“Valley Fever” by Katherine Taylor

Valley Fever

(Author: Katherine Taylor) + (Year: 2015) + (Goodreads)


No. No, no, no. 

A tragicomedy? This book is a damn farce. I wish there was something good I could say about it. Oh, yeah, pretty cover! Had me fooled.

What you need to know about Valley Fever is that it tells the story of a very dysfunctional family, comprised of retards. Actual retarded people. Well, not actually actual but it would have been easier to grasp why they make the decisions they do and say the things they do if they were with challenged development.

What’s also notable is that this is the book with the WORST dialogue that I’ve had the displeasure of reading in my entire life. In all truth, the dialogue just proves my point about the mentally challenged characters.

“I’m saying no one is unhappy. No one is angry.”

I’m a little bit angry,” Anne said. Her cheeks were red from drink and from keeping everything from Mother and from herself.

“Don’t be angry,” Mother said.

“Oh, all right. Thank you. I’m not angry.”

“You have nothing to be angry about.”

“Oh, I know,” said Anne.


“I feel like I’m really lucky.”

“You are really lucky,” Elliot said.

“We’re all lucky,” I said.

Then George arrived.

“Ingrid’s extra lucky,” Bootsie said as George made his way to the bar. George swayed when he walked, that languid way he had about him. He raised his hand hello.

“George,” Elliot said. “Are you feeling lucky?”

“I’m not especially lucky,” said George.

“You certainly are,” said Bootsie. “You have all of us.”

“It’s true,” George corrected himself. “I’ll be luckier when I get something to drink and a plate of fritters.”

I feel like I’ve stepped into an alternate dimension where “said” is the only verb that exists and people like to repeat the same thing over and over and over and over again in order to formulate a conversation. These two are not in any way the only examples. This is how EVERY single conversation looks in this book. It’s bloody disgusting.

When we are not reading about these brain-dead idiots that the characters are, we are talking about grapes. It’s a book about a family which works with fruits and such, but that still doesn’t mean that one of the two main plots in this book should be when grapes are picked. And I’m not talking about the problems with the picking or whatever you do with grapes, I’m talking about the random and pointless trivia told by none of the characters in particular. The author just starts yammering about fruits and nuts when she doesn’t know what to do to add 3 pages more to each chapter.

As I already said, the family of the main character Ingrid is comprised of insane people. Ingrid herself is a bitter and selfish crybaby, her mother is a bitter, selfish and mean old hag, her sister is a bitter, selfish, mean and nasty bitch, and their father is a naive idiot who gets screwed over by everyone and instead of some poetic justice, all we see is him, forgiving the people who have ruined his life.

Which brings me to my conclusion. What is the damn point of this book? There isn’t one. You read a full account of one summer in Ingrid’s house, experience the horrible dialogue, and are left with nothing. Good luck! (You are lucky. Are you lucky? You should be lucky. Feel lucky. Oh, by all means, you cannot be lucky. The moon is blue.)


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