Sunday, December 13, 2009

Review: The Dairy Queen by Allison Rushby

Dicey has had a bad year and she is wallowing in her misfortune when sister Titch shows up after her own public meltdown. As the two of them commiserate, their long time friend calls them with her own crisis. Three women in their mid thirties, all facing enormous disappointments or refusing to acknowledge their pasts' role in their present are holed up in a house together with reporters camped outside. So they plan to escape to Moo, the town they grew up in, too country and too remote for anyone to follow them to ask about Dicey's failed pyjama company or Titch's on-camera disaster during her morning show. Professional setbacks are just the most newsworthy though as Dicey is also struggling with her seperation from her husband, Titch is about to throw in the towel in her desire to have a baby, and Sally is continuing to run from her past, albeit a lot slower now that she's got a cast on her broken ankle.

Once the three women get back to Moo, the town that paints everything to look like a Holstein if it doesn't move, and the place none of them ever thought to be again for any length of time, they are all confronted with the fact that their demons have traveled with them and they must face the fears and disappointments in their lives before they can move along as stronger, self-assured women. Of course, there are certainly some entertaining interactions with the folks in Moo who remember pieces to the heritage puzzle that none of the three do. Each of the scenes in the book, even those designed to elicit laughter, builds upon the theme of acceptance of the past and of the need to reach for dreams regardless of the chance of failure.

The cover and the marketing of the book are firmly in the chick lit camp but this is very definitely more than a "single girl looking for Mr. Right" kind of book. It acknowledges some deeper concerns and posits that the answers for the main characters are within themselves all along. There are a few issues that receive short shift, like mental illness and feelings of inadequacy after the death of a sibling, but overall, this handles the deeper concerns well and with a light, deft touch. Superficially frothy, it offered unexpected but welcome depths and was a more satisfying reading experience as a result.

1 comment:

  1. I have to admit that I'm somewhat addicted to Red Dress Ink books. ;) Putting that aside, I thought this was a great review, and I can't wait to try this one myself!


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