Valencia and Valentine is the story of two women, one young and one old, who don’t seem to have very much in common. One has traveled the world, the other is afraid to drive on a highway, much less fly on a plane. Obviously the two are tied together somehow and you will spend your time reading wondering how they are related. Is it the cinnamon buns or the piano music they both like? Or something else?
“Valencia, a timid debt collector with crippling OCD, is afraid of many things, but the two that scare her most are flying and turning thirty-five. To confront those fears, Valencia’s therapist suggests that she fly somewhere—anywhere—before her upcoming birthday. And as Valencia begins a telephone romance with a man from New York, she suddenly has a destination in mind. There’s only one problem—he might not actually exist. Mrs. Valentine is an eccentric old woman desperate for company, be it from neighbors, telemarketers, or even the funeral director (when you’re her age, you go to a lot of funerals). So she’s thrilled when the new cleaning girl provides a listening ear for her life’s story—a tale of storybook love and incredible adventures around the world with her husband before his mysterious and sudden disappearance. The stories of Valencia and Mrs. Valentine may at first appear to have nothing in common…but then again, nothing in life is as straightforward as it seems.”
Valencia feels stuck in her boring job, but she is afraid to get out and experience the world. At the same time, Mrs. Valentine laments about how much of her life has passed by. I have seen this book described as quirky, and I agree that the characters certainly are. Personally, I really liked them both and I felt for them in their respective life struggles. For me, this was the kind of book where once everything became clear, I felt that I should start from the beginning to see what I’d missed! It was a quick read, and I enjoyed it!
What have you been reading lately?