Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women's Literary Society
Amy Hill Hearth's novel, Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women's Literary Society is a perfect book club read.
Dora, an octogenarian, narrates this book some fifty years after she lived the 1960s and became friends with a group of women (and one lone male) who started a reading group at their local library. Jackie Hart, newly transplanted from Massachusetts to Florida, challenges the beliefs that Dora and her friends have always abided by. They read books like Rachel Carson's Silent Spring and Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique and discuss how these books have impacted their life. Jackie is especially frustrated with her role as "just a housewife" and easily relates to Friedan's book. Yet, when the group talks about this novel, Priscilla, the lone African American in the crowd shares a perspective none of them had ever entertained.
Miss Dreamsville deals with a world that is changing quickly and the book club members are doing their best to keep up. Jackie's Northern roots help them look more carefully at their own beliefs and actions, and helps them forge friendships that long outlive their book club.
Book clubs will love this title, but this is also a novel I will be recommending to a wide audience- Miss Dreamsville is a great story without any questionable topics or language that turns some people off. And, although this is a quick read, there is meat enough in this book for plenty to discuss and ponder long after the last page is read.