Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Dovey Coe by Frances O'Roark Dowell

This book has one of the best beginnings I've ever read in a book: "My name is Dovey Coe and I reckon it don't matter if you like me or not. I'm here to lay the record straight, to let you know them folks saying I done a terrible thing are liars. I aim to prove it, too. I hated Parnell Caraway as much as the next person, but I didn't kill him." Wow. I don't usually like books written in dialect, but Dovey Coe's character is so strong and true to life that I forgot all about it. The story begins with Dovey Coe already accused of murder. She just has to fill the reader in on the back story. It's 1928 and the Coe family lives in the mountains of North Carolina, in the small town of Indian Creek. They own their own land, and they are one of the only families in town who aren't beholden to the richest family in town, the Caraways. At the begining of the book, Dovey sees everything in black and white, sees herself as the protector of her older brother Amos, who is deaf. But in the end she learns that things aren't so clear cut, and maybe she needs Amos more than he needs her. Her older sister Caroline has long planned to escape small town life by going to college and becoming a teacher. Parnell is determined to get her to stay and marry him instead. Exactly how things go from there to Dovey Coe regaining consciousness and finding herself alone with Parnell's dead body is a masterful feat of storytelling on the author's part. Some of the best scenes in the book come in the courtroom, where Dovey has to trust her fate to a city lawyer, who she says, "...could string words together and make them shine like lights around a Christmas tree." Even though you think you know where the story is headed, the ending is shocking. This is one of my favorite books of all time. Review by Stacy Church

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this book has a lot of "voice" it's really nice, it gives you the idea of the country twang in her voice.
I love this book it is so cute!