After her brother, sister, and father die in a plane crash, Daralynn Oakland receives 237 dolls from well-wishers, resulting in her nickname: Dolly. But dolls are little comfort to a twelve-year-old girl whose world is rocked by the dramatic changes in her life, including her angry, grieving mother's new job as a hairstylist at the local funeral home.
Dolly gets a job, too, where she accidentally invents a fashionable new haircut. But her real work begins when a crematorium comes to town, and someone has to save a dying business, solve a burning mystery, and resuscitate the broken hearts in Digginsville, Missouri, population 402.
KATE KLISE is the author of the 43 Old Cemetery Road series (Dying to Meet You and Over My Dead Body) of epistolary novels, illustrated by her sister, M. Sarah Klise, as well as the picture book Shall I Knit You a Hat? (Holt). Her standalone fiction includes Deliver Us from Normal, which School Library Journal praised as "a superb psychological novel." She lives in Norwood, Missouri.
This improbably lighthearted mystery, told from Daralynn's entertainingly candid perspective, deals with death and its aftermath in a straightforward style that puts the 'fun back in funeral.'
Klise (the 43 Old Cemetery Road series) spins an insightful story about loss and family, set in the tiny town of Digginsville, Mo., told from the plainspoken perspective of 12-year-old Daralynn Oakland. ...Balancing Daralynn's family tragedy with gentle humor and an evocative late-1960s setting, Klise's writing is refreshingly matter-of-fact and studded with simple, powerful images and memorable, entertaining characters.
In the sentimental end, this salty-sweet, nut-sprinkled novel underscores the 'grounding' that comes with caring for people, whether it's flashy-trashy Aunt Josie and her boardinghouse gentlemen, senile Mamaw poignantly nurturing her dolls or, most powerfully of all, Daralynn and her mother finding their way back to each other.
This quiet story illuminates and celebrates the human need for connection beyond the grave.
While her subject matter is serious, author Kate Klise brings humor and warmth to this heartfelt story of healing and hope.