Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Review: Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women's Literary Society
Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women's Literary Society by Amy Hill Hearth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women's Literary Society is a fun romp through the swamps of Florida in the early 1960's. Dora, the town's so-called Turtle Lady, is is divorcee bored with her job at the local post office. She starts to read a person's magazine and ends up meeting Jackie, a housewife that came to the county from Boston. Jackie is someone who will instantly change the lives of those around her - including Dora's.
To cure housewife boredom, Jackie creates the Collier County Women's Literary Society. At the first meeting, the reader knows that they are in for a wild ride. The participants in the club include Jackie, Dora, Mrs. Bailey White, fresh out of prison for killing her husband forty years prior, Plain Jane, a woman who has plenty of secrets of her own, an African-American maid named Priscilla and the town's flamboyant gay man, Robbie-Lee. Together they venture through a variety of books, including the scandalous The Feminine Mystique, and also become very close friends.
Throughout the book, Jackie is the typical bored housewife who wants something more. With the change in the air and women's lib not yet on the horizon, she does her own thing, making sure that she is getting the satisfaction out of life that she needs. When she creates the mysterious Miss Dreamsville persona for the local radio station, she is an instant hit. But will her secret be revealed before she turns the town completely upside down?
This book is simply fun to read. It has characters that you would think could only come in a work of fiction, but are probably more likely to exist in real life. The details of their eccentricities us what makes this book an enjoyable read. It also deals with the problems of times head on, from racism to sexism and more, giving the book a real-life feel.
*Reviewer received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads
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