Ruth Doan MacDougall



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Issue #6: August 26, 2023
It’s summertime, summertime, sum-sum-summertime . . . !

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Have you read LAZY BEDS, the latest title in Ruth Doan MacDougall's The Snowy Series? It's available in both print and ebook formats. You may place orders through the Frigate Bookshop, where you'll find several purchasing options for both the paperback and e-book versions. All titles in The Snowy Series are available.

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The Snowy Series

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Ruth Doan MacDougall's "The Snowy Series"


The book that started it all—fifty years ago!

Henrietta Snow coverMeet 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 the personal success that only a good college education can bring. In THE CHEERLEADER, you'll begin an adventure with the engaging, 

enduring characters whose stories continue, over subsequent titles in Ruth Doan MacDougall’s 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.

Ruth briefly describes how THE CHEERLEADER came to be here.


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What happened next? 

Snowy cover Ruth Doan MacDougall received countless letters from devoted fans of THE CHEERLEADER asking this question. She answered it by writing SNOWY, which chronicles how the cute blond cheerleader spends her next thirty years.

Though Snowy and her friends came of age in the 1950s, when roles were clearly defined, each follows a unique path over the next few decades, coping with the challenges of college, marriage, parenthood, emotional health, aging parents, and finding a fulfilling career during a time of rapid changes in American society.

Says the Library Journal,  “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."


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Henrietta Snow coverOur Silent Generation has dropped out of sight between our parents’ generation and the baby boomers. Nobody knows about us."

But you will know!

Fans of Snowy and Bev and Puddles, Tom, Dudley, the twins, and all the Gang from Gunthwaite High School will thoroughly enjoy this next stage of our beloved characters' lives, as they turn fifty and—eek!—sixty as the millennium approaches. 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? 

Said one reader, "This is a CHEERLEADER fan's dream book, answering almost every 'What if...?' and 'What ever happened to...?' question we could have had. But more than just an extended reunion with characters I adore, the story itself is fabulous—a great and wonderful treat for people like me, who've loved Snowy for decades now."


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or Bev's Book


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 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. After decades together, their marriage has evolved into an unconventional one, with the two living in different states, but Bev finds that it suits her. While she cherishes the success she has found in her chosen profession, Bev must deal with changing family circumstances while adjusting to a surprise that will have a tremendous impact on her life. 

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? 

From the foreword by Ann Norton Holbrook: “‘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.” 


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or Puddles's Progress

A Born Maniac coverI’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. Did she establish roots in these states to which she was transplanted?  Or has she truly been a displaced person all these years? 

The most uninhibited of THE CHEERLEADER’s three friends, intrepid Puddles was leading a settled life when a trip to visit Maine relatives becomes her route to adventure involving an island, a castle, hard decisions, and rebirth. 

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


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Henrietta Snow cover

The cabin fever of winter had become spring fever.

When shy Henrietta Snow is 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 bracingly tells her she can, and their skeptical friend, Puddles, agrees to drive down from Maine to join them in a trial run.

The Gunthwaite triumvirate thus reunites, setting 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 Ruth Doan MacDougall's Snowy Series, A GUNTHWAITE GIRL will serve as an introduction to the main characters so that you can more fully enjoy the next title, SITE FIDELITY


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Henrietta Snow cover"Site fidelity" is an ornithological term for birds' instinctive migration back to their place of origin. But what Snowy wants is another site, a fresh start. Woodcombe, the New Hampshire town in which she has lived for twenty years, and Gunthwaite, her nearby hometown, now 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, and 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.” How can she escape?

Is this longing for change a part of aging? How can she leave the responsibilities that tie her down? A medical challenge provides an unexpected opportunity, and Snowy finds new profoundness in those ancient words “for better or worse, in sickness and in health.”


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To read an e-version, select the e-book version compatible with your app.


Henrietta Snow coverLAZY BEDS, the latest title in Ruth Doan MacDougall’s Snowy Series, continues the stories of Snowy and Bev as they weather this century's Great Recession. Snowy is worried about the financial health of her three small stores, while Bev, owner of a well-known real-estate agency, is finding that real-estate sales have essentially ceased.

Snowy and Bev share their adventures and challenges in equal measure, but Puddles, and many of the friends that readers have come to enjoy, have not been neglected. In LAZY BEDS, readers will catch up with the Gang they first met in THE CHEERLEADER—still going strong after all these years!

What's a "lazy bed"?
A home gardener, planting potatoes, might use the "lazy bed" method that avoids the more intensive forms of garden labor but still produces impressive results.


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To read an e-version, select the e-book version compatible with your app.

Reader Features

Ruth's Neighborhood header Ruth's N/H

facebook logo    Since 2018 Ruth has continued her "Ruth's Neighborhood" entries on her Facebook page. Ruth updates this column each week, usually on Sunday mornings, and fans are welcome to join the ongoing conversation. Below is this week's entry.

This entry and the directory of all previous entries, are archived HERE.

Fiddleheads and Lilacs

April 21, 2024

    To read below you may need to scroll.

        Recently when my dear friend Winifred and I were discussing dandelion greens, I explained that I’ve never picked or cooked them because Don had dandelion-greens PTSD. In his childhood, he would relate, he had to traipse around lawns after his grandmother, carrying a bag for the millions of dandelion leaves she would harvest. Then came washing them, which took FOREVER. His grandparents and parents lived in the Weirs, the lake-resort section of Laconia, and he could have been SWIMMING.
          Still, he did join me rejoicing at the springtime sight of dandelions and we never tried to rid our lawn of them.
          A coincidence: Soon after my discussion with Winifred I was reading the spring issue of THE LAKER HOME magazine and came to an article by Rosalie Triolo,

“Dandelions: Weed or Herb?” It told me, “For much of recorded history, dandelions have been used by humans as a source of food and as an herbal remedy used for medicinal purposes. Dandelion flowers were enjoyed by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, and for centuries the Chinese used dandelions to treat liver diseases and digestive problems.
“The dandelion was introduced in America at the time of the Mayflower landing. Afterwards, Native Americans learned to boil the dandelions in water and use them as a remedy for upset stomachs and as a digestive aid. Dandelions are a rich source of vitamins A, C, and K, and the minerals calcium, iron, and potassium.
“Because its jagged-edged leaves resemble the sharp teeth of a lion, the plant derives its name from the Latin DENS LEONIS and the French DENT DE LION . . .
“The green dent de lion-shaped leaves are a delicious addition to salads, sandwiches, and omelets, or sautéed with garlic and olive oil . . . there are several dandelion recipes you can find online: dandelion fritters, baking with dandelion petals, and brewing your own dandelion root coffee/tea . . . A country wine, dandelion wine, is brewed with citrus fruit, raisins, sugar, water, yeast, and dandelions.”

          Wine! One spring I collected (on my own, sparing Don)) millions of dandelion blossoms from our lawn and neighbors’ lawns and made dandelion wine.
          Another coincidence: Last week on PBS I happened upon a program called AMERICA THE BOUNTIFUL and it mentioned making dandelion pesto. If I’d known, I would certainly have made that pesto in my serious cooking years.
          Our local Yeoman’s Fund for the Arts posts poems on the Sandwich Board throughout National Poetry Month. Here is one I liked a lot, by Holly J. Hughes:

          Mind Wanting More

          Only a beige slat of sun
          above the horizon, like a shade
          pulled not quite down. Otherwise,
          clouds. Sea rippled here and
          there. Birds reluctant to fly.
          The mind wants a shaft of sun to
          stir the gray porridge of clouds,
          an osprey to stitch sea to sky
          with its barred wings, some
          dramatic music: a symphony, perhaps
          a Chinese gong.

          But the mind always
          wants more than it has—
          one more bright day of sun;
          one more clear night in bed
          with the moon; one more hour
          to get the words right; one
          more chance for the heart in hiding
          to emerge from its thicket
          of dried grasses—if this quiet day
          with its tentative light weren’t enough,
          as if joy weren’t strewn all around.

©2024 by Ruth Doan MacDougall; all rights reserved

Other News and Updates
Available Now! 
E-Blast #6:
The August 26, 2023 issue

by Jen, E-Blast Editor

E-Blast editor Jennifer Davis-Kay, surrounded by some of her favorite books.

The E-Blast is your connection to news updates!

     The E-Blast is an occasional publication of news and notes for Ruth’s fans. Here you’ll get background on your beloved characters, stories from Ruth on different inspirations for particular scenes, recipes from the books, a deeper look into Ruth’s writing beyond The Snowy Series, and so much more!

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If you missed any of the issues published thus far, you can find them here:

Issue #1: Fall 2020
Issue #2: December 2020

Issue #3: April 2021 
Issue #4: February 2022
Issue $5: May 2022
Issue #6: August 26, 2023

If you have a question for Ruth or an idea for a future story, don’t hesitate to e-mail Jen.


Other Books by Ruth Doan MacDougall


MUTUAL AID coverThis story, set in the 1950s, shifts backward and forward through generations and years, focusing on a daughter who in one summer grows to understand her mother—and, through her mother, herself. During the summer of 1952, thirteen-year-old Lydia Dearborn must navigate into the unknown toward the horizon of maturity, discovering the terrors and responsibilities of adventure and independence, always aware of her mother’s hero, Charles Lindbergh, who had made a historic first flight across an unexplored sky.

This is a PDF e-book that can be read using the (free) Adobe Reader or other PDF reader that is familiar to you. If you download and read other PDF files on your electronic device, you will be able to read this one. 

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MUTUAL AID coverAs its heroine, Mercy Blodgett, says of herself, she seems to be related to almost everybody in the small town of Chiswick, New Hampshire—and to those she isn’t, her husband, Bob, is likely to be.

Just when a mill closing in 1986 costs the Blodgetts their jobs, the 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” also summons up the word “AIDS,” and this too is part of the story. 

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It’s 1969, and after a devastating divorce, 30-year-old Emily Bean leaves her home to work as a teacher in New Hampshire’s coastal region. Emily struggles to adjust to single life in the freewheeling sixties, a time of turmoil for the United States—an era that comes vividly alive through frequent references to the food, drink, and dress of the times. Noted one Goodreads reader, “I wanted Emily to find love and to find herself, all the while worrying that the two goals might not be compatible for her quite yet.”

Selected by Nancy Pearl as part of her "Book Lust" series for The book is vailable in print, Kindle, and audiobook versions.

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Currently Out of Print

These are not in print at this time but can generally be found on various book-sale websites (e.g.,, in libraries, or at used-book stores.


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FacebookNews of interest to readers is primarily shared here on the website and through Ruth's Facebook column, usually updated weekly, on Sunday morning. Ruth’s current entry is also posted here; earlier entries (including "Ruth's Neighborhood" from this website’s incarnation) are linked from the menu list on that same page.


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