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Hoopi Shoopi Donna

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  226 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Growing up in a small New England town, 14 year-old Donna Milewski had all she needed: a grandmother, Babci, whose fragrant cooking filled their home...her mother, Helen, who lovingly stitched outfits...and Adam, the most wonderful father a daughter could imagine, who dreamed she could one day lead an all-girl polka band.
Then came Betty, a tiny and adorable five-year-old,
Paperback, 368 pages
Published May 1st 1997 by Washington Square Press (first published 1996)
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Feb 10, 2010 Barbara rated it it was amazing
This book makes me wish i was Polish! Terrific fun and intelligent read. Very lovable characters. How people who have every reason to love can turn bitter and what it can do to a person to let this happen. Redemption is always possible.
Sep 16, 2008 Andrea rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book tremendously. The author has a great sense of humor. I grew up hearing about Polish culture and immigrant life. I found the description cumbersome sometimes but more so because it was lots of polish names which were hard to read not knowing how to pronounce them. Also I think it reminded me a lot of how my mind works, constant stream of thought and analysis.

I think to a certain degree we all have aspects of Donna, bitter and resentful, self-sabotaging and Betty, amazingly pos
Dec 02, 2010 Allison rated it really liked it
Really loved this book - a sweet (without being cloying or overly sentimental), painful and honest portrait of family life. Made me want to call my Mom. I loved the details of the book, the author has a great way of setting a scene with just a few utterly precise details. As a bonus, I learned some new Polish words. Took one star off because the ending was unbelievable compared to the stark reality of the rest of the story.
Judith Podell
Mar 14, 2012 Judith Podell rated it it was amazing
Funny and heartbreaking in equal amounts. Redeems the accordian, for those of you who can't help thinking about Lawrence Welk. A classic. Subverts the conventions of novels about fathers and daughters. A classic.
Laura Zurowski
Jan 21, 2013 Laura Zurowski rated it really liked it
Suzanne Strempek Shea is a completely under-rated writer who captures the ethnic, religious, and social bindings of working-class New England with grace, humor, and authenticity. I've enjoyed all of her stories and if you grew up in the 1970s in a Polish/Irish/Italian/... family, chances are you will too.

Compared to Selling the Lite of Heaven, Hoopi Shoopi Donna is a darker, more distraught story that reveals the secretive and dysfunctional underside of those close-knit familial neighborhoods. D
Jan 16, 2011 Jenny rated it liked it
It's hard to like a book when you don't really care for the characters. I didn't not like Donna but she just frustrated me beyond belief. I value my family too much to just turn them off. I don't think she should have talked to her dad but she should have made an effort to keep with her mother. And her mother definitely should have told her dad to go jump in the lake and she should have visited Donna. I'm glad she finally did what she wanted to but basically she wasted her life because relations ...more
Jun 16, 2015 Maureen rated it it was amazing
I've embarked on a journey of re-reading Suzanne Strempek Shea's books. This was book is immense! Grounded in an ethnic Polish Catholic family culture it reaches out into larger themes of dreams, belonging and more. As is often the case with me as a reader, the details of setting and character enchant me. Few can construct them as Strempek Shea can. The story itself is fascinating.
Jan 11, 2013 Catherine rated it liked it
I would only recommend this to someone of Polish background as it is interesting to read something you can relate to. I don't think the book was that good but I did somewhat enjoy reading it maybe because the characters were Polish.
I had to make myself stick with this book and finish it. It was a gift from my sister. It is written well and has a good sense of humor, but it was just boring. It was Donna's life. That was all. Nothing earth shattering. I think Donna would have benefited from some counseling.
Dec 27, 2008 Lucie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
And maybe I still will start an all-girl polka band...reading this book gave me an unshakable yearning to learn how to play the accordian. Even now, years after first cracking open its pages,everytime I pass by an accordian shop I cannot stop & think about the journey I went on with Donna.
Amy Gourley
Mar 30, 2012 Amy Gourley rated it liked it
The main character in this book frustrated me quite a bit. All because of miscommunication with her family. Although the book was in first person, I really didn't get a sense of her character or why anyone liked her.
Apr 21, 2013 Ann rated it really liked it
How can you NOT like a story about a woman who works in a tampon factory and plays in an accordion band?
Feb 17, 2009 Lori rated it it was amazing
my favorite book. it has everything. a polish immigrant family, mayhem, ... quirky. i like to read it every couple years
Feb 12, 2011 Barbara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-home-library
I'm Polish! Of course I read this book. It was passed between all my cousins, and we all understood it. And laughed about it.
Aug 02, 2008 Kim rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed following Donna through all of her horrible dating choices. This is a fun book. You don't know whether to laugh or reach through the book and shake some sense into the girl.
Oct 01, 2007 Amanda rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
I love anything by this author. This is one of my favorites, special for those of us in MA and CT because it takes place in this area (she's a local author from Springfield area).
Jun 29, 2008 Kelly rated it it was amazing
Excellent. A young woman tries to reconcile her feelings for her dad, her jealousy, her guilt, her love. Quirky and witty, the book flows beautifully.
Jay York
Jay York rated it it was amazing
Feb 22, 2013
Barbara rated it it was ok
Sep 05, 2016
Karla rated it really liked it
Feb 13, 2015
Cathy rated it liked it
Nov 30, 2012
Jane Van Hof
Jane Van Hof rated it it was amazing
Feb 04, 2008
Vickie rated it really liked it
Aug 07, 2013
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Apr 26, 2009
Jodee rated it really liked it
Sep 09, 2010
Cpettitmiller rated it liked it
Feb 20, 2009
Marion rated it it was amazing
Apr 13, 2013
Bj Travis Thomas
Bj Travis Thomas rated it liked it
May 16, 2011
Badgwendel Badgwendel
Badgwendel Badgwendel rated it really liked it
Dec 10, 2011
Maura rated it liked it
Sep 01, 2013
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Suzanne Strempek Shea is the author of five novels: Selling the Lite of Heaven, Hoopi Shoopi Donna, Lily of the Valley, Around Again, and Becoming Finola, published by Washington Square Press. She has also written three memoirs, Songs From a Lead-lined Room: Notes - High and Low - From My Journey Through Breast Cancer and Radiation; Shelf Life: Romance, Mystery, Drama and Other Page-Turning Advent ...more
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