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"According to Ermest Hemingway, 'A writer's style should be direct and personal, his imagery rich and earthy, and his words simple and vigorous.'

Betty Byrd has accomplished this and more in her intriguing follow-up to "Trinity's Daughter." Every family has dark secrets and colorful characters that spice up any gathering of clan, and can either rub you the wrong way or be a breath of fresh air. Some family members, however, can literally suck the oxygen out of a room faster than a wildcatter's worst nightmare.

"Utopia Texas" is a great summer read that explodes from page one with a hellish oil well blowout in Venezuela that grabs our attention and, like hot fingers of fire clenched around throats, squeezes every last drop of drama out of one family's journey along the teetering edge of madness and how it threatens to pull them all into the abyss.

Now, toss an innocent child into the mix and stir, vigorously. When oil deals and society status trump true love, and when anyone threatens the family - whether from without or within - the depth and length to which Brya Harrison goes, to hold this dysfunctional family together, will keep you turning the page.

That today's very real oil crisis looms over all mankind, affecting the lifestyles of everyone from kings and queens to the little pawns, is perfectly poignant and cause for much introspection. "Utopia Texas" will make you stop and think about how far you'd go for wealth, power, and prestige, and Betty will make you cry at a price an innocent girl must pay for all the trappings of high society." -- H. Scott Hackney, West Coast - May 4, 2008

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ISBN-10:  1432717529
ISBN-13:  978-1432717520
Author:  Betty Byrd
Publisher:  Outskirts Press
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review by . March 14, 2011
Utopia Texas is a novel begins with a thought provoking passage by Ernest Hemingway. This passage is about how it takes a long time to learn the simplest of things. A person often pays a heavy cost to learn life's lessons. This thought lingered with me as I read this book Byrd follows this passage with an exciting visual image. An oil well explodes in Maracaibo Basin in Venezuela that leads to a fire. Betty Byrd establishes that oil drilling is a dangerous job in the prologue. The novel begins …
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