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Posted July 6, 2014
Review of Doreen
By Dennis Ward
Reading Leonardo Acebo’s debut novel Doreen was a fun romp through the life of Doreen MacCrullers, queen of the trailer park. Doreen is past her prime and lives life by her own rules. She has been tossed aside by a platoon of men like a used kleenex in a hurricane. Suffering middle age, she struggles to support herself and three daughters by any means necessary. Her troubles snowball into an avalanche after her trailer burns to the ground leaving the family homeless. Doreen has no qualms about employing petty theft, extortion, and grand theft auto to put her life back on track. In addition, she is not beyond casual sexual encounters to advance her cause and scratch a certain itch that further demeans her self-esteem.
The police are hot on her trail after they discover the dead, naked corpse of a hotel owner where fugitive Doreen and her girls bedded for the night. A Thelma and Louise, Gulf States tour begins as Doreen escapes in a stolen BMW to the promised land: Daytona Beach, Florida, hoping to find refuge with a long lost, rich elderly auntie.
Acebo’s character of Doreen has few redeeming qualities in the beginning of his novel. She is likeable only in a Jerry Spring Show kind of way. I was struck by Doreen’s blind ambition to have a better life by any means. She is relentless and has no compunction in teaching her daughters her bad habits.
Over the course of the story, Doreen surmounts impossible odds to gain a better life. I reflected about the vast number of Doreens who end up in the penal system, drug addicted, mentally disabled, or without any hope in life but to slide into a continual downward slope.
Acebo’s Doreen not only survived her legal tangles but became a wealthy heiress. She is truly standing under a golden star. In the end, we see Doreen accept responsibility for some of her bad decisions and take accountability. I found the shift and arc in Doreen’s character the most pleasing part of the book. She was redeemed, but will the gorgeous oldest daughter follow in her mother’s footsteps? It seems the die might be cast.
The comedy and dysfunctional foibles of Doreen will further be written in the sequel Doreen: Blonde Ambition. I look forward to following the trail of cigarette butts and dirty underwear left by the pretty, sweet Doreen.
Posted February 20, 2013
This book is by far one of the funniest books I've read in quite a while! I laughed I cried, mainly because I was laughing so hard! This is not your typical family. Not even close! Between the series of misfortunes,the quick wit humor and the Sassy kids. I just couldn't put this book down. With that being said I LOVE, LOVE, LOOOOOVEEEED this book have recommended it to all my girlfriends, and this book will defiantly be read by me again as it is now one of my favorites! I say spend the $5 and enjoy a good laugh!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.