Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Little Town, Great Big Life-Curtiss Ann Matlock

Little Town, Great Big Life
Curtiss Ann Matlock
Mira, Jun 1 2010, $13.95
ISBN: 9780778327882

In Valentine, Oklahoma, nonagenarian Winston Valentine is featured on the local radio show as a model of energy and everyone admires his spirit. As such with the town about to celebrate centennial celebration, many want to honor their most ebullient citizen although he might not make it to the gala.

There is one Grinch in town, thirty-eight years old pregnant Belinda Blaine. Carrying has brought back depressing memories loaded with guilt from two decades ago; a secret she has shared with not one not even her husband, Lyle. She knows she owes him the truth, but fears admitting it will not set her free.

Teenage Paris Miller uses tons of makeup to conceal the battering she receives from her abusive grandfather. She considers running away, but rejects that as her grandfather needs her and she needs him.

Café owner Fayrene Gardener has loved and been hurt before. However, still an optimist she is dating a newcomer.

Although there are too many subplots in Valentine, this entry is a great uplifting yet melancholy tale. Readers will enjoy the return of stars from previous novels and appreciate the issues the ensemble leads of Little Town, Great Big Life cope with. Fans will join the centennial celebration that honors town legend ninety-two years old Winston.

Harriet Klausner

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