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An Unlikely Love Story

by Alisa Valdes

Pub Date: Jan. 7th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-592-40790-3
Publisher: Gotham Books

A big-city girl finds loves where she least expects it and re-examines her life in the process.

Valdes (Puta, 2012, etc.) details her unexpected relationship with a conservative New Mexico cowboy. The author was recovering from a failed marriage and a stalled career when she reluctantly agreed to go on a first date with “The Cowboy.” What follows are the dramatic ups and downs of their passionate relationship. This memoir will appeal to Valdes’ fans, who will appreciate its self-deprecating, conversational tone and the tension between the two lovers. The Cowboy resembles a romance-novel stereotype: strong and handsome, self-sufficient and controlling. That Valdes fell passionately in love with this manly man won’t surprise many readers, but it worried the author, especially since the Cowboy insisted that she submit to him in various activities, like driving, ranching and sex. These worries led Valdes into therapy and a re-examination of the events of her childhood and the political beliefs of her family. Rather than just chalking it up to the irrational power of love, Valdes felt the need to justify this new relationship and her submissiveness with pop gender studies. She arrived at a dismissal of the early feminist theories that she was (sort of) raised with. Unfortunately, these sections divert readers from the more titillating story of the city girl/country boy romance. Much of Valdes’ research is undocumented, and the lack of a bibliography is troubling. It will no doubt, however, work to attract attention to and controversy for what would otherwise be a sweet but forgettable memoir.

A memoir for chick-lit fans who can stomach a bit of politics along with their romance.