Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen
by Susan Gregg Gilmore
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. 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.
This book felt like comfort food – good narrative, interesting characters, classic coming-of-age story. That Dairy Queen and Dilly Bars served as touchstones for the main character – and for the reader – was a sweet addition. When all else fails, or seems to fail, there are places we can go to remind us of home and family and love. Comfort, indeed. My favorite character was Eddie Franklin, behind-the-counter guru serving up unexpected wisdom…with a twist and some chocolate dip. — Jen Payne