Cover image for The education of Dixie Dupree
Title:
The education of Dixie Dupree
ISBN:
9781496705518
Physical Description:
viii, 311 pages ; 21 cm
General Note:
Includes reading group guide.
Geographic Term:
Summary:
In 1969 Alabama, eleven-year-old Dixie Dupree is already an expert liar. When she learns that the family she once believed was happy has deep fractures, she begins recording everything in her diary: her parents' fights, her father's drinking and fatal accident, and the arrival of Uncle Ray. When she is sexually abused, her attempts to find help are met with disbelief because of the damage her past lies have done.
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Summary

Summary

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In 1969, Dixie Dupree is eleven years old and already an expert liar. Sometimes the lies are for her mama, Evie's sake--to explain away a bruise brought on by her quick-as-lightning temper. And sometimes the lies are to spite Evie, who longs to leave her unhappy marriage in Perry County, Alabama, and return to her beloved New Hampshire. But for Dixie and her brother, Alabama is home, a place of pine-scented breezes and hot, languid afternoons.

Though Dixie is learning that the family she once believed was happy has deep fractures, even her vivid imagination couldn't concoct the events about to unfold. Dixie records everything in her diary--her parents' fights, her father's drinking and his unexplained departure, and the arrival of Uncle Ray. Only when Dixie desperately needs help and is met with disbelief does she realize how much damage her past lies have done. But she has courage and a spirit that may yet prevail, forcing secrets into the open and allowing her to forgive and become whole again.

Narrated by her young heroine in a voice as sure and resonant as The Secret Life of Bees ' Lily or Bastard Out of Carolina 's Bone, Donna Everhart's remarkable debut is a story about mothers and daughters, the guilt and pain that pass between generations, and the truths that are impossible to hide, especially from ourselves.


Author Notes

Donna Everhart grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina, and has lived close to her hometown for most of her life. For several years she worked for high tech companies, specializing in project management and product introduction. She carries a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. She lives in Dunn, North Carolina, with her husband, and a tiny, heart stealing Yorkshire terrier, named Mister. Readers can visit her website at www.donnaeverhart.com.


Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Eleven-year-old Dixie Dupree is the narrator of this harrowing coming-of-age novel set in Alabama in 1969. Daddy, despite being a drinker, is Dixie's bulwark against emotionally volatile Mama. When Daddy dies from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Mama's older brother, Ray, comes down from New Hampshire to help out. Dixie and brother AJ are intrigued by Uncle Ray's big, fancy car and aura of glamor, but there's something about him that makes Dixie nervous, and it isn't long before Uncle Ray reveals himself to be a sexual predator. Because Dixie has a habit of making things up, AJ refuses to believe her when she tells him what's going on. And Uncle Ray threatens that if she doesn't keep his actions (which are graphically described) a secret, he'll withdraw his financial support. Things come to a head during a visit to Ray and Mama's parents in New Hampshire. Everhart doesn't entirely succeed in maintaining a consistent preteen voice, and she piles on too many family secrets. But readers will be drawn to Dixie, who is full of spunk and grit.--Quinn, Mary Ellen Copyright 2016 Booklist