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Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen

3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,418 Ratings  ·  1,049 Reviews
Sometimes you have to return to the place where you began, to arrive at the place where you belong.

It’s the early 1970s. The town of Ringgold, Georgia, has a population of 1,923, one traffic light, one Dairy Queen, and one Catherine Grace Cline. The daughter of Ringgold’s third-generation Baptist preacher, Catherine Grace is quick-witted, more than a little stubborn, and d
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published February 12th 2008 by Broadway (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Leigh Hunt
Apr 29, 2008 Leigh Hunt rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If you mixed Hee-Haw and a biscuit you'd get this book. I lost count how many times "dad gum" was used and resented being hit over the head with that and other cliches.
May 17, 2008 Sheila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the simplicity of this book. It has a Fannie Flagg feel to it and is a very quick read. There is a little bit of Catherine Grace is anyone who grew up in a small town. The desire to see what is out in the world but the decision to leave is a hard one to make especially when you are 18.
Apr 22, 2011 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Carol by: booksonthenightstand
Shelves: fiction
I love when I'm so in tune to my mood that I choose my next book to read just right. I couldn't have been more on the mark with Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen. Generally I'm a thriller reader, thriving on blood and mayhem. Too much of this sparks a need for a sprinkle of laughter in my life, and sends me seeking lighter fare. This was just the ticket.

As soon as I started Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen, I felt a whole world deprived as I've never had a Dilly Bar at the DQ. I
Mar 03, 2008 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Renee Merrill
The surprising turn in this book made for a very interesting read.
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
Basically the only thing I got out of this was a craving for an Oreo Blizzard!! Sorry, not sorry.
May 20, 2015 Pamela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Pamela by: Linda Johnson
Thank you, Linda for the recommendation! Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen is as sweet and quirky as a DQ Dilly Bar. Everything a charismatic southern novel should be: heartfelt, humorous, sassy, spiritual, eccentrically surreal, and regionally unique. It was the perfect sort of uplifting read between heavier somber tomes. And I loved the tongue-in-cheek chapter titles hued with Biblical references.

This is such a delightful coming of age story: a preacher’s daughter looking for salvation
Apr 08, 2016 Lela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I grew up in a small town in the south. It had a Dairy Queen and not much else. Couldn't wait to escape. Fortunately for me, I wasn't thwarted by a tragedy dragging me back before I was fully gone! This book is really good at peeling away the layers of how life can become something you didn't want, never expected and yet is what you have so you get on with it. Wanted many times to slap the dad and stomp on his feet! Thank goodness not all preacher dads are like that, although way too many of the
Mar 24, 2008 Carol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was expecting a little bit more from this book. It was a fast enjoyable read, but nothing too memorable. The best part of the novel was a secondary character, neighbor Gloria Jean.
Julie Nelsen
Jan 15, 2009 Julie Nelsen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women
This was a favorite of my book club's. In fact, since I live in Nashville, Susan came to our monthly book club meeting to discuss the book. She is a lovely person and to have her at our meeting was quite impressive. The book is entertaining - several giggles, but also has some life lessons we can relate to and can learn from. I'm looking forward to her next book.
This book was horrible on so many levels, it pains me to think about it. What was especially frustrating was that it started so strong. I was sure it would garner a four- or five-star rating and be something I would recommend to friends and family, especially those who like Southern charm and humor. The stars began falling as I noticed such inconsistencies as a 1972 prom followed immediately by letters posted in 1975. Despite this glaring error, I continued to hope for a rebound. Instead, the st ...more
A Review of Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen

I read Susan Gregg Gilmore’s novel Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen just on a whim, but I am glad that I read it. It gave a new meaning to going for your goals. I learned from Catherine that if you don’t succeed at least you tried. She improvised her dream and it all worked out.
Gilmore gives hope to people that read this novel. After I completed this book I felt a little better about my own goals. The classic humor that turns sadness
Apr 27, 2016 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: southern
This story is told by Catherine Grace, who is a girl growing up in a small Georgia town , and dreams of the day she can leave small town life and live in a big city. She is always searching for something she can't seem to find , so she thinks that the big town may fulfill her dreams. She is raised by a single father , her mother having drowned many years previously . Her dad is a preacher ,as was her grandfather and great grandfather .
As soon as she graduates high school she makes her way to At
Jun 08, 2013 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! After some of the "dark" books I've been reading, this was a wonderful break. It's not a long read. I guess I relate to the book so well because I grew up in a small, Southern town. It reminded me of the plights and delights and growing up where everybody knows you and you know them. The language and phrasing is definitely Southern, which is as you might expect, appealing to me. While the books is not all sugar -there's some vinegar and tears mixed in - it is uplifting, entert ...more
May 23, 2008 Dianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great storyline - I believe this is a first from this author and I hope to read more from her. But I love local Southern books, especially from the 50's, 60's, or 70's. You'll want to keep reading until the end just to see if there will be any kind of "happy ending" for these characters.
Apr 09, 2008 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Lisa by: Omaha World-Herald
A nice read - very real characters. The voice of the narrative character, captured with youth and a charming southern drawl, was almost audible. Story twists keep you interested and the citizens of Ringgold leave you wanting more.
Jun 13, 2011 Trudy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My enjoyment of this book was of "biblical proportions"! (smiles) You'll have to read the story in order to appreciate this expression.
Feb 01, 2014 Judy rated it really liked it
Okay, I admit it--I was drawn to this book by the title, which I'm sure was the reason for its selection. However, the title does have relevance to the plot. I loved the book and almost gave it five stars. It is a warm, sweet story about Catherine Grace coming of age in a a small Georgia town. Grace tells her story and that of her sister, Martha Ann, whose Mother died when Grace was four. Their father is a preacher in a line of preachers for a big church in the town of Ringgwold. Grace is a spun ...more
I was hoping to be more wow'd by this book, as it was a very cute cover and a clever title I thought, and was pretty happy to have stumbled upon it at the library when I was literally browsing every shelf for a random book to read. Turns out it was just ok. I was not wow'd and while the title of another of her books sounds good as well I'm not thinking of reading it after this one let me down.

I did like the southern down home feel. I liked the country phrases and while the characters were relig
Jun 24, 2011 M.L. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-reviews
Looking For Salvation is a delightful read, and when we first meet Catherine Grace she is a pint-sized philosopher, ruminating at the age of 10 on how she knows God could not possibly be listening. After all, she prays every day to get her out of that little town - whose name is larger than its population - and every day she wakes up in the old same place.
Not content to dream about leaving, Catherine Grace begins earning her way out by making strawberry jam - but not before taking time to reflec
May 05, 2008 Sandra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 17, 2015 Alexandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really, r e a l l y enjoyed this story. it made me smile, it made me tear up on numerous occasions and at the end, I actually hugged it to my chest.

this story wasn't perfect (what story is?) and it definitely had some parts of it that made me wonder why what happened happened, but it was a story filled with earnestness and hope and many real people who I felt for and grew to love.

I loved Catherine grace and her sister Martha ann. Gloria Jean was such a wonderful neighbor and stand in mother
Jun 16, 2015 Meg rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Skip this book and go to Dairy Queen instead.
Jun 16, 2015 Asheley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction
This story follows Catherine Grace Cline as she grows up with her sister and her father. It is, I suppose, a coming-of-age story with very Southern appeal. It reads very well and is very much like a made-for-television movie.

It took me a few pages to really get into this one. But once I got into it, I was very attached to Catherine Grace. She is stubborn and sweet and in the middle of growing up without a mother, and just when things are looking up for her...her father dies. Then all the family
Cynthia Archer
I was looking for a light read in between some heavier books. This one fit the bill. The story is simple but well done. It is a coming of age story of a young woman and her sister who are raised by their preacher father. The neighbor Gloria Jean plays the role of mother to the girls and is the guiding light of the book. Her joie de vivre was the most uplifting part of the story, and she provides the real world influences that the girls and particularly Catherine Grace crave. From little on, Cath ...more
I had no intention of reading this book, but it popped up on a poll list for my book club and the title grabbed my attention.Once in awhile a book comes along that just makes you feel good.This was one of those.
Catherine Grace Cline is a preacher's kid in a small southern town with big dreams.She knows she is destined for much better things than what is available in Ringgold Georgia.She makes her escape at last when she turns the magical age of eighteen, and while she lands on her feet, she fi
Sep 16, 2015 Dawn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys Southern Fiction.
Recommended to Dawn by: I saw it recommended on Amazon.
An enjoyable read. This is the first book I have read by this author. There was some interesting and quirky characters. Catherine Grace, the main character, was so determined to leave her small town life and head out for better things in the big city. Sometimes you don't appreciate what you have right in front of you and you need to step back and take a different look at things to see what was there all along. At times, Catherine Grace may have seemed a little stubborn and self centered, but she ...more
A sweet book, one that I liked more than I think I expected to. Wrapped up a little too neatly for my taste but a fun read.
I just finished Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen and I already miss this cast of characters: Catherine Grace, Gloria Jean, Martha Ann, Dairy Queen, tomatoes, and many others. This book is a "coming of age" story but it is also a story of forgiveness, not just forgiveness of others but self-forgiveness.

Catherine Grace lives in a small town under a somewhat large microscope because she is the daughter of a popular preacher. Despite the mother's absence, Catherine Grace and her sister grow
For generations, the men in Catherine Grace Cline’s family have been preaching to the small town of Ringgold, Georgia. Growing up as the preacher’s daughter, Catherine Grace feels a sense of duty: to be a positive role model to her little sister, to make her father proud, and to be as strong of a Christian woman as her mother was before her untimely death. Despite these responsibilities, Catherine Grace can’t help but harbor big dreams for a life in the city. In a town where most everyone is bor ...more
Feb 05, 2011 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was good, a nice time filler. The girl's life was really hard, even though she was from such a small town like Ringgold. It made me think. Yep. That's what this book made me do. Let's just say if you read this book you'll be wanting to say "I love you" to your family a lot more. This has every thing you could ask for for a nice before bedtime book. Romance, humor, interesting plot line, and dreams.
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Susan Gregg Gilmore was born in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1961. Although her artist mother bought her daughter her first easel and box of paints when she was five, it was her fathers love of family storytelling that captured their young daughters attention.

Gregg Gilmore knew at an early age that she wanted to write but was soon drawn to journalism not fiction. While at the University of Virginia, s
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