Book Review: Looking For Salvation At the Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen
Author
: Susan Gregg Gilmore

Publisher: Shaye Areheart Books, 2008

Genre: Southern Literary Fiction

Format: Audiobook, Read by Tavia Gilbert

From the time she was a child, Catherine Grace Cline’s main goal in life was to get out of Ringgold, Georgia. It’s not that her life was horrible. It wasn’t. There was just something inside Catherine Grace that made her long for the world outside her small town.

When Catherine Grace was six and her sister, Martha Ann, was four, their mother drowned in a nearby river. Her death caused distress to the girls and their Baptist preacher father. To Catherine Grace it was a personal blow that affected how she looked at life.

In spite of that, the girls managed to grow and thrive, thanks to their wise and steady father and the help of a savvy, loving neighbor, Gloria Jean. They were also watched by nearly every person in their small town. Being the “preacher’s kids” was often a big responsibility.

It was both fun and interesting as Catherine Grace told us what it was like to grow up in Ringgold. Along the way we met many of the residents. They added so much color to the story. There was the guy who ate the most at church suppers, the super-pushy grandmother, the show-off girls, and the guy at the Dairy Queen, just to name a few. My favorite was Gloria Jean, the next door neighbor who loved the girls in the sweetest way. Every motherless girl should have a Gloria Jean.

Catherine Grace never lost her desire to leave town. She headed for Atlanta on her eighteenth birthday. She found a good job, a great place to live and new friends. And then — disaster struck and Catherine Grace had to go back to Ringgold. This leads to a dramatic and surprising finale.

This is the type of book best enjoyed via audio. The narrator on this one, Tavia Gilbert, read it in a beautiful Southern accent filled with the qualities that make the South unique. In other words, it was warm and inviting, honest and charming, and quirky in a way only those from the “deep South” understand. Looking For Salvation At the Dairy Queen should not be read; it should be experienced.

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8 Responses to Book Review: Looking For Salvation At the Dairy Queen

  1. I read this in print several years ago and really liked it. I’m glad to see the audio is so well done.

  2. Ti says:

    I love the title. I don’t read books like this too often but I do love books that are set in a small town. I dream of living in a small town. Our city was small once but now it’s over 300K so I wouldn’t consider it small anymore, even though sometimes it does feel that way.

  3. I like the sound of this one…esp since I’m a Southerner (although currently living in the NY suburbs). And the title is fantastic…so Southern!!

  4. Nise says:

    I love the narrator!

  5. Beth F says:

    I’ve had this on my list for a few years. I might try the audio!

  6. kaye says:

    This is our library’s book club selection for December. It sounds like a winner!

    Hope all is well with you and yours.

  7. kelley says:

    I like the sound of this one. It seems to have a lot of personality in the pages. Nice review.

  8. Charlie says:

    Interesting that she does leave and then has to go back – interesting in a ‘you have me intrigued way’! Well done on What’s In A Name.

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