cover image Little Town, Great Big Life

Little Town, Great Big Life

Curtiss Ann Matlock, Author . Mira $13.95 (344p) ISBN 978-0-7783-2788-2

Valentine, Okla., is the kind of town where everybody knows or wants everybody else's secrets; a handicapped boy is appreciated for his deep wisdom; an old man and a dog get featured on a radio show; and when a stranger comes to town and stays, he's likely to be running from something. In the latest entry in Matlock's bighearted Valentine series (Chin Up, Honey ), births, deaths, and the town's centennial celebration form the framework for insightful humor and a sense of close-knit community. Belinda Blaine at the drugstore might be pregnant and is wondering what to do. Seventeen-year-old Paris Miller keeps piling on makeup to hide the bruises inflicted by her grandfather, whom she nevertheless can't bear to lose. Fayrene Gardener, who owns the cafe, is falling for the stranger in town, but is he just another man who'll let her down? And then there's beloved 92-year-old Winston Valentine, who holds everyone together but might finally have to let go of life. Readers should hold on to their hearts; losing them to these unforgettable characters is a real possibility. (June)