Thursday, December 27, 2012

Review: Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen by Susan Gregg Gilmore

Here is a summary of the book from the Goodreads website:

Sometimes you have to return to the place where you began, to arrive at the place where you belong.

It’s the early 1970s. The town of Ringgold, Georgia, has a population of 1,923, one traffic light, one Dairy Queen, and one Catherine Grace Cline. The daughter of Ringgold’s third-generation Baptist preacher, Catherine Grace is quick-witted, more than a little stubborn, and dying to escape her small-town life.

Every Saturday afternoon, she sits at the Dairy Queen, eating Dilly Bars and plotting her getaway to Atlanta. And when, with the help of a family friend, the dream becomes a reality, she immediately packs her bags, leaving her family and the boy she loves to claim the life she’s always imagined. But before things have even begun to get off the ground in Atlanta, tragedy brings Catherine Grace back home. As a series of extraordinary events alter her perspective–and sweeping changes come to Ringgold itself–Catherine Grace begins to wonder if her place in the world may actually be, against all odds, right where she began.

Intelligent, charming, and utterly readable, Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen marks the debut of a talented new literary voice.

My Review:
This was such a neat coming-of-age novel giving us a glimpse of rural life for one young gal in Georgia.  We learn the story of Catherine Grace who has grown up without her mother, knowing the world has so much more to offer than what is available in her stupid little town.  She looks forward to the day she can leave Ringgold for good.

This story had so many elements to it that I just loved.  I found myself smiling or just plain laughing out loud plenty of times while I was reading it.  I am sure many girls could read this book and easily put themselves in Catherine Grace's shoes, as I did.  Many kids that have grown up in small towns can't wait to get out and explore the world.  Personally, I felt the same exact way.  But, like Catherine Grace, once you get out there and start living you realize that it isn't what it's cracked up to be.

Catherine Grace has been lucky to have some wonderful people in her life.  Even with the support of her Preacher father and motherly women to help her, there were still times she felt left out of events because she didn't have a mother of her own.  She not only found kids treating her differently at times, but even adults.  It's hard to grow up with confidence when you feel out of place most of the time.

I loved the relationships in this novel.  Between Catherine Grace, her sister, her father, and Gloria Jean, I absolutely loved all of the characters.  With themes of love, family, and forgiveness I know that many of you would enjoy this book for either personal leisure or a book club discussion.  Our book club loved it and I highly recommend this novel.

My Rating:  5/5

Disclosure:  This book was from my personal collection and I read it for my own entertainment and as a book club selection.


bermudaonion said...

I really liked this book too!!

Vicki said...

I loved this book! I'm going to read The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove for a 2013 challenge.

Anonymous said...

Thos one looks good! I love southern reading and didn't do enough of it this year.