From Publishers Weekly
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)
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Belinda Blaine refuses to believe that she is pregnant at 38. She knows that her lovable husband, Lyle, will be over the moon, but she is worried about her past, and this anxiety is very stressful for the woman who always has the answers to other people's problems. Belinda shares the running of the family pharmacy with her mother, who is on the trip of a lifetime to France. Their pharmacy is an institution in Valentine, Oklahoma, just like Winston Valentine, 92, who can be found either on your AM dial or in his usual chair in the pharmacy. The small town is preparing for a centennial celebration as Winston adds his usual dramatic flair. This wonderfully poignant homage to the virtues of small-town life is filled with characters that would be at home anywhere. And even though this is Matlock's eighth book in the series and her fond farewell to Valentine, it stands on its own, and will make readers want to read the entire run. --Patty Engelmann
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