Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen
By Susan Gregg Gilmore
(Broadway Books, Paperback, 9780307395023, 304pp.)
Publication Date: June 9, 2009
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Sometimes you have to return to the place where you began, to arrive at the place where you belong.
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.
Every Saturday afternoon, she sits at the Dairy Queen, eating Dilly Bars and plotting her getaway to the big city of Atlanta. And when, with the help of a family friend, the dream becomes a reality, Catherine Grace immediately packs her bags, leaving her family and the boy she loves to claim the life she’s always imagined. But before things have even begun to get off the ground in Atlanta, tragedy brings her back home. As a series of extraordinary events alters 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.
SUSAN GREGG GILMORE has written for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the Los Angeles Times, and the Christian Science Monitor.
- Although dubbed a coming-of-age novel, Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen is, possibly more than anything else, a story about forgiveness. How does this theme of forgiveness affect Catherine Grace, her most important relationships, and ultimately her search for contentment?
"This is Susan Gregg Gilmore’s first novel, but her voice is similar to that of Fannie Flagg. Readers of Southern stories will enjoy the poignant self-discovery journey of this lovable heroine."
"Gilmore tells her tale with gentle humor and genuine regard for her characters."
“If I had to make a comparison, I would compare Susan Gregg Gilmore to Fannie Flagg, but Gilmore more than holds her own. This is an unusually engaging novel by a very fine writer who knows exactly what she is doing.”
—Lee Smith, author of The Last Girls
“Susan Gregg Gilmore’s debut novel, Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen, is storytelling at its best, entertaining and lively and full of surprises. Catherine Grace Cline, the endearing witty heroine, gives her domestic journey titles of Biblical proportion as she finds more than salvation along the way.”
—Jill McCorkle, author of Carolina Moon