By Karen Valby
Welcome to Utopia is an amazing American story. It is the story of a town and its people striving to survive in today’s world, while clinging to the ways of the past, the things that made it what and who it is.
At the heart of the book are four residents of Utopia, Texas: Colter, the son of a real cowboy, who is not one, himself; Kathy, a waitress with three sons gone off to war; Ralph, the retired general store owner; and Kelli, a black rock singer, who also happens to be one of the few black Utopians.
Utopia is all that we think of as “Small Town America”, but it struggles against itself to stay that way, while surviving and wanting to thrive. Almost a contradiction of itself, Utopia is true to itself, which makes you love it. Your heart goes out to the people of Utopia, to make it, to remain true, to survive. But your heart breaks for them as they struggle to be real, to be all that they know is right.
Welcome to Utopia made me feel what its people felt. I wanted life to be good for the people there. I felt I knew them, and felt honoured to have visited them in their hometown.