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Valencia and Valentine Summary & Study Guide

Suzy Krause
This Study Guide consists of approximately 30 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Valencia and Valentine.
This section contains 700 words
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Valencia and Valentine Summary & Study Guide Description

Valencia and Valentine Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Valencia and Valentine by Suzy Krause.

The following version of this book was used to create this study guide: Krause, Suzy. Valencia and Valentine. Lake Union Publishing, 2019.

In Valencia and Valentine, Suzy Krause introduces two alternating storylines following the lives of Valencia, a 34-year-old debt collector with OCD, and Mrs. Valentine, an eccentric 87-year-old woman. Both women spent time thinking about death. Valencia feared turning 35, airplanes, and highways. Her therapist Louise suggested that Valencia plan a trip to try to overcome her fear of flying first. Valencia met her coworker Peter, but avoided having extended conversations with him. In her cognitive behavioral therapy diary, though, she would write about his attractive qualities. Valencia began receiving calls from James Mace, a man who was in debt, but instead of paying it off, he would call every day to learn more about Valencia. James seemed sympathetic to her OCD. Valencia and Peter began giving small drawings to each other.

Valencia befriended Grace, a new coworker who worked at the desk next to her. The days went quickly with Valencia’s budding friendship with Grace, daily phone calls with James, and passing drawings with Peter. She dreaded August because it was the anniversary of Charlene’s death and her 35th birthday. She told James the story of how she had bullied Charlene, a new girl in her high school, and afterward Charlene had jumped off a bridge, lived for six more years as a paraplegic, and then died from complications. Valencia always felt responsible for Charlene’s death, but James insisted that it was not her fault. Valencia said that she had planned to see him in New York for her trip, but James insisted that she should not. Valencia learned that her grandmother had died and went home sick. Valencia stayed home for a few days and Grace came over to check on her. James called Valencia on her home phone. Valencia hung up on him and freaked out about how he knew her number. Grace used last call return to call the number back, but a woman answered who had never heard of James Mace. Grace thought Valencia might have made James up. Valencia feared that she had imagined him all along. She returned to work on her 35th birthday. She said goodbye to Grace since it was Grace’s last day of work. Peter waited for Valencia after work and admitted that he had been James Mace all along.

Mrs. Valentine hired Anna, the granddaughter of her best friend Mrs. Davies, to help with her housekeeping. She spoke about Mrs. Davies as if she were alive, even though Anna’s grandmother had died, and imagined that her old friend visited when she was really speaking to nobody. She told Anna the story of how she met her husband Mr. Valentine, who had disappeared many years ago. She had taken a trip to New York City and a biker ran into her. Later, she participated in a social experiment that brought them back together. Eventually, they married and began to travel together. Mrs. Valentine felt haunted by the sight of a girl she had seen jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge during her trip to New York. When Mrs. and Mr. Valentine went to Bolivia on a trip, Mrs. Valentine lost track of her husband and never saw him again. Then, Mrs. Valentine admitted to Anna that she had made the whole story up.

Krause revealed that Mrs. Valentine was Valencia and Mrs. Davies was Grace. In the present day, Mrs. Valentine got on a plane and took a trip to New York. She told the people sitting next to her that she was going on an anniversary trip with her dead husband and recounted the story of how her husband Peter had died in a car accident, after they had had an argument about her struggle to have children. Her neighbors introduced themselves as James and Charlene. The flight attendant spoke about Mrs. Valentine, who was seated next to nobody and had been talking to herself the whole flight, but still looked happy. After the plane landed, Mrs. Valentine ordered two meals in the terminal and imagined enjoying the dinner with her husband.

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