Valencia and Valentine Audiobook
By: Suzy Krause
Narrated by: Janet Metzger
Published by Brilliance Audio 06/01/2019
8 hrs and 54 mins
Valencia and Valentine Audiobook Sample
Valencia and Valentine Audiobook
A young woman working in a debt collector call center desiring to conquer her personal demons- OCD-ing about flying and getting older- and death and an older woman who is lonely and needing to share stories of her life with someone who will listen are seemingly on two separate paths. Or are they?
Valencia and Valentine got my attention when I spotted it as an Amazon First Read offering, but it wasn’t until I saw that Janet Metzger was narrating the audio that I actually picked it up.
I read the blurb, saw the cover, and knew it was women’s fiction so I formed an idea of what I was getting. I thought it would be light, maybe with a bit of wry humor, a multi-generational friendship, a little side romance… yeah, I’m always up for that. But, this one was almost nothing like I was expecting. I was three chapters in and knew that I was so utterly lost. I had to get my bearings before I could even concentrate on the story.
The thing is that I don’t think I ever really got my bearings. This was on purpose, actually, but I never did get comfortable with this story. It was disconcerting, through and through. Both these women have mental health issues so this was a non-thriller unreliable narrator story. That said, there is something of a mystery because things don’t quite add up and the reader slowly is let in on this fact. I really noticed it with the older woman, Valentine’s stories of her past. I had a feeling about what was going on and sure enough, I was right.
The two women take turns narrating their sides of the story. Valencia is the younger of the two and she works at a call center as a debt collector. At first, it seems like she’s fanciful in a morbid way, but then it’s obvious that she is ill. She is seeing a therapist for her OCD. I don’t know anyone in real life with OCD, but I thought Valencia was drawn authentically. I’ll be honest, it’s tough reading from her perspective as a result, but it made me see just how difficult life with this disorder truly is. I felt impatience and sometimes dislike (she was one of the mean girls back in HS), but I also felt enough affinity that I cheered her on with her romance. The romance was on-line for a bit and I couldn’t get a read on her romance interest, but that again, makes sense if I got the right idea about what happened.
Valentine is an old woman feeling her years and as obsessed with death as Valencia. She also feels alone and locked in her past and stories. Many of these stories are questionable as true. Again, I was a little ambivalent about the character. I knew I needed to give her a break because she is struggling with her mental health like Valencia and made up stories is what she has left to give, but I got impatient and wanted to get down to the bottom of things.
However, in the end, I kept getting drawn back in each time I wanted to give up on the book or the characters. It’s not an easy-read/listen like I thought it would be, but it is thought provoking and ultimately engaging in its own way. So, I recommend it to those who don’t mind characters who aren’t easy to like, but worth it and a gently-paced story or struggle, some triumph, and life with warts.
Valencia and Valentine Audiobook Narration
Janet Metzger is one of my favorite narrators and I think she absolutely excels at this genre. She’s perfect for telling women’s stories and drawing out the emotions and thoughtful cadence. If I felt any liking and sympathy for the characters, I feel she is largely responsible for that with her heartwarming voice. She is pretty much an auto-buy narrator for me at this point.
Suzy Krause grew up in the village of Frontier, Saskatchewan, Canada, two hours from the nearest McDonald’s, one hour from the nearest movie theatre, half an hour from the nearest swimming pool. She now lives in Regina—the Queen City!—and it has all of those things and she doesn’t really use any of them. It’s small compared to New York, but compared to Frontier, it’s basically a megalopolis. There are traffic lights!
Suzy is a writer and a music lover. She’s been blogging for over a decade, chronicling her Very Important Feelings and posting pictures of vacations and concerts and friends—but she also writes, from time to time, on various arts, entertainment, and lifestyle websites.
Valencia and Valentine is her first novel, inspired by her time working as a debt collector in Saskatoon (she received a lot of death threats that summer).
Writing a book has been on her to-do list since she was six-ish, so it’s good that she did it. V&V came out in June 2019, and a second is on its way for July 2020—please hold your horses; these things take time.
Janet Metzger brings her considerable acting talent to the depiction of setting and illumination of character. Her keen musical ear and attention to detail enable her to depict a wide array of accents, especially the many dialects of rural and urban regions of the Southeastern U.S. An award-winning documentary narrator, Janet brings both warmth and authority to non-fiction as well. Whether she is narrating a Southern Romance, a heroine’s journey or real life thriller, Metzger’s warm and alluring voice will draw the listener into your story with authenticity.