Valentine to Faith
Sand Dollar Press, Inc. (2020)
Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Reader Views (12/2020)
“Valentine to Faith,” by Victoria Foyt, is an emotionally engaging new adult novel that will have you totally immersed. The cycle of abuse can be as vicious as the spell of the Sea Goddess Yemaya, and sometimes children repeat the unhealthy patterns of their parents. But the cycle can be broken, and those who seem destined to repeat history can rise above it all and shine.
This captivating novel tells the story of a mother named Angel and her daughter Faith, who is entering young adulthood and striking out on her own to attend college and start a life of dreams and independence, and a new romantic relationship. But Angel has kept her troubled past a secret, and now sees that her daughter could be repeating the dangerous cycle. The trust between mother and daughter is broken, but Angel is set on winning back Faith’s love and respect. Intertwined with this emotional domestic drama is a shell craft by the name of Sailors’ Valentines, and the Sea Goddess Yemaya.
I like everything about this novel, which has its beginning in 1985. Foyt’s writing is mesmerizing, lulling you in a lyrical way, the way the sound of the ocean waves do. And speaking of ocean waves, this story is set on the Sanibel Island, a perfect location for such a balanced tale of reverie and realism.
The characters are so real they could walk off the page, the descriptions delight the senses and have a poetic feel, and the plot will keep you invested until the end, which comes way too soon. Foyt has her players imperfect, and not just a line or two about being an OCD house-cleaner, a list-keeper, or a little clumsy or forgetful. These flaws are deep, buried, and have life-changing consequences. It isn’t always easy to make truly flawed characters likeable, but this author knows how, and you’ll find yourself caring for how things turn out for them. Then the author takes you deep into motivations, and the past, and how it affects the present and future. That Angel is trying to resist the dark power of Yemaya adds another layer of drama, and the tension builds in a slow, dreadful way that you will thoroughly enjoy.
Other themes of the story include religion, family, romance, lies, mystery, among others. If there is one novel to read next, make it “Valentine to Faith,” by Victoria Foyt.