Monday, March 16, 2009

The Mighty Queens of Freeville

The Mighty Queens of Freeville
: A Mother, A Daughter and the People Who Raised Them
by Amy Dickinson
240 Pages
Hyperion (February 3, 2009)

Family relationships, values and friendships have always been important to Amy. While growing up she had especially strong bonds with the females in her life. Now that she is older she wonders if it is a curse or a blessing that all of the important people in her life are women. Even the women in her life, (her mother, most of her sisters, and her friends) can' t seem to hold onto the men in their lives at all. Her father just up and left when she was young, her brother doesn't speak to them, and her aunts (all but one) are divorced. Amy, seeing the doom is decidedly going to break the mold, determined that her marriage will be a success, it will be but not in the way she expects. The fruit of her attempt at marriage gives her a beautiful daughter, which she now gets to raise amongst the Mighty Queens of Freeville.

This is a memoir by Amy Dickinson, the author of the syndicated advice column ASK AMY and also an NPR contributor. The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, A Daughter and the People Who Raised Them is an interesting read, and I did like it, however I didn't love it. I think if I could have related more I would have enjoyed it more. I grew up with the stronger relationships in my family being male, I have a loving mother, but we just didn't have much in common. My brother was my ultimate soccer buddy, and we always had guy friends, now that I am older I see the value in female friendships, but for a long time I would have chosen a guy over a gal any day. Guys just made more sense to me, they fought it out, played it out and didn't play any manipulation games or talk about their feelings all the time (at least the ones I knew).

Yet, I did enjoy the community in this memoir, I loved reading of their weekly gatherings for breakfast at the same little diner, and their random spur of the moment gatherings which occurred almost daily. I love strong family ties, I think they keep people out of trouble, those who are most connected to loving families seem to know that they are loved and are secure. I found this in the Mighty Queens of Freeville. No matter what happened she had a sense of security that was beyond herself, it was the bonds of the mighty queens, who were always strong enough for the weakest link.

Did you grow up with strong family ties? Do those bonds still secure you in times when nothing else will? Maybe those same bonds at times felt smothering, why do you think that is?

Book Trailer for The Mighty Queens of Freeville:


Ti said...

I enjoy books that focus on community as well. We don't have a big sense of that here in L.A.:)

heatherlo said...

I've been seeing this one around a lot. I think I would enjoy it because I've always been very close to my mom and sister - kind of the opposite of you, actually, I was never really close to my dad and brothers. Thanks for the review.

S. Krishna said...

I liked this one. It was easy to read. Nice review!

bethany said...

ti- Yes, community is very important in books. Community is so beautiful :)

heatherlo- If you try it make sure and let me know what you think! I think I would have been different too if I would have HAD a sister, but I only had a brother.

S.Krishna- It was interesting to read. Glad you liked it. Thanks girl!

bermudaonion said...

Great review. I enjoyed this book too.

Laura said...

I enjoyed this book, even though I grew up with a strong father as well. I have one brother and two sisters, so I get to experience all types of relationships! :) I too enjoyed the feeling of community and the author's positive attitude!

Trish said...

Guys often made more sense to me as well, even though now I have more girlfriends than guy friends(well, since I got married). Glad you found a lot of things to enjoy with this one. I need to start listening to NPR! I keep seeing references to it.