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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.
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Liza Ward was born in New York City and holds degrees from Middlebury College and the University of Montana. Her stories have been published in The Atlantic Monthly, The Georgia Review, The Antioch Review, and Agni Review. They have also been selected for the 2004 O. Henry Prize Stories and Harcourt's 2004 Best New American Voices collection. She lives in Massachusetts.
From Outside Valentine:
She was a fine lady with sad soft eyes and fancy things. But she did not so much as take off her shoes when she sat down on the edge of the bed. I had the knife, but I did not know how I would ever use it. The lady laid on her side, curled up her legs and put her hands together under her head.
I found a picture on top of the dresser of the lady with her husband and what looked to be their boy, happy as you please. The boy grinned with sleepy eyes and heavy lashes. "Can you bring me that picture?" the lady asked.
I went over and put the frame in her hands. For a second she closed her eyes and then let out a sigh. "I'm not waking up," she said. "I'm not dreaming, am I?"
"I'm Jeanette," the lady told me "That's my
husband Arthur, and that's Lowell. He's your age. I thought I could never love a person more than Arthur," the lady went on. "Then I had our son, and I held him for the first time and I knew." Her voice was coming out fast from nowhere, and her words fell over each other one on top of the other, like she'd been thinking about saying this her whole life long. "There isn't any love like that. No matter what he does, or who he becomes, I will always love him." She took a breath and put her face in her hands. "Save me," she said.
Outside a pine tree squeaked in the wind with a little old voice, crying tears against the window.
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Book Description Henry Holt and Co., 2004. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0805075984
Book Description Henry Holt and Co., 2004. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0805075984
Book Description Henry Holt and Co., 2004. Hardcover. Condition: New. 2004 - First Edition, First Printing. 303 Pages. Book and dustjacket are in excellent condition. Hardback. 2004-09-01. Seller Inventory # SKU-6800141
Book Description Henry Holt and Co. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0805075984 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.0380970