I received “The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, A Daughter and the People Who Raised Them” for review last week and couldn’t wait to dig into what sounded like Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells.
A small town girl myself, I was interested to read about “the town that raised them” as Amy Dickinson (a very famous advice columnist in the US) goes through a divorce and raised her daughter on her own.
At the beginning, I didn’t like Amy because she was a housewife of the worst kind and seemed like the typical “victim” of a divorce:
‘how stale our marriage was’, ‘how trapped he felt’ and ‘he used the word “nag”.
She also came across as self-centered because
…she blamed her husband entirely for the end of their marriage (when he eventually moved to Russia with his girlfriend) and
…her clinging on to her daughter Emily made it really difficult for the little girl to leave her for a trip to New York with her father.
I’m glad she saw sense in what “Nasir” the taxi driver told her (which none of her close friends did) and changed her attitude towards the father-daughter visitations:
“Well, even if you don’t like it, you must pretend that you do. It’s for the girl’s sake. If you don’t want her to go, then she’ll know it and she won’t want to go…”
Amy starts a new life in Washington DC but visits her hometown Freeville frequently and had readable situations involding
I’m glad that Amy found herself again at the end, trusts her daughter, Emily. to become her own woman and also falls in love again…
If anything, “The Mighty Queens of Freeville: (renamed) A Story of Surprising Second Chances” shows married women what NOT to do and divorced women the tough journey ahead AND a new life of possibilities.
I have a friend who’s divorced with a kid – she’s a beautiful and intelligent woman, who like Amy, puts her kid first before dating men.
I don’t think she’s found a man who can accept her on her own terms yet – I’d really love to give her this book and hope that she’ll find Amy’s story a hopeful, if not inspiring one.
If Amy Dickinson happens to read this review, I hope that she’ll come out with a sequel – this time, a novel that truly focuses on the “town” that raised her and her daughter
Mighty Queens of Freeville, The: A Mother, a Daughter, and the Town That Raised Them
by Amy Dickinson
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Hyperion (February 3, 2009)