Saturday, April 26, 2008

"Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen," by Susan Gregg Gilmore

Catherine Grace Cline is the daughter of a preacher in Ringgold, Georgia, and is desperate to leave her small-town life. Every week she and her younger sister sit at the local Dairy Queen, eating dilly bars and plotting their escape. Catherine Grace resists the pull of marriage to a high school sweetheart and the wishes of her father to remain, and always whines about why God has forsaken her (her mother dies when Catherine Grace is young, so she is forced to do things like go to a mother-daughter tea party as a server. *gasp*).

She turns 18, moves to Atlanta. Dad and sister want her to come home for a visit, she's too busy, blah blah blah. Oh, no! Tragedy strikes! (More like lame, overused plot points.) CG goes home, more "Why, God, why?" moments, then there's a sort of miracle and suddenly "I guess God is a pretty good guy after all." Aw, shucks.

Pardon me while I throw up a little.

Now, I fully admit that I'm not a big fan of the Southern voice, not if it's all about daddy and people with three first names and Sunday picnics by the lake. Gag me. But I tried really hard to get past all of that. While there were some amusing parts, and there's definitely heart to the story, I just couldn't get into it. I should tell you that my co-worker loved it and probably thinks I'm too picky (does she not know all the vampire fiction I've read?). So, take it as you will. While I don't doubt finding salvation at a Dairy Queen (who but God could have created the deliciousness of ice cream?), this book just left me with the waxy taste of cone coating in my mouth.

2.5 stars


Tom P said...

I read Looking for Salvation at the Diary and absolutley loved it. I think your partner had it right this time. The book was funny, serious, and kept me interested at every turn. When it was over I was wishing for more. Too bad you didn't get it.

April said...

Oh, I comprehended the text quite well, thank you, Tom P. I understand Catherine Grace's feeling that life has dealt her an unfair hand. I even get questioning God in times of trouble and later finding that maybe He got it right after all.

However, the basic story content doesn't make up for cliched writing or a narrator who, from childhood, blames God for everything that goes on in her life. And the ending was predictable. Small-town girl seeks desperately to move away, but in the end, it seems that small town was exactly where she was meant to be.

Thanks for reading and commenting. Feel free to stop by again.