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The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Story of Surprising Second Chances
by Amy Dickinson

Published: 2010-04-13
Paperback : 0 pages
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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!
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Introduction

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?
Desperate 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.
Amy

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Discussion Questions

Ask yourself: what advice would you give an advice columnist? What’s the best advice you ever received from a friend, a relative, or your book club friends?

Amy’s memoir shares the power of home to help heal. The women in her family emerge as strong, unique characters. Who are the women, or men, in your family who left an indelible positive mark on your life? Why?

THE MIGHTY QUEENS OF FREEVILLE is set in a small upstate New York town, but it could be any town. What felt most familiar to you? Could you imagine walking the town streets? If you could drive to Freeville right now, where would you go?

One of the most powerful themes of the memoir is growth; how does Amy grow? How does her relationship with her daughter change and grow? Can you relate to the multi-generational influence of strength of character? If your family had a motto, what would it be?

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  "the mighty queens of freewill"by Carolynr (see profile) 04/15/17

Amy Dickinson has made a career out of helping others, through her internationally syndicated advice column "Ask Amy." Readers love her for her honesty, her small-town values, and for the fa... (read more)

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