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

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 44 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted October 22, 2008

    Being a Strong Woman

    About half-way through this book, I thought, "how does the title fit into this memoir? and, why is this memoir particularly interesting?" I never did really get the title - it sort of fits, but not really. However, I have a couple of answers to the second question. One, for anyone who is interested in getting to know "Ask Amy" this is the book for you. Told in a positive and yet realistic voice, her story is interesting to anyone who has had to make something different of their life than they planned. The second reason is summed up in the last chapter. "Here I am in advanced middle age and I finally realize what it means to be an adult. To give, with no possibility that I'll be rewarded." When the subtitle talks about "raising" here is the end of that process. And I like the ending - it's a nice wrap up to a life that I have come to admire.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 28, 2011

    Made me smile.

    Just an enjoyable book. Am's wit, lessons and style of writing made the whole book a plesure to read.

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  • Posted May 22, 2010

    Coffee with Amy

    I loved this book, which I read rather quickly during my coffee breaks. Although it is a quick-read, I savored the story even as I devowered it. Amy gives a witty glimpse into her life which pays homage to the women who raised her, supported her during every turn, and to whom she repaid with the same loyal treatment. The story is a memoir that makes the reader feel hopeful, inspired and good about future possibilities while facing the realities of divorce, single-mothering and career changes. Well done!

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  • Posted February 14, 2010

    You'll LOVE this engaging, witty memoir!!

    Syndicated columnist /radio host Amy Dickinson has beautifully written a loving tribute to the special women in her family who taught her what "family" is all about, and also to the small New York town her family has called home for over 200 years. With endearing honesty, humor, and warmth, she shares her poignant story of raising her daughter as a single mother with the unconditional love and support of her extended family of strong, independent women in Freeville, N.Y. With divorce and single motherhood a common state in her family, she had many inspiring examples to learn from.on how to survive and build a new life for herself and her daughter.

    Ms. Dickinson is a magnificently talented writer who truly has a gift for drawing us in. The sense of community and small town life she eloquently describes is very heartwarming. Many of the anecdotes of her close-knit family were very touching. She reminds us all of the importance of family as a source of strength and inspiration. I absolutely loved this engaging, enjoyable memoir and I highly recommend it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2009

    This is a "Sad Sam" tale that spends more time on the author's divorce then on her positive life and triumphs in Freeville.

    So many tears. Tears everywhere. She seems to be crying throughout the entire book. This narcisistic little book spends more time on the author's past woes and not enough on her triumphs in Freeville. Men are partially demonized and are dismissed as failures-- totally overlooking the important roles men play in healthy family life across America. The entire Freeville experience must be insular, stultifying and rooted in insecurity. Who would want to live there? Dickenson is not the first women to suffer the pain of a divorce and seems to care more about her own ego and career needs than the risk inherent in hurting her daughter who is the product of that divorce. Dickenson has simply reiterated the contents of her therapy sessions. Skip the book, save your money and if in a personal crisis--move on.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2009

    The Mighty Queens of Freeville

    This was an enjoyable, light hearted book that has left me with a "warm, fuzzy, feeling". It's interesting how this book made me realize how important our "beginnings" are to our individual lives; and how hardships can humble us, make us stronger, and less judgmental of others. Having colorful characters woven into our lives helps one become comfortable in almost any situation. It's a good thing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2009

    Herein lies the story of many women and daughters...

    Having been in similar circumstances some years ago, I expected a book that chronicled something that approximated my own experience, especially that of the support given by family and friends in ones' small home town. Ms Dickinson delivered the essence of that experience but without the writing skill I expected, especially given her line of work. Amy describes the many disappointments, eye opening incidents, paradigm shifts, uplifting moments and personal growth that she and her daughter experience. Those truths could have been told without excessive and minutely described details, and with more skill in sentence/paragraph structure, making this for me a book I could easily put down.

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  • Posted May 18, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A pleasant experience.

    I very much enjoyed reading Amy Dickinson's book; it was relaxing and delightful. She was honest and real in her descriptions and details about life, and I appreciated the candor with which she wrote. It is a book about a regular life.

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  • Posted April 30, 2009

    Funny, touching, Loved this book!

    I gentle memoir of lifes' ups and downs from a woman who left a rural community, in Freeville, and it became her anchor no matter where she lived. It is both touching, funny, and accurate.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2009

    Awesome book!

    I couldn't put the book down. It reminded me a lot of the Gilmore Girls.

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  • Posted March 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    What a fun memoir

    Amy Dickinson comes from a long line of strong women. They had to be. The men in the family seldom stayed around. When Dickinson's husband left her, she and her daughter moved back to Freeville and let the women there help heal the hurts.

    Dickinson (who became the "replacement" for Ann Landers) tells a wonderful story. I found her tales of life in Freeville entertaining and really wish I could meet all the women in her life. A very enjoyable memoir.

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  • Posted March 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    From My Weblog:

    The title of NPR commentator and syndicated advice columnist Amy Dickinson's memoir refers to the strong women residing in Freeville, NY where the author ran when she divorced, leaving her the single mother to a toddler. It was the natural place to run as Amy had been raised amongst the cows, the small town simplicity and close-knit bonds of her family there. In times of desperation, isn't Freeville the sort of place we yearn for?

    In The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter, and the Town That Raised Them, Dickinson writes openly and humorously about her life in Freeville, NY. Her humor is somewhat laconic and guarded. This can be good and bad. It makes for an easy and fast paced read, but also leaves one feeling a bit cheated. The story of Amy's life follows from her return to Freeville, with toddler daughter in tow, until her daughter leaves for college. During those years, we meet a lot of interesting characters, yet we never really get to know any of them. Just as I started to form a picture, the story would shift and I'd be left with a series of story buds instead of a fully blossomed picture.

    In the end, The Mighty Queens of Freeville is about the merits of small town life, the safety one only, really ever, feels when they're in the arms of friends and family. In advancing this theme, Ms. Dickinson succeeds.

    Personal Thoughts: I really had a difficult time getting into this memoir. It reminded me of my efforts with A Girl Named Zippy and I couldn't help but wonder if I had something against stories set in Smalltown, USA. After all, my story began there and I understand its nuanced environment. Is it jealousy? Could I have written a better version? My family stories are just as interesting, my characters filled with even more spunk. Perhaps I should swear-off all small town memoirs, start typing or shut up.

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  • Posted February 23, 2009

    Very easy, interesting read

    I read this on a flight from FL to Chicago. She writes easily and well, and I loved the story. Her daughter seems like a nice girl, accomplished, and fun. I think the story could have ended much differently if their small family unit didn't have the larger family unit to keep them sane and grounded.

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  • Posted February 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    "Well, that happened"- Best Book I've Read in a While

    Amy's writing style is cozy- I felt more like I was sitting down to chat with her than I was sitting reading a book. She doesn't waste time with bitter rants or empty fluff- she's got a fresh, no nonsense style that I can only imagine she gets from her family. At no point do you feel like you're reading the bitter rant of some scorned woman, in fact quite the opposite. There is an unwavering positive undertone to the narrative, and a relaxed perspective that makes her easier to relate to. I think the best summary of the book as a whole, is her daughter, Emily's, response to an event that most teenagers would define as mortifying- fatally embarrassing, even (falling through the stage in a high school theater production) "Well, that happened." The entire book is a, "Well, that happened," from divorce, to family, to the eccentricities of raising a child- Amy takes it all in stride, and even does the rest of us a service by turning it into an entertaining, and delightfully quick, read that you might just take something away from.

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  • Posted February 15, 2009

    She makes me laugh!

    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. <BR/><BR/>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.

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  • Posted December 17, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A Warm and Cozy Memoir

    This was a warm and cozy little memoir by syndicated advice columnist Amy Dickinson (¿Ask Amy¿). The story of a divorced, single mom raising her daughter with lots of help from her female realtives. When I received this book as an ARC, I honestly wasn¿t sure what to make of it at first - the subject matter didn¿t seem particularly interesting to me.<BR/><BR/>But I decided to give it a chance, and I¿m glad I did. It¿s a very quick read, and interesting - it makes you want to keep reading. It¿s almost like a series of essays with small threads connecting each one. Ms. Dickinson¿s life isn¿t all wine and roses, but there is never a sense of ¿poor me¿, and I think that is what makes this book what it is. It¿s not cynical, it¿s not negative - it¿s funny, refreshing, hopeful, and friendly. The perfect book to curl up with next to a warm fire. Recommended!

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  • Posted November 29, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    The Mighty Queens of Freeville

    This book is a series of anecdotes from the life of advice columnist, Amy Dickinson. The story centers less around the "Queens" of the title and more around the men in Amy's life that have left, her father and her (ex)husband. The whole tale is told in an endearing fashion without a trace of bitterness and leaves you rooting for both Amy and her daughter at the end.

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  • Posted November 28, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Long live the Mighty Queens

    Advice columnist Amy Dickinson invites us to take a glimpse into her world. This book reminds us that it's never too late to go home and how important your extended family can be. I enjoyed this book very much and can't wait to share it with the Mighty Queens in my own life.

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  • Posted November 17, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    The Mighty Queens of Freeville

    This is a quick, easy read. It's enjoyable to read how someone can come out of the depths of trying times in life with positive lessons and a sense of humor. The way Amy Dickinson used her "Mighty Queens" as a compass to guide her through her journay through life.

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  • Posted November 16, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Write what you know

    The "Mighty Queens of Freeville" is a story of love, loss and overcoming the obstacles that life presents. It tells about the importance of family, and the strength that can be drawn from them.<BR/>This book also gives readers a fascinating glimpse into the life of one of America's most well-known advice columnists and the experiences that helped to develop her current expertise.

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