I foresee this being kind of a busy week on the blog. Wednesday will be the Non-Fiction Five Review post (is the current format working or do you have suggestions?) and I promised to do a What’s On Your Desk meme. And hopefully I’ll finish Tom Sawyer and get a review out. So, probably another four posts. Oh, and Sunday Salon will probably be a mid-year review if I can get it done before going out of town again. You’ll forgive me the barrage of posts, right?
Wait, this is a book review! I remember seeing Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen last summer, and I immediately put it on my wish list. I love Southern fiction and this one sounded like it might be in the same vein as Fannie Flagg’s works. Just like my favorite Chicken Fried Steak from Cotton Patch Cafe, Southern fiction screams comfort. Do you feel this way about books set in your locale?
Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen is set in the small town of Ringgold, Georgia in the 1970s. Catherine Grace Cline, a daughter of a preacher, knows she is destined for bigger things than what Ringgold has to offer and she dreams of one day breaking free. With the help of her little sister, Martha Ann, and her stand-in mother, Gloria Jean, Catherine Grace grows into a strong young woman who yearns for independence. The book chronicles her youth and into her young adulthood when she finally sets out for Atlanta on her own. But she discovers some things about herself and her family that could change everything she has ever known and home becomes more important than making it in a big city.
Looking for Salvation was an enjoyable read–the characters are just as colorful as you would find in any Southern fiction novel and Catherine Grace has witty sense of humor about her life. The book is often times funny and even more times heartfelt. In the end, though, it didn’t do a lot for me–not like I was hoping anyway. I’m not sure if it was because the book is rather short and by the time Catherine Grace is a young woman the events begin to occur too rapidly or if it was simply timing? It was a fun and quick read, but it isn’t one that will continue to be memorable in the long run. Instead, when I think of my favorite Southern fiction book, I’ll continue to think back fondly of Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man by Fannie Flagg.
This book, however, is perfect for a lazy summer weekend. I think many people would really like it and I don’t have any major complaints, it just lacked oomph for me. Hmm–how does one even define oomph?!? I guess it’s one of those things that you just know what you see it. Do you have a favorite genre that you go to when you are seeking reading comfort? Do you have a favorite Southern fiction book? Can you define oomph?