This book begins with the violent sexual assault of a Mexican child. It is critical to the book that she is Mexican, as it takes place in a very bigoted era of time, and in a very closed-minded place in America. It was very hard to get through the first two chapters covering it because Wetmore did such a great job focusing on details that gut you more than the simple facts would alone.
Throughout the entire novel, Wetmore uses such beautiful imagery and language, almost like a love letter to West Texas’ scenery. Each character has her own relationship to the environment around them that keeps them grounded despite their own sufferings and flaws. Every chapter is in the perspective of a different woman (or women) in the town. Some are focused on their own pain at the hands of racist, misogynistic, drunk men, and others relate their stories to the Mexican child, Glory, and what her pain has done to them.
There are many moments in this book where I had to close it due to the rage in me. Other times due to the sadness. Wetmore has a wonderful way of displaying the complex emotions that rest within a woman’s body without needing to name them. We see women in horrible situations, where they are helpless and powerless, and others where they have taken their rage (sadness, pain, wrath) and are reborn.
The last few chapters strike hard. One in particular (“Karla”) was written differently from other chapters, and it felt like a gift. It was like a chorus coming to us, to sum up all this pain and suffering, and show us now where we are headed because we must keep moving.
I highly recommend you read this book. It will stick with me for a long time.