The Mighty Queens of Freeville by Amy Dickinson
Published February 2009 by Hyperion
Source: borrowed this one from the library
Dickinson is the author of the syndicated advice column "Ask Amy" which appears in more than 150 newspapers nationwide and appears on several NPR shows.
This is the tale of Amy, her daughter and the women in her family who helped raise them after Amy's husband abruptly left. It is a story of frequent failures and surprising successes, as Amy starts and loses careers, bumbles through blind dates and adult education classes, travels across country with her daughter, and tries to come to terms with the family's aptitude for "dorkitude." Though they live in London, D.C., and Chicago, all roads lead them back to her original hometown of Freeville (pop. 458), a tiny upstate village where Amy's family has tilled and cultivated the land, tended chickens and Holsteins, and built houses and backyard sheds for over 200 years. Most important though, her family has made more family there, and they all still live in a ten-house radius of each other. With kindness and razor-sharp wit, they welcome Amy and her daughter back weekend after weekend, summer after summer, offering a moving testament to the many women who have led small lives of great consequence in a tiny place.
The Book Lady, at http://thebookladysblog.com/, says: The Mighty Queens of Freeville is full of quirky stories and insightful thoughts on life. It will make you laugh out loud. It will make you smile as you recognize characters familiar from your own life, and it will bring tears to your eyes as you remember the difficult moments of your own life. More than anything else, this book will make you want to pick up the phone and call your mother, favorite aunt, and closest girlfriends and tell them exactly how much you love and appreciate them.
The Book Lady is right--this book made me laugh out loud again and again. My husband got tired of me reading whole passages to him (apparently things just aren't as funny when you do this!). This book will make the rounds through the women of my family. Some really awful things have happened to Dickinson--her father abandoned the family and her husband leaves her for another woman. But Dickinson never gets maudlin, nor does she use this opportunity to bash these men. Instead she focuses on the humor, love and family that help her get through her life as she tries to find her way. Is it a great book? Perhaps not. But I loved it!