Ruth Doan MacDougall

 

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Issue #1: Fall 2020
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Welcome!

Have you read LAZY BEDS, the newest title in Ruth Doan MacDougall's 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 thepaperback and e-book versions.

facebook logoRuth usually updates her Facebook page on Sunday mornings. Join the conversation! (The Facebook entries are all reprinted HERE as well.)

The Snowy Series

Ruth Doan MacDougall's Snowy Series

THE CHEERLEADER

The book that started it all!  

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.

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SNOWY

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

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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THE HUSBAND BENCH
or Bev's Book

“The

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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A BORN MANIAC
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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A GUNTHWAITE GIRL

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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SITE FIDELITY

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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LAZY BEDS

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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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.

STRAWBERRIES AND SENIOR CITIZENS

May 29, 2022

           To read below you may need to scroll.

             May is National Strawberry Month, and I’ve been on the lookout for local strawberries at the market. I haven’t yet seen any, but one of these days I’ll be buying an abundant supply.
             I never did try to grow strawberries. I think I was scared off by the strawberry chapter in a Ruth Stout gardening book; it was titled something like “If You Have Tears” and it was full of all the things that could go wrong. I feared I’d be weeping over a failed crop instead of enjoying a harvest. So in grocery stores and at farm stands I enjoy other people’s successes.
             I’m looking forward to special strawberry treats to make after I sate myself eating them plain. There is, of course, the traditional dessert since childhood: strawberry shortcake. As I’ve written about before, this was extra-traditional for Don and me because years ago we discovered in a secondhand store a set of glass dessert plates just like the ones his mother had. He especially remembered her serving strawberry shortcake on them. So we began serving ours on these secondhand-store plates, and I continue to.
             And then there’s what we called Blue Strawberies (one “r”), inspired by that avant-garde restaurant in Portsmouth, the Blue Strawbery, to which we used to go in the 1970s. We were astonished by the way they served strawberries: with brown sugar and sour cream to dip them in!  Sour cream, not whipped cream! Unheard-of back then. We loved this (and the feeling of sophistication) and began having them this way at home.
             I never made Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie because our rhubarb plants had gone by before local strawberries were available. But we enjoyed strawberries on ice cream and strawberries in salads with basil and red wine vinegar and . . .

             On May 18th, Sandwich’s senior citizen Wednesday lunch (nicknamed the Old Fogeys’ Lunch) began again, after ending on March 11, 2020. I didn’t go to the lunch on the 18th because the monthly Alzheimer’s support group met that day, but this Wednesday I drove to the village’s community center.
It was like a reunion—it was a reunion. There were eighteen of us, counting the organizers and helpers. The meeting room had been refreshed, the walls painted, the floor refinished, new blue-and-white-checked oilcloth tablecloths on the three tables (seven chairs at each), shiny new forks, knives, spoons.
             As usual, the meal was buffet-style. This year we were each given a disposable glove to put on our serving hand. The menu: baked stuffed haddock, tartar sauce, mashed potatoes, peas, beets, coleslaw, rolls—and, for dessert, squares of yellow cake with cinnamon topping and STRAWBERRIES! I don’t know if the strawberries were local or not and I didn’t ask; dining again with these old (senior!) friends, I didn’t care.

© 2022 by Ruth Doan MacDougall; all rights reserved


       Other News and Updates
Here Now! The May 15, 2022 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

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

A WOMAN WHO LOVED LINDBERGH

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

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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ONE MINUS ONE

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 amazon.com. The book is vailable in print, Kindle, and audiobook versions.

Purchase from amazon.com only

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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., BookFinder.com), in libraries, or at used-book stores.
• THE LILTING HOUSE
• THE COST OF LIVING
• WIFE AND MOTHER
• AUNT PLEASANTINE
• THE FLOWERS OF THE FOREST
• A LOVELY TIME WAS HAD BY ALL

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