Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women's Literary Society: A Novel by Amy Hill Hearth
Synopsis from goodreads:A brilliant debut novel from a New York Times bestselling author about a transplanted wife from Boston who arrives in Florida in the 1960s, starts a literary salon, and shakes up the status quo.
In 1962, Jackie Hart moved to Naples, Florida, from Boston with her husband and children. Wanting something personally fulfilling to do with her time, she starts a reading club and anonymously hosts a radio show, calling herself Miss Dreamsville.
The racially segregated town falls in love with Miss Dreamsville, but doesn’t know what to make of Jackie, who welcomes everyone into her book club, including a woman who did prison time for allegedly killing her husband, a man of questionable sexual preference, a young divorcee, as well as a black woman.
By the end of this novel, you’ll be wiping away the tears of laugher and sadness, and you just may become a bit more hopeful that even the most hateful people can see the light of humanitarianism, if they just give themselves a chance.
This was so much fun! I loved every character in this book so much I didn’t want it to end! This gang of misfits turned Naples on its heel and I loved every minute of it!
Mrs. Jackie Hart is a northerner transplanted to Naples in the early 1960’s and since she’s a Yankee she doesn’t really fit in so she starts a Women’s Literary Society and the group that shows up is also on the outside, we have a divorcee, a woman just out of prison for killing her husband, a colored (their words) girl, a man who they let join because they all know he is a homosexual, a woman the whole town calls Plain Jane and the librarian, this group of outsiders and misfits ends up being about so much more than reading books.
This book had humor, drama, and life lessons what I loved about it was the way these and women (and Robbie Lee) came together as strangers with nothing in common and ended up the best of friends and truly involved in each other’s lives. I just wish it had been longer or maybe has a sequel in the works! I liked the historical details of the time, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the KKK, women’s rights and women trying to find their place in the world, civil rights. The Cuban Missile Crisis chapter I thought was well done and really gave a feel to how people in Florida must have felt.
I also liked in the acknowledgments finding out that Jackie was modeled after the authors MIL who was the actual Miss Dreamsville. And this author’s non-fiction work about the Delany sisters’ is one I have been meaning to read for awhile so will be bumping that up on the TBR pile. I hope she will write more fiction because I will be first in line to read more from this author.