Finding Salvation at the Dairy Queen

dairy queenFinding Salvation at the Dairy Queen by Susan Gregg Gilmore was our November selection. We celebrated this month’s book club at a local Italian restaurant which was a nice change from our usual home meetings.

Dilly Bars, Class of ’72, Dairy Queen. All three themes resonate with me. I graduated high school in the class of ’72. I worked at a Dairy Queen and I made Dilly Bars. Complete with the little curly cue on the top dipped in chocolate. At the beginning of this book, I wasn’t sure I would enjoy it, but I was wrong. By the time I was halfway through reading it, I knew it really spoke to me or maybe just spoke to my heart. The writing reminds me of Fanny Flagg and it was the debut novel for Susan Gilmore, a reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the Los Angeles Times and the Christian Science Monitor.

It’s the early 1970s. The town of Ringgold, Georgia, has a population of 1,923, one traffic light, one Dairy Queen, and one Catherine Grace Cline. The daughter of Ringgold’s third-generation Baptist preacher, Catherine Grace is quick-witted, more than a little stubborn, and dying to escape her small-town life.

Every Saturday afternoon, she sits at the Dairy Queen, eating Dilly Bars and plotting her getaway to Atlanta. And when, with the help of a family friend, the dream becomes a reality, she immediately packs her bags, leaving her family and the boy she loves to claim the life she’s always imagined. But before things have even begun to get off the ground in Atlanta, tragedy brings Catherine Grace back home. As a series of extraordinary events alter her perspective–and sweeping changes come to Ringgold itself–Catherine Grace begins to wonder if her place in the world may actually be, against all odds, right where she began.  Amazon description.

I’ve mentioned before that I have trouble writing anything that I don’t feel comes straight from my heart. I can say that I found this book made me smile, made me laugh, made me cry and made me feel at peace, all in the space of 300 pages. It is definitely a “worth your while” book.

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