The Mighty Queens of Freeville by Amy Dickinson - Book Review

The title of NPR commentator and syndicated advice columnist Amy Dickinson’s memoir refers to the strong women residing in Freeville, NY where the author ran when she divorced, leaving her the single mother to a toddler. It was the natural place to run as Amy had been raised amongst the cows, the small town simplicity and close-knit bonds of her family there. In times of desperation, isn’t Freeville the sort of place we yearn for?

In The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter, and the Town That Raised Them, Dickinson writes openly and humorously about her life in Freeville, NY. Her humor is somewhat laconic and guarded. This can be good and bad. It makes for an easy and fast paced read, but also leaves one feeling a bit cheated. The story of Amy’s life follows from her return to Freeville, with toddler daughter in tow, until her daughter leaves for college. During those years, we meet a lot of interesting characters, yet we never really get to know any of them. Just as I started to form a picture, the story would shift and I’d be left with a series of story buds instead of a fully blossomed picture.

In the end, The Mighty Queens of Freeville is about the merits of small town life, the safety one only, really ever, feels when they’re in the arms of friends and family. In advancing this theme, Ms. Dickinson succeeds.

Personal Thoughts: I really had a difficult time getting into this memoir. It reminded me of my efforts with A Girl Named Zippy and I couldn’t help but wonder if I had something against stories set in Smalltown, USA. After all, my story began there and I understand its nuanced environment. Is it jealousy? Could I have written a better version? My family stories are just as interesting, my characters filled with even more spunk. Perhaps I should swear-off all small town memoirs, start typing or shut up.

Thanks to the Barnes & Noble, this was read from an advanced copy.

Website for the book is HERE

Buy your copy of
The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter, and the Town That Raised Them: Here

© 2007-2009



Blog Archive