Snowy: A Sequel to THE CHEERLEADER

Overview

What happens when ex-cheerleaders grow up?For Snowy, the cute, blond cheerleader at Gunthwaite High School in the 1950s, did anything ever match the glory of those years?This is the story that the multitudes of fans of the best-selling THE CHEERLEADER, have clamored for, a story that new readers will respond to with equal eagerness. While chronicling Snowy's next thirty years, it explores the lives of her best friends, beautiful Bev and outspoken Puddles, and her first love, Tom. What happens when the Silent ...
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Overview

What happens when ex-cheerleaders grow up?For Snowy, the cute, blond cheerleader at Gunthwaite High School in the 1950s, did anything ever match the glory of those years?This is the story that the multitudes of fans of the best-selling THE CHEERLEADER, have clamored for, a story that new readers will respond to with equal eagerness. While chronicling Snowy's next thirty years, it explores the lives of her best friends, beautiful Bev and outspoken Puddles, and her first love, Tom. What happens when the Silent Generation grows up? SNOWY describes how she and her friends, who came of age in the security of the 1950s when roles were defined and accepted, develop in the next decades, their experiences unique and universal. Like THE CHEERLEADER, this sequel is straightforward, touching, disturbing--and very funny.THE CHEERLEADER has been called a classic.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Readers should prepare to laugh out loud and cry in earnest as former high school cheerleader Henrietta Snow grows up in this delightful sequel to The Cheerleader. Set in Vermont and New Hampshire beginning in the 1950s and moving through 30 years to the present, this novel chronicles major landmarks in Snowy's life: career choices, marriage, and motherhood. The portion dealing with her college years is especially funny, and Snowy's observations on the realities of sex (as opposed to what one reads in books) are sidesplitting...The novel is evocative of small-town New England and is a pleasure to read. Highly recommended.
Booklist
MacDougall's sexy, painfully true story illuminates what an endless process growing up is.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Continuing the story she began in The Cheerleader , MacDougall traces the life of Henrietta Snow from 1957, when she leaves her New Hampshire hometown and middle-class parents to attend Bennington College, through a crisis in late middle-age. At Bennington, Snowy concentrates on becoming a poet and expanding her realms of knowledge, specifically about dating and sex. Her subsequent life seems satisfying--she has a loving marriage, bears a daughter and publishes several collections of poetry--but Snowy believes her potential remains unfulfilled. She develops agoraphobia and finds herself immersed in her past, analyzing two mercurial childhood friendships and recalling her high school sweetheart. When her depressive husband commits suicide, she finally confronts the toll her illness has taken on her relationships and her poetry. Although often sensitive, this portrait of a woman adrift lacks focus and jars the reader with an awkwardly paced and structured narrative. (Sept.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780966335231
  • Publisher: Frigate Books
  • Publication date: 1/1/2010
  • Pages: 370
  • Sales rank: 717,869
  • Product dimensions: 5.58 (w) x 8.24 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author

Ruth Doan MacDougall was born and grew up in New Hampshire, where she now lives with her husband, Don. She is the author of ten other novels, including The Cheerleader, a national best-seller. She is also the co-author with her father of 50 Hikes in the White Mountains and 50 More Hikes in New Hampshire.
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Read an Excerpt

So here she was, on Wednesday, October 9, 1957, about to strip off her Pig-Pen costume consisting of dried-muddy sweatshirt and Levi's, in a bathroom in a sleazy motel across the Vermont line in New York, with a little party going on outside the bathroom door whose lock didn't work, her roommate and her roommate's date and her own impromptu date lolling around watching loud TV and imbibing rum-and-Cokes out of paper cups. Henrietta Snow, known as Snowy, had definitely not expected to find herself in such a situation when she'd been accepted at Bennington College last spring. A scholarship student, too! Someone tapped on the door. She froze, head inside the filthy blue Bennington sweatshirt. "Who is it?" "Me," said her roommate, Harriet Blumburg. "Okay to come in?" Dennis, Harriet's date, shouted, "Hey, Snowy, want us to help scrub your back?" Harriet opened the door just wide enough to dart in and slammed it behind her. "Shit, the lock's broken?" From the interior of the sweatshirt, a muffled wail: "You promised you'd keep them at bay!" "I will, I will," Harriet said, "but I need some Dutch courage," and she grabbed Snowy's rum-and-Coke off the cracked toilet tank and took a deep swig. "Huh?" As Snowy tugged her sweatshirt up over her dark blond hair pinned up frowzily to approximate Pig-Pen's and plastered with mud like a bird's nest, chunks of dirt pattered down on the scuffed linoleum. Her emerging face had been slathered with a facial of real mud, now also dried and crumbling. "You've already got a drink, has Dennis run out of refills?" "There's a slight problem I haven't mentioned, I have trouble drinking or eating anything in front of a guy." "Really?" Snowy said, amazed. Harriet began laughing. "God, you're a mess--you, of all people." Small and cute, with a heart-shaped face and turned-up nose, Snowy had been frantically trying to change her squeaky-clean look ever since she'd arrived at Bennington a month ago, but she'd realized she hadn't succeeded when, amid gales of mirth, the girls in her house had decided she would be perfect for the Pig-Pen part in the "Peanuts" skit. She said, "I tested the shower, it's hardly a trickle." Exploring the dank sour room, Harriet picked up the wrapped midget bar of soap. "At least the management changes the towels and soap, be glad you don't have to use a sliver with someone's pubic hairs on it." Snowy retched, a noise she'd learned from her high-school best friend, Bev Colby, and gingerly draped the sweatshirt across the washbasin. "This is crazy, I should be showering at the house." "Any shampoo samples?" "Are there usually?" "Sometimes, but maybe these motels back East--" Harriet stared at Snowy, once again stunned by her lack of experience. "You've never been in a motel before?" Harriet, a California sophisticate; Snowy, a New Hampshire hick. Hideously embarrassed, Snowy said, "Nope." Harriet said quickly, "I've just been with my parents, no big deal, I haven't ever been to a motel with a guy." "Plural! We've got two of them out there!" "Try anything once, that's my motto." Snowy's laugh was nervous, Harriet's bravado. But they were all supposedly only here so Snowy could wash off Pig-Pen and look reasonably presentable for what Dennis had termed a "pub crawl" of the beer joints over the line in New York, where you could drink at age eighteen. Yet Snowy doubted that that toy soap would make a dent in the dirt, and she'd need plenty of shampoo even under ordinary circumstances because since last spring she had been letting her hair grow, rivaling Rapunzel, and nowadays she usually wore it cascading straight to her hips in a Bohemian Bennington style, after having spent her high-school years as a perky cheerleader in a long ponytail curled into an upside-down question mark. She unzipped her Levi's and asked, "If you can't eat when you're out on a date, what do you do at the Top Hat or the State Line?" Despite her size, Snowy possessed a lumberjack's capacity for food, and although she was shy, the presence of a boy had merely made her mind her manners with extra care. How Freudian, she thought vaguely, her major not psychology but literature, how Freudian that Harriet, who was thin and dark and angularly pretty, an art major, had become fascinated by fat women, painting nothing else. Harriet called it "my fat-lady period." The canvases hanging on the walls of their room would have daunted anybody's appetite but Snowy's. Harriet guzzled rum-and-Coke. "Oh, I can fiddle with a piece of pizza all evening, I can nurse a beer for hours and hours." Besides never having been in a motel before, Snowy hadn't ever gone to a beer joint. And this was her first date since coming to Bennington. Last spring, after breaking up with Tom Forbes, her high-school boyfriend, she had sworn off boys, so at Bennington she hadn't taken advantage of the tradition decreeing it socially acceptable to investigate and respond to stag boys who would enter a house and yell, "Anybody want a date?" Harriet had met guys from Williams and Union and Rensselaer this way and offered to fix Snowy up, Snowy always begging off, her excuses her reading assignments or a paper or a poem she was writing, and actually these excuses were the truth, in addition to that determination not to get involved with a boy again until college was over. She read and reread, wrote and rewrote, scared stiff she wasn't smart enough to attend a school which didn't have exams. Hard work and a photographic memory had been the reasons she'd graduated first in her class at Gunthwaite High School in Gunthwaite, New Hampshire, a mill town four hours away. Because of her terror of exams she had hated school; this and the pressure of having to be the fastest gun in the West, always having to get A's, had made her choose Bennington, where there were no grades at all. It was turning out to demand even harder work. But tonight Harriet had provoked her into consenting to this date, and now beyond the bathroom door awaited Whit Bennett, a Williams boy. Whitney Bennett. Williams. He'd probably even gone to prep school.
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2002

    THE CHEERLEADER fans have a reason to cheer!

    Devoted fans of the book THE CHEERLEADER (count me among them!) may be tempted to zip through SNOWY with one purpose in mind: to discover what happened to The Gang whom we have loved for 20 years. I myself raced feverishly through my first reading of SNOWY, hunting only for references to characters from THE CHEERLEADER, and as a result I finished the book feeling somewhat...unrepleted. No matter how much the author had written about the members of the old Gang, I wanted more! But then I sat down and read SNOWY the way a book should be read. And this time, paying attention to the story, I was hooked once again by Ruth Doan MacDougall's gift of drawing her readers so completely into the 'quiet drama' of her characters' lives that we forget we aren't a part of that world ourselves. SNOWY is the story of a woman's life from her late teens to her late 40's. Her life is not the stuff of prime time TV drama or afternoon talk shows. It is a story which is both comforting and unsettling in its familiarity. Because even if the actual events in Henrietta Snow's life are not those of your own, the emotions and her reactions will quite probably strike parallels. The meat of SNOWY is its characters, who are so real that I keep forgetting that I don't actually know them. Predictability and unpredictability make each one of them unique and will undoubtedly remind you of someone you yourself know. And, as with your 'real' friends and acquaintances, the characters of SNOWY will continually surprise you. They won't always do what you expect them to do. They will sometimes waver, sometimes make bad decisions. Sometimes they'll be just plain lucky. Some friendships will fade and others persevere. And through it all you almost feel as if you are eavesdropping in conversations, or hiding behind the door, so completely does the author draw you in. You feel as if these characters are reachable by telephone, they are that real. Savor this book, this window into a woman's life! I surely did.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2002

    A worthy sequel that gets better with each re-reading.

    Like many others here, I adored THE CHEERLEADER. So when I saw SNOWY sitting on the library shelf, I almost went into shock...grabbed it, raced home, and devoured it in a few hours. And yes, my initial feeling was disappointment, because (1) it wasn't THE CHEERLEADER II, (2) it didn't provide the life-changing experience I was breathlessly expecting, and (3) it's a *very* different book. Then my sense of perspective kicked in. I don't love any book as much as I love THE CHEERLEADER, so why would I expect to love this one as much? And, while I love all of Ruth Doan MacDougall's books, none of them rocked my world like THE CHEERLEADER did, nor did I expect them to. I realized that I was holding SNOWY to an awfully high standard. All that being said, having read it numerous times now, I truly love SNOWY. Sure, it might have been fun if Snowy married Tom, Bev married Roger, and Puddles married Gene, and they all lived next door to one another in Gunthwaite, having coffee klatsches and Tupperware parties (which was my mom's '60's experience, to address a comment from another reader)--but would we have believed it? While THE CHEERLEADER is as much a portrait of the '50s as it is the story of a girl, SNOWY is very much one woman's tale--and I love that woman so much, I would cheerfully hang around if she simply wanted to read her shopping list to me. I too regretted the leaps forward in time, simply because I wanted to share every minute with Snowy--but, through flashbacks and other devices, Ms. MacDougall fleshes out those 'missing' years so that we have the complete picture (well, up to a point--I'm hoping for a third book!). I'm surprised--and sometimes shocked--by what happened to the Gunthwaite High graduates, just as I'm surprised and frequently shocked by my own classmates. It isn't what I imagined nor what I would've picked for them, these characters so real and so dear to me. But it's life. It's fascinating to see these familiar characters through the eyes of an adult (meaning Snowy, but also, I guess, me, since I first read THE CHEERLEADER when quite young, to my mother's horror)--particularly Julia. At one point Snowy muses something like, 'The word for Julia these days would probably be mentor--which didn't exactly sum things up.' I just love this. I took the presence of Julia very much for granted in the first book, just as most teens take their friends' parents for granted--and it's simply astonishing for me to realize now what a powerful presence Julia was in Snowy's life, how much it must have meant to have an adult actually *see* her--something her own parents were unable to do. I found the vignettes involving Julia to be particularly moving. It's not THE CHEERLEADER. Nothing is. But once you get past that, you will find a wonderful book, well worth savoring.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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