back.
The first day I saw Charlie behind our new ...
Outside Valentine is an elegantly written and compelling book in its own right, but the story is given an extra edge by the fact that the author's paternal grandparents were two of the victims, and one of the fictionalized characters in the book is, apparently, based on the author's own father.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (419 words).
is an elegantly written and compelling first
novel in its own right, but the story is
given an extra edge by the fact that the
author's paternal grandparents were two of
the victims, and one of the fictionalized
characters in the book is, apparently, based
on the author's father.
The Starweather/Fugate killings were the inspiration for a number of movies such as ...
If you liked Outside Valentine, try these:
The emotionally wrenching tale of three brothers and the brutal act that irrevocably changes their lives.
Told from Frank's perspective forty years after that fateful summer, Ordinary Grace is a brilliantly moving account of a boy standing at the door of his young manhood, trying to understand a world that seems to be falling apart around him.
Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!
Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only
Southern Gothic fantasy with a contemporary flare set in Savannah
Solve this clue:
and be entered to win..
Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.
Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.