Outside Valentine

Outside Valentine

Book - 2004
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Baker & Taylor
Haunted by the serial murders committed by Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate years earlier, Manhattan collector of antiquities Lowell finds the case further complicated by a self-appointed teen detective, while Caril Ann remembers the killing spree and her feelings of being out of control. A first novel. 75,000 first printing.

McMillan Palgrave
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.

Blackwell North Amer
In 1957, in a plain house outside Lincoln, Nebraska, Caril Ann struts in front of her mirror in a pink kimono embroidered with figures of women dancing. She thinks of the fight she is about to have with her stepfather and vows to hold her ground. Today she will find a tree house and meet a boy named Charlie Starkweather, who reminds her of James Dean. Love will pull them together. On another day, not far off, Charlie will drive Caril Ann in a fancy Packard through the falling snow to a town called Valentine. Her life will change forever. Everyone will always remember her name.
In 1991, in the silence of an early Manhattan morning, Lowell - a middle-aged dealer in antiquities - wakes with fragments of dreams and the memory of a spot of blood slowly spreading out, changing everything. Lowell's thoughts go back to his childhood, to his mother's attempts to learn the piano, to the snow drifting down across the plains in the far-off place that was his home. Today he will see that his marriage to his wife, Susan, no longer works, despite all that has passed between them. And he will try to turn away.
In 1962, Puggy - she hates that nickname - comes home to an empty house. The snow has made her yard into a perfect curtain of white. Until her mother comes back, Puggy will play detective, spying on the boy down the street who lost his family to the Starkweather murders. She will read the old clippings from the Lincoln Journal Star and wonder if anyone could ever love her like Charlie loved Caril Ann. She will remember her parents dancing. She will try to figure out what it is that people do when they have lost someone forever.
How do these lives intersect? What happened during that winter of blinding snow? At the heart of this haunting debut novel is a shocking crime with effects and repercussions that reach across the years and miles, changing the course of lives, again and again. Alternating among the voices of her three major characters, Liza Ward captures their inflections and emotions as she gradually unravels the hidden past they share. As the pieces of this alluring puzzle come together, all the questions are answered.

& Taylor

Haunted by the serial murders committed by Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate years earlier, Manhattan collector of antiquities Lowell finds the case further complicated by a self-appointed teen detective.

Publisher: New York : Henry Holt, c2004
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780805075984
Branch Call Number: F WAR
Characteristics: 301 p. ; 24 cm


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Aug 09, 2006

When three people collide in one way or another over the Starkweather murder spree, pain isn''t the only product. But what does a middle aged man in a lack luster marriage, a young girl who is dealing with her mother''s madness, and Caril Ann Fugate''s recollection of the actual murders have in common? Not much. The dull beginning is just as unlikable as the ho-hum ending. But maybe that is the point of this author - life is just so much blah even if people get killed - we all just keep going on with our own lives.


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