The Mighty Queens of Freeville by Amy Dickinson
A Mother, a Daughter, and the Town That Raised Them

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Dear Amy,
First my husband told me he didn't love me. Then he said he didn't think he had ever really loved me. Then he left me with a baby to raise by myself. Amy, I don't want to be a single mother.
I told myself I'd never be divorced. And now here I am--exactly where I didn't want to be!
My daughter and I live in London. We don't really have any friends here. What should we do?

Dear Desperate,
I have an idea.
Take your baby, get on a plane, and move back to your dinky hometown in upstate New York--the place you couldn't wait to leave when you were young. Live with your sister in the back bedroom of her tiny bungalow. Cry for five weeks. Nestle in with your quirky family of hometown women--many of them single, like you. Drink lots of coffee and ask them what to do. Do your best to listen to their advice but don't necessarily follow it.
Start to work in Washington, DC. Start to date. Make friends. Fail up. Develop a career as a job doula. Teach nursery school and Sunday School.
Watch your daughter grow. When she's a teenager, just when you're both getting comfortable, uproot her and move to Chicago to take a job writing a nationally syndicated advice column.
Do your best to replace a legend. Date some more.
Love fiercely. Laugh with abandon. Grab your second chance--and your third, and your fourth.
Send your daughter to college. Cry for five more weeks.
Move back again to your dinky hometown and the women who helped raise you.
Find love, finally.
And take care.

About Amy Dickinson

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Amy Dickinson grew up on a dairy farm in Freeville, New York. She graduated from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. She has had numerous jobs including a receptionist for The New Yorker magazine, a producer for NBC News in Washington and New York, a lounge singer, and a freelance writer. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Esquire, Allure, and O magazine. She wrote a column for Time Magazine that focused on family life and parenting from 1999 to 2002. In 2003, The Tribune chose her to write the successor to the long-running Ann Landers column. Her syndicated advice column Ask Amy appears in more than 200 newspapers across the country. She is also the host of a biweekly feature on NPR's Talk of the Nation and her commentaries and radio stories have been featured on NPR's All Things Considered.
Published January 29, 2009 by Hachette Books. 240 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Mighty Queens of Freeville

Kirkus Reviews

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In a gutsy debut memoir about family, resolve and the secret of survival, farm girl turned advice columnist Dickinson plows to the root of her down-to-earth American know-how.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Mighty Queens of Freevill...

Publishers Weekly

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“I didn’t become an advice columnist on purpose,” writes Dickinson (author of the syndicated column “Ask Amy”) in her chapter titled “Failing Up.” In the s

Nov 17 2008 | Read Full Review of The Mighty Queens of Freevill...

The Washington Post

Amy Dickinson took over Ann Landers's syndicated advice column in 2003.

Mar 08 2009 | Read Full Review of The Mighty Queens of Freevill...

Review (Barnes & Noble)

As Dickinson puts it, "They abide," dropping by to sit on porches, gathering to watch movies, sharing pews at church, and meeting weekly at the local diner to discuss family news.

Apr 13 2009 | Read Full Review of The Mighty Queens of Freevill...

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