Monday, November 19, 2012

Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women's Literary Society by Amy Hill Hearth

I picked this book up a few months ago, began it, then set it down to read other books.  Just today, I picked it up again and finished it.  It's the kind of book that thoroughly entertains, lets you escape for awhile, but has a great message all at the same time.  At this time of year, there is so much going on, and it can be hard to sit still long enough to read without falling asleep.  This is perfect book for a quick escape!

Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women's Literary Society takes place in the small town of Naples, Florida in 1962.  Women are still expected to get married, raise a family, and be content as a housewife.  The South is still mired in segregation, the KKK, and old ways--and they don't like Northerners.  Especially Jackie Hart, a red-headed spitfire from Boston who's moved to Naples with her husband and her three kids.  She's a bit of a mystery to most people in town, and does not fit in well.  She decides to start a literary society at the library, and the cast of characters that show up make up a delightful group of people that you quickly grow to love:  Priscilla, the young black woman who works for the rich white family ( and is incredibly smart and well-read), Mrs. Bailey White--an older woman recently released from jail for killing her husband; Plain Jane, an unmarried middle aged woman who write poetry for a living, Miss Lansbury, the local librarian; Robbie-Lee, the only man who joins--and is clearly gay, but doesn't know it's so obvious; and Dora, a divorced young woman who works in the post office and is the narrator of the novel.  

Oh, at first they are all a little wary of each other, and that Southern politeness keeps them from sharing their secrets.  But little by little, things happen, Jackie shakes up Naples, and they all soon bond together in a friendship that many of us never experience but still desire.  

This book is all about dreams--how it's important to have them, how it's important to dream big, and how it's important to share them with others.  You never know who or what will help you make that dream attainable.  This is a great book for a group of friends or a book club to read and discuss over a good dinner and a few drinks.  There's sure to be laughter and maybe, just maybe some secrets spilled.  

Available in paperback and as an E-book.  

Rating:  4/5 for sheer enjoyment, quick read, and memorable characters.  

1 comment :

  1. Sue.....with a cute title like that.....how could it not be wonderful!!!