Thanks to MotherTalk I had the pleasure of reading The Mighty Queens of Freeville by Amy Dickinson. This is a touching memoir of Dickinson's life through divorce, raising a daughter as a single mom and about the town she grew up in that keeps pulling her back. Amy herself came from a "broken home," but it was very much a loving home. Despite a mostly absent father Amy grew up very much surrounded by love from her mother, sisters and aunts and a few male relatives that somehow were the strays that fortunately didn't leave.
I loved Dickinson's candid descriptions of her experience with motherhood. It was honest, it was real and it was touching. I found myself very much relating to her at times. While my children are still young I still have hopes for what they will someday become. And when she described her family trait of "Dorkitude" I laughed. I too had/have that trait. I wasn't as blissfully unaware of it as she says her daughter was, but in reality I would love it if my daughters possessed a little bit of that "dorkitude" when they're older. I always found the "cool" kids to be boring and self-possessed for the most part. The dorks were interesting, often involved in the arts and less involved in the ways of the world.
The part I loved most of all though was her portrayal of the love that surrounded her with her family. I don't have anything close to the family she did, not that mine is bad, just different. My mom didn't have sisters that surround me with support and love, although her brothers' and their families are great. I don't have sisters to come to my rescue and my husband isn't close to his half-brothers. I want to raise a family like hers minus the lack of men, I would like my husband to stick around forever. I want my daughters to always be there for each other to help and support each other.
I found Dickinson's life to be interesting and hopeful. She told it in a very familiar way that will engage any reader. She currently lives in both Chicago, Illinois and Freeville, New York. She is the author of the syndicated advice column "Ask Amy" and the host of a biweekly freature on NPR's Talk of the Nation and a panelist on their quiz show Wait wait...Don't Tell Me!
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Hyperion (February 3, 2009)