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The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter, and the Town That Raised Them

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The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter, and the Town That Raised Them Cover

ISBN13: 9781401322854
ISBN10: 1401322859
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Millions of Americans know and love Amy Dickinson from reading her syndicated advice column "Ask Amy" and from hearing her wit and wisdom weekly on National Public Radio. Amy's audience loves her for her honesty, her small-town values, and the fact that her motto is "I make the mistakes so you don't have to." In The Mighty Queens of Freeville, Amy Dickinson shares those mistakes and her remarkable story. This is the tale of Amy and her daughter and the people who helped raise them after Amy found herself a reluctant single parent.

Though divorce runs through her family like an aggressive chromosome, the women in her life taught her what family is about. They helped her to pick up the pieces when her life fell apart and to reassemble them into something new. It is a story of frequent failures and surprising successes, as Amy starts and loses careers, bumbles through blind dates and adult education classes, travels across the country with her daughter and their giant tabby cat, and tries to come to terms with the family's aptitude for "dorkitude."

They have lived in London, D.C., and Chicago, but all roads lead them back to Amy's hometown of Freeville (pop. 458), a tiny village where Amy’s family has tilled and cultivated the land, tended chickens and Holsteins, and built houses and backyard sheds for more than 200 years. Most important, though, her family members all still live within a ten-house radius of each other. With kindness and razor-sharp wit, they welcome Amy and her daughter back weekend after weekend, summer after summer, offering a moving testament to the many women who have led small lives of great consequence in a tiny place.

Review:

"'I didn't become an advice columnist on purpose,' writes Dickinson (author of the syndicated column 'Ask Amy') in her chapter titled 'Failing Up.' In the summertime of 2002, after spending months living off of her credit cards between freelance writing jobs, Dickinson sent in an audition column to the Chicago Tribune and became the paper's replacement for the late Ann Landers. Here, Dickinson traces her own personal history, as well as the history of her mother's family whose members make up the 'Mighty Queens' of Freeville, N.Y., the small town where Dickinson was raised, and where she raised her own daughter between stints in London; New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Chicago. Dickinson writes with an honesty that is at once folksy and intelligent, and brings to life all of the struggles of raising a child (Dickinson was a single mother) and the challenges and rewards of having a supportive extended family. 'I'm surrounded by people who are not impressed with me,' Dickinson humorously laments. 'They don't care that my syndicated column has twenty-two million readers.' Dickinson's irresistible memoir reads like a letter from an upbeat best friend." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

Amy Dickinson took over Ann Landers' syndicated advice column in 2003. In "The Mighty Queens of Freeville," she comes across very much as you'd expect an advice columnist to do: smart, humorous, commonsensical, not prone to deep self-analysis and — despite having lived in London and Chicago and worked in New York as a television producer — a passionate proponent of small-town American values.

... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"The Mighty Queens of Freeville is great American storytelling at its best. A tale of promise postponed and scrappy survival, Amy Dickinson's glorious triumphs are like rabbits pulled out of a hat, one after another after another. Full of hope and humor and big simple truths, it is a story told with grace and without a trace of cynicism. This is a book you will love and one you will be truly sad to finish." Laura Zigman, author of Animal Husbandry

Review:

"Reading Amy's book in bed. Wife to me: 'Is it good?' Me to wife: 'Sure, but what do I care, I'm a guy?' Wife to me: 'Then why are you crying?'" Noah Adams, author of Piano Lessons

Review:

"In The Mighty Queens of Freeville, Amy Dickinson shares her life story about love and loss, parents, daughters, aunts, fathers, pets, and life from the mundane to the ridiculous to the quietly heartbreaking. Or, sometimes loudly heartbreaking, with great big honking sobs. Amy doesn't have all the answers, but she suggests a good place to find them: at home, with the people who love you." Peter Sagal, host of NPR's Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! and author of The Book of Vice: Naughty Things (and How to Do Them)

Review:

"Common sense, a practical nature, and a searing sense of social justice are the hallmarks of Amy Dickinson's advice column. Now, in a delicious and hilarious memoir, Amy gives us her worldview via Main Street with wit and originality, through her own bejeweled binoculars. The view is never, for a moment, self-indulgent. She's a wise and fair queen for sure. Long Live Amy!" Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of the Big Stone Gap series, Lucia, Lucia, and Very Valentine

Review:

"Buoyant and bright, Dickinson offers a refreshingly open and sincere tribute to life's most important relationships." Booklist

Review:

"An unabashed, self-pity-free, landmine-filled love letter to a rocky past, credited for the author's current success and happiness." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Mighty Queens could have easily descended into a dreadful woe-is-me tale. It never does. Dickinson's sense of humor...and her refusal to let anger take over her life are inspiring." Charlotte Observer

Review:

"Millions of readers of Amy Dickinson's column, 'Ask Amy'...invite her into their homes....Now Amy invites us into hers." South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Synopsis:

Dickinson has made a career out of helping others, through her internationally syndicated advice column "Ask Amy." Readers love her for her honesty and for the fact that her motto is "I make the mistakes so you don't have to." Here, she shares those mistakes and her remarkable story.

Synopsis:

Dear Amy,

First my husband told me he didn't love me. Then he said he didn't think he had ever really loved me. Then he left me with a baby to raise by myself. Amy, I don't want to be a single mother.

I told myself I'd never be divorced. And now here I am--exactly where I didn't want to be!

My daughter and I live in London. We don't really have any friends here. What should we do?

Desperate

Dear Desperate,

I have an idea.

Take your baby, get on a plane, and move back to your dinky hometown in upstate New York--the place you couldn't wait to leave when you were young. Live with your sister in the back bedroom of her tiny bungalow. Cry for five weeks. Nestle in with your quirky family of hometown women--many of them single, like you. Drink lots of coffee and ask them what to do. Do your best to listen to their advice but don't necessarily follow it.

Start to work in Washington, DC. Start to date. Make friends. Fail up. Develop a career as a job doula. Teach nursery school and Sunday School.

Watch your daughter grow. When she's a teenager, just when you're both getting comfortable, uproot her and move to Chicago to take a job writing a nationally syndicated advice column.

Do your best to replace a legend. Date some more.

Love fiercely. Laugh with abandon. Grab your second chance--and your third, and your fourth.

Send your daughter to college. Cry for five more weeks.

Move back again to your dinky hometown and the women who helped raise you.

Find love, finally.

And take care.

Amy

Synopsis:

"The Mighty Queens of Freeville is great American storytelling at its best. A tale of promise postponed and scrappy survival, Amy Dickinson's glorious triumphs are like rabbits pulled out of a hat, one after another after another. Full of hope and humor and big simple truths, it is a story told with grace and without a trace of cynicism. This is a book you will love and one you will be truly sad to finish."

--Laura Zigman, author of Animal Husbandry

"Reading Amy's book in bed. Wife to me: 'Is it good?' Me to wife: 'Sure, but what do I care, I'm a guy' Wife to me: 'Then why are you crying?'"

--Noah Adams, author of Piano Lessons,

"In The Mighty Queens of Freeville, Amy Dickinson shares her life story about love and loss, parents, daughters, aunts, fathers, pets, and life from the mundane to the ridiculous to the quietly heartbreaking. Or, sometimes loudly heartbreaking, with great big honking sobs. Amy doesn't have all the answers, but she suggests a good place to find them: at home, with the people who love you."

--Peter Sagal, host of NPR's "Wait Wait . . . Don't Tell Me!" and author of The Book of Vice: Naughty Things (and How to Do Them)

"Common sense, a practical nature, and a searing sense of social justice are the hallmarks of Amy Dickinson's advice column. Now, in a delicious and hilarious memoir, Amy gives us her worldview via Main Street with wit and originality, through her own bejeweled binoculars. The view is never, for a moment, self-indulgent. She's a wise and fair queen for sure. Long Live Amy!"

--Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of the Big Stone Gap series, Lucia, Lucia, and Very Valentine

Millions of Americans know and love Amy Dickinson from reading her syndicated advice column "Ask Amy" and from hearing her wit and wisdom weekly on National Public Radio. Amy's audience loves her for her honesty, her small-town values, and the fact that her motto is "I make the mistakes so you don't have to." In The Mighty Queens of Freeville, Amy Dickinson shares those mistakes and her remarkable story. This is the tale of Amy and her daughter and the people who helped raise them after Amy found herself a reluctant single parent.

Though divorce runs through her family like an aggressive chromosome, the women in her life taught her what family is about. They helped her to pick up the pieces when her life fell apart and to reassemble them into something new. It is a story of frequent failures and surprising successes, as Amy starts and loses careers, bumbles through blind dates and adult education classes, travels across the country with her daughter and their giant tabby cat, and tries to come to terms with the family's aptitude for "dorkitude."

They have lived in London, D.C., and Chicago, but all roads lead them back to Amy's hometown of Freeville (pop. 458), a tiny village where Amy's family has tilled and cultivated the land, tended chickens and Holsteins, and built houses and backyard sheds for more than 200 years. Most important, though, her family members all still live within a ten-house radius of each other. With kindness and razor-sharp wit, they welcome Amy and her daughter back weekend after weekend, summer after summer, offering a moving testament to the many women who have led small lives of great consequence in a tiny place.

About the Author

Amy Dickinson is the author of the syndicated advice column "Ask Amy," which appears in more than 150 news-papers nationwide. She is the host of a biweekly feature on NPR's Talk of the Nation and is a panelist on NPR's quiz show Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! She lives in Chicago and Freeville, New York.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Denise Morland, February 18, 2009 (view all comments by Denise Morland)
When Ann Landers, the famous advice columnist passed away a hole was left in the Chicago Tribune. Seeking someone to fill it, they happened upon Amy Dickinson, a single mother with few credentials who answered all the questions just right. In explaining her success Amy says “I make the mistakes so you don’t have to.” Mighty Queens of Freeville is the story of the mistakes Amy made that finally ended in her “falling up” into the dream job she didn’t even know she wanted.

There isn’t anything very remarkable or unusual in Amy’s story of a failed marriage, single parenthood, an absentee father, her struggle to come to terms with all this and the unconditional love, support, and sage advice she receives from her mother, aunts, and sisters along the way. But she tells the story with such humbleness, wit, and humor that it is entertaining anyway. To me this is the best kind of memoir. I can easily relate to Amy and her circumstances, she makes me laugh, and there are a few gentle reminders that I can do a little better in life.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
readersrespite, February 2, 2009 (view all comments by readersrespite)
These are the loose memoirs of Amy Dickinson, the woman chosen to replace advice columnist extraordinaire Ann Landers. Her childhood, failed marriage, single motherhood and wayward pets are all fair game for this humorous look-back at her life before and after Ask Amy.

Billed as a memoir, Dickinson's book is perhaps better described as a loose collection of cute anecdotes about her family, her divorce, her pets, or anything else that comes to mind. Pieced together a bit haphazardly, Dickinson nonetheless has a sharp, witty voice that shines through no matter the seriousness of the subject matter.

The ex-husband gets repeatedly skewered throughout the book (apparently time, in fact, does not heal all wounds), but that's the price one pays when an ex-spouse has a national platform on which to skew as she wishes.

While the anectdotes were very enjoyable, there is a lack of focus on the original focus of the book, namely the female family members who inspire the title. The snippets of aunts, sisters and especially her mother leave you feeling it just wasn't enough. What the reader does get, however, is a snapshot of life that is easy to relate to and produces a chuckle or two.

If you love humor applied to the human condition, we're willing to bet you'd enjoy this one, as long as you don't have expectations of a thorough and introspective autobiography. Uplifting and never trite, Amy Dickinson touches on struggles common to all of us, meets those troubles head-on and shows us why we should never, ever give up.
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(7 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781401322854
Subtitle:
A Mother, a Daughter, and the Town That Raised Them
Author:
Dickinson, Amy
Publisher:
Hyperion
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Single mothers
Subject:
Women's Studies - General
Subject:
General
Subject:
Regional Subjects - MidAtlantic
Subject:
Freeville (N.Y.)
Subject:
Dickinson, Amy - Family
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Women's Studies
Subject:
Biography-Women
Subject:
Family Relationships
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20100413
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 12.72 oz
Age Level:
12-UP

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Women
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » Biographies
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » Memoirs
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » Relationships

The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter, and the Town That Raised Them Used Mass Market
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.95 In Stock
Product details 240 pages Hyperion Books - English 9781401322854 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'I didn't become an advice columnist on purpose,' writes Dickinson (author of the syndicated column 'Ask Amy') in her chapter titled 'Failing Up.' In the summertime of 2002, after spending months living off of her credit cards between freelance writing jobs, Dickinson sent in an audition column to the Chicago Tribune and became the paper's replacement for the late Ann Landers. Here, Dickinson traces her own personal history, as well as the history of her mother's family whose members make up the 'Mighty Queens' of Freeville, N.Y., the small town where Dickinson was raised, and where she raised her own daughter between stints in London; New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Chicago. Dickinson writes with an honesty that is at once folksy and intelligent, and brings to life all of the struggles of raising a child (Dickinson was a single mother) and the challenges and rewards of having a supportive extended family. 'I'm surrounded by people who are not impressed with me,' Dickinson humorously laments. 'They don't care that my syndicated column has twenty-two million readers.' Dickinson's irresistible memoir reads like a letter from an upbeat best friend." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "The Mighty Queens of Freeville is great American storytelling at its best. A tale of promise postponed and scrappy survival, Amy Dickinson's glorious triumphs are like rabbits pulled out of a hat, one after another after another. Full of hope and humor and big simple truths, it is a story told with grace and without a trace of cynicism. This is a book you will love and one you will be truly sad to finish."
"Review" by , "Reading Amy's book in bed. Wife to me: 'Is it good?' Me to wife: 'Sure, but what do I care, I'm a guy?' Wife to me: 'Then why are you crying?'"
"Review" by , "In The Mighty Queens of Freeville, Amy Dickinson shares her life story about love and loss, parents, daughters, aunts, fathers, pets, and life from the mundane to the ridiculous to the quietly heartbreaking. Or, sometimes loudly heartbreaking, with great big honking sobs. Amy doesn't have all the answers, but she suggests a good place to find them: at home, with the people who love you." Peter Sagal, host of NPR's Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! and author of The Book of Vice: Naughty Things (and How to Do Them)
"Review" by , "Common sense, a practical nature, and a searing sense of social justice are the hallmarks of Amy Dickinson's advice column. Now, in a delicious and hilarious memoir, Amy gives us her worldview via Main Street with wit and originality, through her own bejeweled binoculars. The view is never, for a moment, self-indulgent. She's a wise and fair queen for sure. Long Live Amy!"
"Review" by , "Buoyant and bright, Dickinson offers a refreshingly open and sincere tribute to life's most important relationships."
"Review" by , "An unabashed, self-pity-free, landmine-filled love letter to a rocky past, credited for the author's current success and happiness."
"Review" by , "Mighty Queens could have easily descended into a dreadful woe-is-me tale. It never does. Dickinson's sense of humor...and her refusal to let anger take over her life are inspiring."
"Review" by , "Millions of readers of Amy Dickinson's column, 'Ask Amy'...invite her into their homes....Now Amy invites us into hers."
"Synopsis" by , Dickinson has made a career out of helping others, through her internationally syndicated advice column "Ask Amy." Readers love her for her honesty and for the fact that her motto is "I make the mistakes so you don't have to." Here, she shares those mistakes and her remarkable story.
"Synopsis" by , Dear Amy,

First my husband told me he didn't love me. Then he said he didn't think he had ever really loved me. Then he left me with a baby to raise by myself. Amy, I don't want to be a single mother.

I told myself I'd never be divorced. And now here I am--exactly where I didn't want to be!

My daughter and I live in London. We don't really have any friends here. What should we do?

Desperate

Dear Desperate,

I have an idea.

Take your baby, get on a plane, and move back to your dinky hometown in upstate New York--the place you couldn't wait to leave when you were young. Live with your sister in the back bedroom of her tiny bungalow. Cry for five weeks. Nestle in with your quirky family of hometown women--many of them single, like you. Drink lots of coffee and ask them what to do. Do your best to listen to their advice but don't necessarily follow it.

Start to work in Washington, DC. Start to date. Make friends. Fail up. Develop a career as a job doula. Teach nursery school and Sunday School.

Watch your daughter grow. When she's a teenager, just when you're both getting comfortable, uproot her and move to Chicago to take a job writing a nationally syndicated advice column.

Do your best to replace a legend. Date some more.

Love fiercely. Laugh with abandon. Grab your second chance--and your third, and your fourth.

Send your daughter to college. Cry for five more weeks.

Move back again to your dinky hometown and the women who helped raise you.

Find love, finally.

And take care.

Amy

"Synopsis" by , "The Mighty Queens of Freeville is great American storytelling at its best. A tale of promise postponed and scrappy survival, Amy Dickinson's glorious triumphs are like rabbits pulled out of a hat, one after another after another. Full of hope and humor and big simple truths, it is a story told with grace and without a trace of cynicism. This is a book you will love and one you will be truly sad to finish."

--Laura Zigman, author of Animal Husbandry

"Reading Amy's book in bed. Wife to me: 'Is it good?' Me to wife: 'Sure, but what do I care, I'm a guy' Wife to me: 'Then why are you crying?'"

--Noah Adams, author of Piano Lessons,

"In The Mighty Queens of Freeville, Amy Dickinson shares her life story about love and loss, parents, daughters, aunts, fathers, pets, and life from the mundane to the ridiculous to the quietly heartbreaking. Or, sometimes loudly heartbreaking, with great big honking sobs. Amy doesn't have all the answers, but she suggests a good place to find them: at home, with the people who love you."

--Peter Sagal, host of NPR's "Wait Wait . . . Don't Tell Me!" and author of The Book of Vice: Naughty Things (and How to Do Them)

"Common sense, a practical nature, and a searing sense of social justice are the hallmarks of Amy Dickinson's advice column. Now, in a delicious and hilarious memoir, Amy gives us her worldview via Main Street with wit and originality, through her own bejeweled binoculars. The view is never, for a moment, self-indulgent. She's a wise and fair queen for sure. Long Live Amy!"

--Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of the Big Stone Gap series, Lucia, Lucia, and Very Valentine

Millions of Americans know and love Amy Dickinson from reading her syndicated advice column "Ask Amy" and from hearing her wit and wisdom weekly on National Public Radio. Amy's audience loves her for her honesty, her small-town values, and the fact that her motto is "I make the mistakes so you don't have to." In The Mighty Queens of Freeville, Amy Dickinson shares those mistakes and her remarkable story. This is the tale of Amy and her daughter and the people who helped raise them after Amy found herself a reluctant single parent.

Though divorce runs through her family like an aggressive chromosome, the women in her life taught her what family is about. They helped her to pick up the pieces when her life fell apart and to reassemble them into something new. It is a story of frequent failures and surprising successes, as Amy starts and loses careers, bumbles through blind dates and adult education classes, travels across the country with her daughter and their giant tabby cat, and tries to come to terms with the family's aptitude for "dorkitude."

They have lived in London, D.C., and Chicago, but all roads lead them back to Amy's hometown of Freeville (pop. 458), a tiny village where Amy's family has tilled and cultivated the land, tended chickens and Holsteins, and built houses and backyard sheds for more than 200 years. Most important, though, her family members all still live within a ten-house radius of each other. With kindness and razor-sharp wit, they welcome Amy and her daughter back weekend after weekend, summer after summer, offering a moving testament to the many women who have led small lives of great consequence in a tiny place.

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