The Education of Dixie Dupree by Donna Everhart
Published by Kensington
Publication Date: October 25th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Women's Fiction
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In 1969, Dixie Dupree is eleven years old and already an expert liar. Sometimes the lies are for her mama, Evie’s sake—to explain away a bruise brought on by her quick-as-lightning temper. And sometimes the lies are to spite Evie, who longs to leave her unhappy marriage in Perry County, Alabama, and return to her beloved New Hampshire. But for Dixie and her brother, Alabama is home, a place of pine-scented breezes and hot, languid afternoons.
Though Dixie is learning that the family she once believed was happy has deep fractures, even her vivid imagination couldn’t concoct the events about to unfold. Dixie records everything in her diary—her parents’ fights, her father’s drinking and his unexplained departure, and the arrival of Uncle Ray. Only when Dixie desperately needs help and is met with disbelief does she realize how much damage her past lies have done. But she has courage and a spirit that may yet prevail, forcing secrets into the open and allowing her to forgive and become whole again.
Narrated by her young heroine in a voice as sure and resonant as The Secret Life of Bees’ Lily or Bastard Out of Carolina’s Bone, Donna Everhart’s remarkable debut is a story about mothers and daughters, the guilt and pain that pass between generations, and the truths that are impossible to hide, especially from ourselves.
When I review a book, I don’t feel like it is necessary for me to tell you what the book is about. That is what the synopsis is for, and the publisher does a far better job than I do, believe it. What I feel my purpose is when I write a review is to tell you why you SHOULD read the book, or sometimes, why you SHOULDN’T.
When I write a review, I am giving you my honest impression. I try to convey how the book made me feel, if I enjoyed reading it, and if I would recommend it to anyone else. With this being said, I just want you to know that The Education of Dixie Dupree by Donna Everhart is a book that you shouldn’t pass up. This book is an incredibly powerful coming of age story that totally overwhelmed me emotionally. It isn’t one of those books that give you that warm fuzzy feeling as you read it – instead it literally knocks you on your ass. The subjects presented aren’t always pretty and they are not packaged that way either. There is no quiet way to address them, and there shouldn’t be. Sometimes an author has to get your attention. And Donna Everhart has that down to a science.
This is a story of a family . A REAL family. One that is made up of imperfect people in less-than-ideal situations. It is a book that doesn’t promise a happy ending. It will break your heart at times. But you will remember this book. Believe me, you will.
My two favorite books of all times besides To Kill A Mockingbird are books just like this one. They are The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd and Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman. These are books that will remain on my bookshelf although the rest of my library is now digital. They are books that I cherish and talk about frequently, and ones that I highly recommend. Now, I have another book that will be sitting on that shelf as well, and it is this one.
So please take the time to read the book’s description and decide for yourself if you think this would be something you would be interested in. I read some reviews that call the book “predictable”, but I honestly didn’t feel that way. How can you predict a child’s reaction to things they don’t truly understand. Even if they seem wise beyond their years, they are still children. Dixie will remain in my memory for a long time to come. Just like Scout, Lilly and CeeCee do.
I would like to thank the author, the publisher and NetGalley for giving me the privilege of reviewing this amazing book. It would make a fantastic book club read, and an amazing movie. I really hope you give it a try.
Grade: 5 out of 5