Dolores, Dolores, Dolores by Deb Mia

I have a lot of favorite literary characters, but for some reason Dolores Price is coming to mind. Remember Dolores from Wally Lamb’s She’s Come Undone? For the record, I loved her before she was discovered by Oprah. Okay, just so we’re clear.

I think what did it for me was her humor and her innocence, but then when her innocence is lost, as a reader I can’t abandon her because I need to know she’s going to be okay (I know, this is American fiction which tends to have a HEA – happily ever after – but I was watching a lot of foreign films at the time and just had to be sure).

The book was written in the first person, so immediately I bonded with Dolores. The story opens with her narrating at age 13, and I, for one, was hooked.

Mine is a story of craving; an unreliable account of lusts and troubles that began, somehow, in 1956 on the day our free television was delivered.

You see? I didn’t have a choice. Before the end of the first sentence, I was already cancelling all remaining appointments for the week and getting ready to call in sick. And here’s an excerpt from Chapter 3:

I was on the brown plaid sofa, watching TV and scotch-taping my bangs to my forehead because Jeanette said that kept them from drying frizzy. Across the room on the Barcalounger, my mother was having her nervous breakdown.

How can you not want to know more? Especially since Dolores herself doesn’t know what’s to come … in fact, at first glance you might even cringe as the reader, seeing tragedy before Dolores does, and desperately hoping she’ll get through it while at the same time rubber-necking with strange detachment as the details unfold.

I’m sure you’ve probably read it, and if so, tell me your favorite part. But if not, you’re going to want to add this book to your reading pile and Dolores Price to your list of characters you’re going to love.

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10 thoughts on “Dolores, Dolores, Dolores by Deb Mia

  1. Reading this book was an epiphany for me — Seeing vulnerable quirky characters that the author created and made me care about. He made desire palpable. I simply could not believe a man wrote Delores.
    I so badly wanted her to LHEA…

  2. I’ve always wanted to read this book, but haven’t. Shame on me, considering it evidently was one of the books that began the chick-lit craze. I’ll be sure to pick it up when I’m in the book store next, which is always once a week, book nerd that I am. Thanks for the review, Mia.

  3. I love Dolores too. This is one of those rare books that I can pick up and open to any page and instantly be involved. I love the transformation of the character. I was also shocked that a man wrote the book. I love his other book too, “This Much I Know Is True” which has another great flawed and human character in Dominic. I wish Wally Lamb would write faster!

  4. I loved both of his books- he has a quirky almost John Irving like feel for me. And- I think we’ve covered my love for John Irving books.

  5. Watching Dolores come undone was priceless…I wanted to save her so many times. And though the reading took place well before Oprah’s “Pick,” I’ll confess to having heard about the book from Kathie Lee Gifford. Amazing, huh?

  6. I listened to this book on CD a cople of years after it origiginally came out. I kept backing it up to listen to passages again and again, and, Mia, I believe that one of those passages was the mother having the nervous breakdown on the Barcalounger. Priceless! Thanks for reminding me 🙂

  7. It’s always amazing to me how well some men capture women – at least literary. Steel Magnolias is another one that comes to mind – and, all right, The Bridges of Madison County. Somehow those particular authors manage to allow their characters to have such gut-wrenching moments and experiences, and survive. I think I probably protect my characters a bit too much …

  8. I’m with Tish… I read this long ago and have forgotten much of it (which is all about me having a terrible memory, not a reflection of the book in any way…) I do remember how very much I loved it and being very impressed that it was written by a man. The beautiful thing about having such a terrible memory is that I can go back to a book and be surprised by it all over again, which is just what I intend to do with this one. Thanks for reminding me about it, Mia!

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