Title: The Mighty Queens of Freeville
Author: Amy Dickinson
Release Date: February 3, 2009
Challenge: Pub Challenge 2009, Countdown Challenge 2009, A to Z Challenge
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Rating: 4 out of 5
From the back cover:
Five years ago, after an exhaustive nationwide search, the Chicago Tribune announced Amy Dickinson as the next Ann Landers. They wanted a contemporary voice and they found it. Bracingly witty and candid, Amy is not your mother’s advice columnist. Readers love her for her brutal honestly, her small town values, and the fact that her motto is “I make the mistakes so you don’t have to.” Her advice column “Ask Amy” appears daily in more than 150 newspapers nationwide, read by more than 22 million people.
The Mighty Queens of Freeville, Amy Dickinson takes those mistakes and spins them into a remarkable story. This is the tale of Amy and her daughter and the women in her family who helped raise them.
The Mighty Queens of Freeville is a fun read that anyone would enjoy. The book itself is more about Amy’s road to becoming the “next Ann Landers,” rather than about her experience being an advice columnist. It’s about the experiences from her small hometown of Freeville, about the women from which she has derived strength, wisdom, and a healthy ability to laugh at herself.
However, the book is Amy’s memoir, despite the references to her mother and daughter. These relationships aren’t really developed or expounded upon in the book (which is almost a series of vignettes more than a full-fledged memoir), so it is Amy that is the focus of the book. This confused me a bit; I thought the book would be more about a group of women, told from Amy’s point of view.
The book itself is well-written and easy to read. It’s short and doesn’t plod along. Even those of you who aren’t fans of memoirs or non-fiction will find this book easy to read. Amy has a great sense of humor, so the book is filled with whimsy and amusing anecdotes. She is serious when she needs to be, but generally it’s a fun book.
The Mighty Queens of Freeville doesn’t have a lot of depth to it. I don’t mean to imply that Amy herself doesn’t have depth, because that’s not the case. But the manner in which the story is told is very “on the surface.” There’s little to show us what’s underneath. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it makes it easy to enjoy the book as a light-hearted and fun read. However, I would have enjoyed a deeper look at Amy and more about the women of Freeville.
I recommend The Mighty Queens of Freeville to anyone who enjoys memoirs or to those chick lit readers who want to read some non-fiction every once in awhile. And look at that cover! Doesn’t it make you want to pick up this book?