Review: Utopia Texas


  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Outskirts Press (March 6, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1432717529
  • ISBN-13: 978-1432717520

Are wealth and status worth the price-when that price is your own daughter?

Author Betty Byrd has seen it all-including drilling her very own oil well! She now brings her unique vision and experience to Utopia Texas, a riveting tale of Brya Harrison, a woman created by chance and circumstance. Part gambler, part geologist, Brya knows that in the West Texas oil country upbringing may not matter, but status is everything. She has worked hard to secure her position, but she finds her plans unravel when she discovers that her daughter, Olivia, is somehow “different,” and is forced to face the unfathomable-one startling revelation at a time. Drawn into a maelstrom of events fueled by her daughter’s indiscretions, Brya sets out to cover each one up-whatever the cost. But will she be able to combat the demons plaguing her daughter as skillfully as she is able to face down her competition in the cutthroat world of big oil?

My Thoughts:

I spent a lot of time thinking about this review prior to writing it. This is a story that takes on the issues that a family deals with when a family member has a mental illness head on.  While this is not typically a book that I would read, I am glad that I did.  It was well written and handled the issues at hand with tact and truth.  It was very difficult at times to read what was going on in this family, but I also know that it is an issue that families fact every day.  I am pleased that there is an author out there that will take a stand and written about the challenges of mental illness.  While this is not a book I would reread, I am glad that I read it once and would recommend it to anyone facing a challenge of mental illness or wonders what it might be like.  This is a really heavy book and brought me to tears on more than one occasion.  I will say that I had a very difficult time connecting with any of the characters.  Usually, I have at least one that I can but not in this book.  I don’t know if it was setting or era but I just could not get with it.