And now there are seven . . .

and Henrietta Snow is back in print!

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Ruth says, 'Here's The Snowy Series, in order. All are available in e-book orprint format.'
The Cheerleader; Title #1; 1955-1957
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In THE CHEERLEADER you'll meet Snowy and her wide circle of friends, growing up in the post-World War II era of rigidly-defined roles for women. While Snowy yearns for the social success that a small-town high school can offer, her ambitions extend past that toward personal success that only a good college education can bring.

Here, in THE CHEERLEADER, you'll begin an adventure with engaging, enduring characters whose stories will continue, over subsequent titles in The Snowy Series, into contemporary times..
Searchingly honest, achingly real, THE CHEERLEADER recalls all the joy, excitement, and pain of crossing the bridge from childhood to young womanhood in the Fabulous Fifties, when sex was still a mystery and goals were clearly defined--perhaps for the last time.

Title #2,SNOWY,1957-1987
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What happened next?

Ruth Doan MacDougall received countless letters from readers of The Cheerleader asking this question. She answered it by writing SNOWY, which chronicles Snowy’s next thirty years.

SNOWY describes how she and her friends, who came of age in the security of the 1950s when roles were accepted and defined, develop in the next decades, coping with college, marriage, and careers, their experiences unique, yet universal.

“Readers should prepare to laugh out loud and cry in earnest as former high school cheerleader Henrietta Snow grows up in this delightful sequel to The Cheerleader .” ( —Library Journal)

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Title 3;HENRIETTA SNOW; 1987-2000
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“Our generation,” Snowy says in HENRIETTA SNOW, “is ‘the disappeared.’ We’ve dropped out of sight between our parents’ generation and the baby boomers. Remember how we were called ‘The Silent Generation’? Nobody knows about us.”

But you will know!

Here are Snowy and Bev and Puddles, Tom, Dudley, the twins, and all the Gang from Gunthwaite High School, in the next stage of their lives, turning fifty and—eek!—sixty as they approach the millennium. How do they adjust to their limitations, deal with grief, and face the realization that this may be their last chance at love, success, and happiness?

With humor, for one thing. HENRIETTA SNOW is funny, honest, and indelible.

Title 4, THE HUSBAND BENCH 2000 setting
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It’s Bev turn!

Bev was tall, with short thick auburn hair. She looked older, more finished, than the other girls in their class. And she was green-eyed and beautiful, but she loved to make faces.

That was Beverly Colby at age fifteen, Snowy’s best friend in The Cheerleader. Now, at sixty, her hair is white but she has remained a beauty and she still loves to make faces. And in THE HUSBAND BENCH she is starring in a book of her own.

The co-captain of the basketball team, Roger was tall and coolly jaunty, a senior and so suave.

That was Roger Lambert, Bev’s boyfriend, whom eventually Bev married. Now, after a long separation, she and Roger have decided to renew their marriage vows. But as the euphoria of this decision fades, Bev must try to face the reality of this prospect while also trying to deal with her career decisions and, even more important, a surprise with a tremendous impact.

Bev’s complex love life becomes even more intricate as THE HUSBAND BENCH explores love in various forms, from pure to complicated—selfless, selfish, serious, comic.

What is a Husband Bench?

“‘The husband bench’ refers to the ubiquitous seats all over malls and grocery stores where ostensibly patient husbands, with little else to take up their time, wait for their wives to finish shopping. Typically, MacDougall invests this with telling irony.”

( From the foreword by Ann Norton Holbrook

Title 5;A BORN MANIAC setting is 2000-2001
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“I’m a Maine native, a born Maniac.”
—Jean Pond Cram, aka Puddles

Puddles may have been born in Maine, but where are her real roots? She spent her teens in New Hampshire and her married life in South Carolina. Has she established roots in these other states? Or has she felt like a displaced person all these years?

The most uninhibited of The Cheerleader’s three friends, intrepid Puddles is widowed now and still working at two jobs in South Carolina (nurse and cheerleading coach). Her settled life is suddenly shaken by the death of her mother, a complicated milestone for daughters. Concern about her father galvanizes her, and their trip to visit Maine relatives will become her progress to adventure, an island, a castle, hard decisions, and rebirth.

Puddles is “just as hilarious as when she chased Snowy around a 1950s Woolworth’s with giant underwear.” (—from the foreword by Ann Norton Holbrook)

Title 6; A GUNTHWAITE GIRL, novelette which connects A BORN MANIAC AND SITE FIDELITY
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“The cabin fever of winter had become spring fever.”

That’s what poet Henrietta Snow, known as Snowy, is thinking in the spring of 2005. Woodcombe, New Hampshire, the New Hampshre town in which she has lived for twenty years, and Gunthwaite, her nearby hometown, seem to her like prisons. She is confined by her surroundings and memories, by family and financial worries, by her work at her general store. How can she escape?

When she is suddenly asked to lead a tour of the hometown places that have inspired her poems, she panics. She can’t do it! But her best friend, Bev, lives in Gunthwaite and bracingly tells her she can, and their skeptical friend, Puddles, agrees to drive down from Maine to join them in a trial run.

So these Gunthwaite girls set forth together into the past on a day trip that will affect the way they look forward into their futures.

If you have not read the earlier titles in The Snowy Series (#1 - #5) A Gunthwaite Girl will serve as an introduction to the main characters so that you can more fully enjoy the sixth title, Site Fidelity.

Title 7; SITE FIDELITY; set in 2008
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In order to return, Snowy thought, you have to go away. But what if you want to stay away?

SITE FIDELITY is a contemporary novel centering on the importance of “place” in a turbulent, changing world. The title refers to the ornithological term for birds’ instinctive migration back to their place of origin.

The year is 2008 and the Great Recession is looming, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are vying for the Democratic presidential nomination, and the winter is hard, especially on people who aren’t so young as they used to be.

Twenty-three years ago, Henrietta Snow—known as Snowy—and her husband bought a general store near her hometown in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. Ever since his death, she and her daughter, Ruhamah, have been running the store. They recently bought a second general store in a neighboring town, and now Ruhamah wants to acquire a third. Scared, Snowy wonders if Ruhamah wants to rule a general-store empire.

What Snowy wants is another site, a fresh start. She hankers for what she calls a Maine-style Bali Ha’i, an island she has visited with her friend Puddles, where the scenery is “the ever-changing ocean, not the motionless mountains.”

Is this longing for change a part of aging? How can she leave the responsibilities that are tying her down?


Upcoming title 8; LAZY BEDS; expected publication in 2019

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Ruth's News

August 12, 2018
Don has pneumonia. My sister and my niece are with me, and we will be visiting him today.

August 13, 2018
Don died today at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock hospice center.

August 19, 2018
Thank you for everything, including the quotations you have shared on Facebook. This has all been so helpful, sustaining. I've written about my file box in which one section is for quotations. Lately I remembered two about grief that some time in the past I'd jotted down. I've found them, to join yours. I'm not sure where I got the first one. My note on the file card says, "Deal with grief—Samuel Beckett." Then the quote: "Focus on the practicalities to keep the grief at bay." The other is from Stanley Kunitz: "You must wait to see who you are when this thing is done with you." Right now I can't imagine that it ever will be "done," but I think I know what he means. Again, thank you.

Ruth's Facebook Column

December 9, 2018

You may read the column below; scroll as needed. Or, the link to read the entire article on one page is HERE. You will find previous columns at the same link.


            Last week on Maine’s Channel 6 program “207” (the number is Maine’s telephone area code), there was a segment about the making of L.L.Bean boots. In 1911, L.L.Bean had come up with a solution to the problem of cold wet feet in regular boots: he put a leather upper on a waterproof rubber sole. Simplicity itself. One of the program’s hosts, Amanda Hill, went to the factory and participated in the procedure, following a boot from the “seven basic stitching steps” to the finished product.
             I grew up with L.L.Bean boots; that is, my father had a pair and wore them a lot, in the yard, in the garden, walking in the woods and hunting. The original name was Maine Hunting Shoe, but I think almost everyone called them L.L.Bean boots. Nowadays it’s been shortened to Bean Boots.
             And when my father wore out the soles, he sent the boots back to the company in Freeport, Maine, and they returned them with new soles. He used to quote the catalog’s admonition, “Throwing away a pair of Maine Hunting Shoes is like throwing away a five-dollar bill.”
             There are a couple of pairs of L.L.Bean boots in our household, Don’s and mine. We ordered our first pairs in the early 1960s, a careful purchase with savings from Don’s schoolteacher salary. My sister and are recalling that back then there weren’t women’s sizes so you bought smaller ones. The company asked all customers to send traced outlines of their feet with their orders, for accuracy. Needless to say, Don did meticulous outlines of his feet and mine. How delighted we were when our boots arrived! We were living up in the mountains in Lisbon, NH, and with L.L.Bean boots we felt we were settling properly into country life.
             We and my father were taken aback when, in 1980, The Official Preppy Handbook was published and L.L.Bean boots became “in.” But that didn’t stop us from wearing them.
             And lately I’ve been wearing mine in winter, instead of my snowboots, when snow is followed by rain.

             On another subject, but still something I saw on TV last week:
             Question: Which generation has moved less?  A reporter showed a chart and read off the list of generations: “Millennials,” he said, “Generation X, Baby Boomers, and”—pause—“the Silent Generation.” Another pause. He added in a puzzled tone, “I’m not familiar with that term.” You can imagine how I reacted to this comment. Hey, that’s my generation! (Not to mention my working title for The Cheerleader while I was writing it!) Well, I then told myself, I guess the Silent Generation is still silent.  But later I Googled “generations” and to my surprise I saw that one of the names for Generation Z, those born from 2000 to the present, is “the new Silent Generation.”
             Oh, the answer to the question. The earlier generations moved more; the millennials have moved less.

© 2018 by Ruth Doan MacDougall; all rights reserved


Other Titles by Ruth Doan MacDougall

MUTUAL AID; published by Plaidswede, 2009
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As its heroine, Mercy Blodgett, says of herself, she seems to be related to almost everybody in the small town of Chiswick, NH. To those she isn’t, her husband, Bob, is likely to be. Just when a mill closing in 1986 costs the Blodgetts their jobs, this town is suddenly terrorized by an arsonist, and heart attacks may cost Bob his life.

The title refers to the emergency system in which fire departments from neighboring towns assist each other, but it also emphasizes the interdependence of all people,whether they are family, friends, or, as with Mercy and the young man who has become her pen pal, strangers at the outset. The word "aid" summons up the word "AIDS," and this too is part of the story.

ONE MINUS ONE, published 1971; Nancy Pearl's Book Lust title, 2013
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ONE MINUS ONE is a Book Lust Rediscoveries selection in a series produced by noted author and librarian Nancy Pearl, in cooperation with

The year is 1969, a time of turmoil for the United States—and for thirty-year-old Emily Bean, who, following her devastating divorce, leaves her home in the New Hampshire mountains to work as a teacher in the state’s coastal region.

Still in love with her ex-husband, David, Emily struggles to adjust to single life. Women’s liberation and the freewheeling sixties had only been on the perimeter of her married life, so even walking into a restaurant alone makes insecure Emily self-conscious.

The men in town are quick to notice an available and attractive young woman with legs made for miniskirts. Emily falls into relationships with two men, one of whom could be her way back to the safe life that she lost.

But in this portrait of a woman on the brink of self-realization in mid-20th-century America, Emily must learn whether or not she can truly recapture the past.

A WOMAN WHO LOVED LINDBERGH, published 2001 in PDF form only
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A PDF e-book that is read using the (free) Adobe Reader or other PDF readers. If you download and read PDF files on your electronic device you will be able to read this one.

Like her classic coming-of-age best seller, The Cheerleader, this novel by Ruth Doan MacDougall features a 50s setting and an idealistic girl confronting reality. During the summer of 1952, thirteen-year-old Lydia Dearborn must navigate into the unknown toward the horizon of maturity. In doing so, she grows to understand her mother--and, through her mother, herself.

A WOMAN WHO LOVED LINDBERGH is a multilayered tale of families, a family album that includes the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, early 1900s Montana, and mid-twentieth-century New England. Examining the complexities that bind families and celebrating the courage of individuals, it is profound, moving, and funny.

The book includes photos of mid-20th-century life set into the chapter dividers. Most of the photos were borrowed from Doan family albums—just for illustrations typical of the 1950s timeframe; the book is fiction.

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Ruth's Neighborhood

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Book Reviewing

The "Ruth's Neighborhood Archive: Index of Entries" is HERE

You may start reading below (scroll as needed; there is a link to finish the article) or read the entire article   HERE.

                 Back in the 1980s, I did a lot of book reviewing. And last week when I was thinking about a summer rereading list and checking our bookcases, I came across books I’d reviewed. Usually I gave my copies to the library when I was finished (or if I was reviewing from bound galleys, I shared them with family), but I’d saved a few I might like to reread someday even though I’d already read them twice. These included Faith Sullivan’s Mrs. Demming and the Mythical Beast and Howard Frank Mosher’s Marie Blythe. I remembered reading the latter on the Maine island of Matinicus, the ocean out the windows, with pencil and legal pad making notes for a review in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
               At the outset I mostly reviewed books for the Christian Science Monitor. I had been asked to do a monthly column about first novels; the book editor wanted a novelist for this job. Eventually the newspaper needed the space for other things, and I went on to review for other newspapers, particularly Newsday. I had developed my little rules, such as that reading of a book twice. If I was choosing the book, I chose one I was pretty sure I’d enjoy. Why waste everybody’s time on a bad review? If I was sent a book by an editor and was disappointed by it, I tried to warn off readers from spending their money buying it but tried to find something positive to say. (“Workmanlike” was a handy adjective.) If I really hated it, I wrote a draft ranting, and then, having got that out of my system, I wrote a second calmer—and, I hoped, fairer—draft.

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