According to, well, herself, Willowdean Dickson is about the last person predicted to compete in a pageant show, and it isn’t because she’s a (self-proclaimed) “fat girl.” It’s because pageants are an old fashioned diatribe of materialistic desires, full of shallow competitors. Unfortunately, Willow’s former beauty queen mother happens to be a judge of the local Miss Clover City contest, and doesn’t look too highly on Will’s opinion of her beloved event.
In Julie Murphy’s “Dumplin’,” we get to engage with a young woman that has been confident in her skin. For the most part, Will ignores her mom’s suggestions of dieting and becoming more popular. However, when “Private School Bo,” a gorgeous ex-jock, begins working with Will at the local fast food restaurant, Will begins to self-doubt, despite the obvious spark between the two. Will puts her blinders on as Bo’s attraction to her becomes more clear, and it will take a couple of drag queens, some quirky new friends, and the Miss Clover City pageant, for Will to find herself again and open up to the possibility of a new relationship or, more importantly, to the possibility of embracing herself fully and happily.
Refreshing and honestly abrasive, Will’s emotions and actions throughout this story make you want to be nicer to yourself, especially as Will learns to give herself a break and enjoy friendships and love as they come at her. Sassy Will may not just surprise herself and the entire city of Clover; she’ll give you a run for your money as well. This book is highly recommended for anyone who wants to add a smart and sensitive title to their reading list.
You can put “Dumplin’” on hold in our catalog right now. If you have to wait, be sure to check out “You Might Also Like These…” at the bottom of the book’s catalog page.