Ch_beth Rice's Reviews > Dovey Coe

Dovey Coe by Frances O'Roark Dowell
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Mar 01, 2010

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bookshelves: historical-fiction

Dovey Coe by Frances O'Roark Dowell is set in the late 1920’s in Indian Creek, North Carolina. Dovey is a spunky 12 year-old who is proud of her family’s hard work ethic and character. Dovey is also on trial for murder. The opening paragraph of the book hooks the reader and draws you right in, “I hated Parnell Caraway as much as the next person, but I didn’t kill him.” The book then takes the readers through the events that lead up to Dovey finding herself on the floor next to the dead Parnell with no memory of what happened. After the opening paragraph I expected the rest of the book to be just at page turning. The first half of the book takes the time to give the background of Dovey and her family, perhaps a little too much time. But when the story does get to the trial and outcome it is quite suspenseful. The text is written in regional dialect and adds to the characterization of Dovey, her family, and friends, and it allows the reader to feel they are a part of the small community. The author seamlessly adds details about the way of life in the 1920’s in a rural community including everything from daily meals at home to the town general store. It would give middle school readers a glimpse of what life would be like during that time, something that I think is always interesting to compare to life today. Once you are accustom to the dialect of the text, this is an intriguing and suspenseful story about the value of family, love, and friendship.
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