Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Patti Hill's The Queen of Sleepy Eye ~ Reviewed
The Queen of Sleepy Eye
by Patti Hill
B & H Publishers
It's the summer of 1975, and sensible seventeen-year-old Amy Monteiro longs for the freedom of college life in California. But when her mom's beloved 1958 Pontiac Bonneville Sports Coupe surrenders to a mortally wounded transmission in Colorado, it doesn't take long for Amy to realize that her insufferable, tiara-toting mom, Francie - former queen of the Sleepy Eye Corn Festival - is out of money and in
no hurry to let go of her daughter.
In a time of great change, and in this small Colorado town, Amy will find herself caught up in the struggle between the past and present, young and old, geeks and jocks, hippies and the establishment, even life and death. And during this one unforgettable summer, both mother and daughter will grow up.
Amy is finally breaking free from her mother, or so she thinks, as they are in route to college in California. Amy is excited about their trip and can't be free of her mother,Francine fast enough.
But, Francine wants to hang on to Amy as long as she can. Amy and Francie hit a major bump in the road when their 1958 Pontiac Bonneville breaks down in Cordial, Colorado. They are side tracked from their main mission as they wait on a car part that needs to be ordered; it might take over a week. Amy is crushed, but Francine looks at this as another adventure. Francie soon makes friends with Bonnie, who tells her of a job opportunity they can take advantage of while they wait on their car to be repaired. The opportunity can include both mother and daughter. They can be caretakers at a funeral home, with free room and board. Amy is definitely creeped out, but Francie looks at this as a way of saving money to pay for the car repair.
Amy now feels stuck and she doesn't have the funds to leave for California on her own. Her mother has embraced this small town and it's beginning to look like Francine might never leave. Amy begins to look at her mother in a new light, and she doesn't like what she sees. Her mother has always been fun and a little bit different than all the other moms - now she realizes why. There had always been a divide between Amy and her mom - especially when Amy became a born again Christian. Her mom wanted no part of it, but Amy still sought out ways to witness to her.
Amy and Francine grow up through the unexpected situations they were faced with. Amy discovers she really didn't have the unconditional Love of Christ inside her heart, but judgment. It's a hard lesson to learn. Francine realizes she is the mother in this relationship and needs to start acting like it. She needs to look out for what is best for her daughter Amy.
This is definitely a story of discovery, love and maturity. A mother daughter story and so much more. You will definably have to check it out.
Reviewed by: Nora St. Laurent - Book Club Servant Leader