Friday, March 20, 2009

The Mighty Queens of Freeville

Humility. Memoirs tend to hit one extreme or another. Either the writer presents an idyllic life or one packed with unbearable troubles. Amy Dickinson tells her story with a lightness of touch that makes it all the more touching and real. She conveys her childhood without demonizing the father who abandoned his family. She presents the ways in which she raised her daughter as a single parent without railing against her ex-husband. Her success is presented as a matter of chance rather than skill, ambition and hard work. In all respects, she presents a humble personality, buoyed by a closely knit family, comprised of strong women, in a small town. These women carry on conversations that have no beginning and no end: they are always in motion. After one aunt dies in her eighties, her sister commented that she wished she knew her better. This is after spending every day of their lives in contact. Dickinson’s wit and fine writing will bring pleasure to many readers.

Rating: Three-star (Recommended)

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