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BOOK REVIEW:
LOOKING FOR SALVATION
AT THE DAIRY QUEEN
BY SUSAN GREGG GILMORE

We hope you enjoy this book review by Allen Hott.



Catherine Grace Cline never wanted to live in Ringgold, Georgia and was constantly telling her family and friends that on her eighteenth birthday she would be heading to Atlanta to live.

Living the life of a southern preacher’s daughter in a small southern town did not suit her. She had brooded her entire life about her mother having drowned in a nearby creek. She felt she had been cheated out of the good things that a real mother would have brought to her.

Catherine and her sister, Martha Ann, were truly loved by their upright preacher father but Catherine always wanted something more. She could not see that happening in Ringgold.

The biggest treat in her life was to head to the Dairy Queen where she and her sister would each get a Dilly Bar which they devoured on the picnic table under the tree. While eating their ice cream Catherine would gaze up at the nearby mountains and talk about what her life would be like after leaving Ringgold.

She managed to live her unsatisfying life and finally in high school she met Hank Blankenship. Hank was the high school hero and he was the idol of the teenage girls in Ringgold. Strangely enough Catherine and Hank got paired and it almost appeared as though Catherine had found a reason to consider staying in the little town.

However, circumstances and unfulfilled desire eventually split the two and Catherine continued with her plan to leave.

Her daddy gave her a set of matched luggage for her birthday and though he pleaded with her to stay she felt that this was probably a sign from God that she should leave. So on her birthday she bid a very tearful to Ringgold and her family. As the Greyhound was pulling away she felt depressed and alone. And as a further barb Hank jumped out of his pickup to glance up and wave to her as the bus left.

Happily Atlanta proved to be just what she was looking for as she found a good job and even a perfect place for rooming. Everything seemed to be going along well although the letters from her sister spoke of the terrible effect her leaving had had upon her Daddy. He would still preach and work for his church but he seemed to have no energy and was very despondent.

And then one day she received a telegram that changed her life. It also changed many things for many people in the town of Ringgold!

This is Gilmore’s first novel and it is really a good story. Plenty of laughs as you spend time with a growing girl and also sadness when several events bring the story to an unsuspected and shocking close. Although in some ways Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen is “Chick Lit”, in more ways it is just a really good story about the folks who inhabit the south of our country.

REVIEWED BY ALLEN HOTT

DO NOT REPRINT WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER, ALLEN HOTT


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