Ruth Doan MacDougall

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Ruth Doan MacDougall


A Milestone!

  April 9, 2015
THE CHEERLEADER is now available in e-book (Kindle) form from The e-book price is $8.99. Frigate Books is working to release all titles in The Snowy Series as e-books, available for a variety of mobile devices.  Traditional print versions will continue to be available.

I’m at work on the next full-length sequel in The Snowy Series, Site Fidelity.


NOTE: The Center for the Book at New Hampshire State Library features a Q&A in the June 17, 2015  Book Notes Blog.

        Reviews are always welcome! If you review books you've enjoyed or have a booklist at Goodreads,,  or similar sites, will you consider writing a review of One Minus One or your favorite Ruth Doan MacDougall title? Thanks!

(May 18, 2015)  A new Ruth's Neighborhood entry! Going to the Dump

(June 22, 2015) The Center for the Book at New Hampshire State Library features a Q&A in the June 17, 2015  Book Notes Blog.

The Snowy Series


A half-century of women's history!

Snowy touches some chord in me. She's as real as anyone I've ever known.
—Jennifer, a fan from Massachusetts

So much has changed!
And so much has stayed the same.

Each title is a complete story in itself, but most fans of the series would suggest beginning with the first volume, The Cheerleader, now in its fifth printing. Click the panel menu bar, above, to learn more about each volume. Titles are listed in order.

The Cheerleader

Meet Snowy and the Gang


In 1998, on the 25th anniversary of the publication of this national best-seller, The Cheerleader was rereleased as a trade paperback. This rereleased version is now in its fifth printing. (see related story)

An e-book (Kindle) version was released on April 9, 2015, and additional e-book versions will be available soon.

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.

The Detroit Free Press said, "One of the truest portraits of an American girl ever written . . . Everything works in MacDougall's book. She captures the times, the attitudes, the emotions with the authority of one who was once there and knows the route back by heart."

The second, third, fourth and fifth printings, and the e-book version, of this rereleased version include a foreword by Ann V. Norton of St. Anselm College.

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" . . . prepare to laugh out loud and cry in ernest . . . highly recommended "


What happens when ex-cheerleaders grow up?

For Snowy, the cute, blond, ponytailed cheerleader at Gunthwaite High School in the 1950s, did anything ever match the glory of those days?

This is the story that the multitudes of fans of the best-selling The Cheerleader have clamored for, a story that new readers will respond to with equal eagerness. While chronicling Snowy’s next thirty years, it explores the complexities of friendship as it follows the lives of her best friends, beautiful Bev and outspoken Puddles, and her first love, Tom.

What happens when the Silent Generation grows up?

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

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Snowy, by Ruth Doan MacDougall
St. Martin's (1993)
Frigate Books (2002)
Reprinted with a new Foreword by Ann V. Norton; Saint Anselm College
Headline quote at top of panel: Library Journal

Henrietta Snow

"The Gang" turns fifty . . . and (EEK!) sixty!


"Our generation," Snowy says in   Henrietta Snow, "is 'the disappeared'. We've dropped out of sight between our parents' generation—The Greatest 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. How do they adjust to limitations, deal with grief, and face the realization that this is their last chance at love, success, and happiness? How do they face death?

With humor, for one thing. Like The Cheerleader and Snowy, Henrietta Snow is funny, honest, and indelible.

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Henrietta Snow, by Ruth Doan MacDougall
Frigate Books (2002)
Foreword by Ann V. Norton; Saint Anselm College


The Husband Bench

It's Bev's 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 Bev Colby at age fifteen in The Cheerleader. Now, at sixty, her hair is white but she has remained a beauty and she still loves to make faces.

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. After college Bev married Roger, they had four children and a comfortable life, but his problems with Bev’s desire for her own career in real estate resulted in a separation.

At the conclusion of Henrietta Snow, the third novel in The Snowy Series, Bev and Roger have decided to give their marriage another chance and to renew their vows.

What happens next?” the readers always ask.

After the euphoria of the decision to get back together, Bev tries to face the reality of this prospect, while also trying to deal with her career and, even more important, a surprise with tremendous impact.

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The Husband Bench, or Bev's Book by Ruth Doan MacDougall
Frigate Books (2007)
Foreword by Ann V. Norton; Saint Anselm College

A Born Maniac

Full title: A Born Maniac, or Puddles's Progress


Ruth Doan MacDougall writes, "Puddles has been on the back burner for so long, but she's clamoring for her turn. And, at long last, the fans who have been asking, (again!)  'What happens next?' will get at least part of the story."

Readers of earlier books in The Snowy Series may recall that originally Puddles came from Maine. Her family moved to Gunthwaite during her early teen years. Over the years Puddles has lived in several places, but her origins as "a born Maniac" haven't been forgotten. 

What surprises are in store for readers as Puddles's life takes center stage?

In response to several queries from readers, Ruth shares some of ther thoughts about crafting Puddles's story. You'll find it here, in the Essays section.

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A Born Maniac, or Puddles's Progress, by Ruth Doan MacDougall
Frigate Books (2011)
Foreword by Ann V. Norton; Saint Anselm College

Available again!

In soft-cover, E-book (Kindle), and Audiobook

One Minus One is a Book Lust Rediscoveries selection in a series produced by noted author and librarian Nancy Pearl, in cooperation with


Use the scrollbar at right to advance the text; on a mobile device you may finger-scroll. Alternatively, the entire article in traditional format is here.

by Ruth Doan MacDougall


January 31, 2015


            On a wall beside my desk in my so-called office (the garret in our house), there’s a map I drew of the fictional town of Gunthwaite, New Hampshire, the hometown of Henrietta Snow and her friends in my novel “The Cheerleader” and its Snowy Series sequels.
            A fictional hometown, inspired by my real hometown.
            I was born in the Laconia hospital in 1939. My parents brought me home to their chicken farm in Belmont, which I remember mostly through their tales about it, because we moved to Laconia when I was three, after my sister, Penny, was born. We lived in an apartment on Academy Street until 1951, when my parents bought a house on Gilford Avenue. My father worked at Scott & Williams, becoming the foreman of the heat-treating department. After work and on weekends he wrote short stories and novels, and he also did a lot of hiking, which later led to his writing two hiking guidebooks. When Penny and I were in high school, our mother went to work as a secretary at what was then Nighswander, Lord & Bownes.
            So Laconia is my hometown. Also my husband’s. Don and I met in high school; he was in the class of 1955, I in the class of 1957. After college, we moved around, Massachusetts, England, various towns in New Hampshire. In 1976 we felt an urge to return to the Lakes Region, and we settled in Center Sandwich, with Laconia handily nearby.
            Living amid your roots means there’s no escape from the past, because all the places abound with memories and associations. However, we novelists ultimately live in imaginary places, no matter how real the original inspiration was, and we’re apt to know the geography of imaginary towns and the floor plans of imaginary houses more vividly than our actual surroundings, at least for the duration of the novel we’re writing.
            The classic rule for writers is: Write about what you know. Thus, of course, Laconia has found its way into my novels in various guises. (So have lakes—there’s always at least one lake in them.) And here’s the fun of it for writers: we can rearrange, raze, resurrect; we can re-create a town!
            For the past twenty years I’ve been updating my father’s hiking books. Last year I finished the latest editions, and after that meticulous, precise nonfiction work, checking everything from mileage to summit views (trees grow), I turned my full attention back to fiction and heard myself say, as I always do after finishing new editions, “This is so much easier! I can make it all up!”
            Thus on Gunthwaite’s Main Street there’s still a fictional version of the old O’Shea’s department store, because I couldn’t bear to tear it down. I still get heartsick when I think of the loss of the historic O’Shea’s building. Indeed, there is no urban renewal in Gunthwaite’s downtown. All of the old Main Street still exists. And the fictional dairy bar inspired by Weeks Dairy Bar is still flourishing. However, there have had to be changes over the years of the Snowy Series, so although that fictional O’Shea’s building still stands, it’s broken up into three businesses. The fictional restaurant where Snowy waitressed in the 1950s, as I did at Keller’s Restaurant, is gone, as are Woolworth’s and other stores lamented by Snowy and her friends. The fictional movie theater is for sale.
            Gunthwaite High School has grown—but it doesn’t (yet) have LHS’s new football stadium. When the cheerleaders in the series reminisce about doing cartwheels on the fifty-yard line, there’s still the same old football field behind the school.
            On two occasions, Don and I have been guides on minibus tours of Laconia. This was quite an emotional experience, nostalgic, hilarious, reflective, as we showed fans of the series our real hometown

Originally printed in a New Hampshire newspaper, The Citizen of Laconia.©2015 by The Citizen. Our thanks for permission to reprint so that fans residing beyond the paper's circulation area may enjoy the article.

Ruth's Neighborhood

(Ruth's Blog; updated May 18, 2015)

NeighborhoodAs her time permits, Ruth Doan MacDougall writes essays about life in and around her neighborhood. Topics vary, but something interesting is always going on in Ruth's Neighborhood!
Current Essay
"Going to the Dump"



RSSRuth's on Facebook!

 At the top right of the menu bar you'll find the usual Facebook image, guiding you to Ruth's public page. Please drop by and like us! Ruth usually adds content on Sunday mornings.



Hiking Books

Hiking Titles
50 Hikes in the White Mountains,
7th edition, 2013

50 More Hikes in New Hampshire

Sixth Edition, 2014
Details & Purchase Information

• Related articles:
"Why Climb a Mountain?"
"Our Green and Stone-ribbed World

ISRIndian Stream Republic: Settling a New Frontier, 1785-1842
 by Daniel Doan, edited by
Ruth Doan MacDougall
Details & Purchase Information

More E-book Fiction

A Woman Who Loved Lindbergh

This book, published in 2001, is available from Frigate Books only as a downloadable e-book (PDF); it can be read on any device that supports a PDF Reader (such as Adobe Reader), including computers, iPad, tablets, etc. A special book-reader application is not necessary.
Learn More
Purchasing Information

Penny's Cats

In the March 2013 edition of Ruth's Neighborhood Ruth shared anecdotes about her sister Penny's love of animals and the book she's written about her cat, Phoenix. Penny's book is available at

RV Cat

A Correspondence with Elisabeth

From 1992 to 1999 Ruth corresponded with another New England author, Elisabeth Olgivie. You'll enjoy reading about the "shop talk" they shared!

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