Dovey Coe by Frances O’Roark Dowell

Dovey Coe (large)My name is Dovey Coe, and I reckon it don’t matter if you like me or not.  I’m here to lay the record straight, to let you know them folks saying I done a terrible thing are liars.  I aim to prove it, too.  I hated Parnell Caraway as much as the next person, but I didn’t kill him.

The opening paragraph of Dovey Coe by Frances O’Roark Dowell had me completely hooked.  Take into account that Dovey is only twelve-years-old and I’m even more hooked. I loved this book!  The voice.  Oh my goodness the voice.  Dovey Coe’s character was simply amazing and has a voice that is simply unforgettable.  And the sense of place.  Oh my goodness again!  It’s as if I was right there in the Appalachian mountains and with the mountain folk who lived there.

Dovey’s older sister is being courted by Parnell, the son of the richest man in town.  There’s not much that’s very nice about him and Dovey’s afraid that he’ll stop her sisters dream of going away to college.  On top of that, he’s real mean to her older brother who’s deaf which doesn’t mean he’s stupid.  Dovey has always spoken her mind, so when Parnell turns up dead (no spoiler there – we find out he’s dead in that first paragraph but how he died is the mystery) the town turns to Dovey as the most likely suspect.

LOVED it.  A great plot, fantastic characters and one heck of a voice in Dovey had me all giddy over this one.  I almost want to put everything down and reread it right now and I’m not much of a rereader.  Having ADORED Shooting the Moon also by Frances O’Roark Dowell, and now being two for two, I think I need to explore this author’s books even more.  She’s becoming a fast favorite.  Did I mention that I loved it?

Links of interest: Maw Books review of Shooting the Moon also by Frances O’Roark Dowell, Frances O’Roark Dowell’s website, more book blogger reviews.
Genre: Historical Fiction, approx ages 9-12.
Publisher: Aladdin. November 1, 2001
Paperback, 192 pages. ISBN 0689846673
Source copy: Own
Dovey Coe is available from your favorite independent bookstore, Powell’s, and Amazon.


  1. This book sounds amazing! I love books set in Appalachia when they’re done right.

    on May 17th, 2010 at 7:26 am
  2. Oh this sounds so good Natasha. I am adding it to my list for the library right now.

    on May 17th, 2010 at 12:49 pm
  3. Sounds like a great recommendation! I better add it.

    on May 17th, 2010 at 2:50 pm
  4. Wow .. this book sounds amazing! I haven’t heard of it!

    on May 17th, 2010 at 3:07 pm
  5. Sounds good!! Adding it to the list!

    on May 18th, 2010 at 11:08 am
  6. The opening lines brought to mind ‘Scout’ from ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’.
    If an author can pull it off, a novel written with a child as protagonist, is incredibly powerful.
    I shall certainly try and find this book here in the UK.
    Thank you for a great enticing review.

    on May 21st, 2010 at 12:04 am
  7. [...] saw a review for this book at Natasha’s blog, Maw Books.  Her review and her gushing over the book, Dovey, and the author, caused me to quickly reserve [...]

    on June 27th, 2010 at 3:05 pm

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