Most people know Amy Dickinson as the Chicago Tribune “Ask Amy” columnist, or they may know her as one of the original panelists on NPR’s “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me”. But Amy is also an author, and “The Mighty Queens of Freeville” is her memoir. You can buy it at most independent bookshops and at NPR.
Here’s my review:
Life doesn’t always go the way we’d like it to go, but advice columnist Amy Dickinson has managed to fashion a rewarding life out of less than hoped-for circumstances. As a child of divorce, married to a child of divorce, it occurs to her that divorce must be a strand somewhere in the family’s DNA, and sure enough, she and her daughter find themselves abandoned at her ex-spouse’s journalistic outpost in London (her ex is journalist CBS-News’ Anthony Mason). The “mighty queens” represent her mother, aunts, nieces and cousins who all reside in the tiny upstate NY village of Freeville, and who welcome her and Emily back home with open arms and daily get-togethers.
Mother and daughter forge a life for themselves first in DC and then in Freeville. Along the way, Amy makes the smart move to turn down a full-time job as a reporter with the excuse that she’s “busy raising a person”. Fortunately, her future boss sees her maternal devotion as the key to her interestingly quirky personality and hires her for the job that eventually turns into “Ask Amy”, the advice column that succeeds “Ann Landers.”
Fast and fun read, full of real-life misadventures and interesting characters, including her quasi-estranged farmer dad, husband of Jane, Joan, Jeanne, Jean and Pat (in that order). Having experienced so many complex relationships, I think that almost any personal advice you require can certainly be dished out by Ms. Dickinson, and with style.
Check out Robin K Blum’s website, In My Book