Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen by Susan Gregg Gilmore (Tantor)

Catherine Grace Cline’s mother drowned when she was 6. Since then, Catherine Grace has been impatiently waiting for her 18th birthday, when she can say good-bye to her sister, Martha Ann, her Baptist preacher daddy, and the small, boring town of Ringgold, Georgia. Narrator Tavia Gilbert brings Catherine Grace to life, filling her voice with the all frustration, sorrow, boredom, and longing of a young woman who is determined to find her life anywhere but at home. Gilbert’s narration actually makes the story better than it is. As the author tries to work in every cliché of Southern fiction, the characters remain flat and the plot overworked, and the listener is left wondering where it all went wrong. AudioFile 

In Gilmore’s novel, set in Ringgold, Ga., in the early 1970s, preacher’s daughter Catherine Grace Cline longs to escape smalltown life and move to Atlanta. With a little help from a friend, she does just that—only to be called back home because of a family emergency. Back in Ringgold, Catherine Grace is forced to examine her life and her changing town—and determine just where she wants to call home. Narrator Tavia Gilbert delivers a winning performance in this audio edition. She ably captures the spirit of the text and its stubborn but smart protagonist. Gilbert’s chirpy narration is well paced and conversational, infused with a Southern drawl. Listeners looking for a Southern-fried coming-of-age tale about love and loss and family will not be disappointed. Publisher’s Weekly