Cover image for Rima in the weeds
Rima in the weeds
McNamer, Deirdre.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins, [1991]

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Rima in the Weeds is a classic novel of small-town life and an astonishing first work of fiction about women growing up in a land of limited opportunity and bone-chilling loneliness, who have to first imagine a life for themselves and then create it.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

With unsparing characterization and a gritty sense of place, this novel of small-town Montana in the 1960s focuses on Dorrie, a 21-year-old unmarried mother who has come back home from college in despair; Gloria, who can't leave; and fifth-grader Margaret, who feels the constraints of home and longs for love.

Publisher's Weekly Review

This lyrical first novel provides several perceptions of ``home'': one woman has returned there against her will; a child, though rebellious, still finds needed security in her family; another adult is intellectually but not emotionally prepared to escape. Dorrie, a 21-year-old unwed mother abandoned by her lover, leaves Chicago in 1963 for her home in Madrid, Mont., a prairie town with a missile base as its claim to fame. She is disturbed by her ultra-right-wing father, haunted by memories of her mother's insanity and frustrated by her fussy new son, Sam; her private torment captivates Margaret, the alienated fifth-grader who is Sam's baby-sitter. Dorrie becomes a waitress at the faltering Bull's Eye restaurant, where she meets bouffant-crowned Gloria, a Madrid native who longs to attend business school but fears anonymity in a large city. References to loaded guns and the ominous presence of the missiles portray the precarious balance within the human mind--heavy symbolism notwithstanding, McNamer's accurately depicts both childhood and adulthood in the sheltering yet stifling atmosphere of small-town America. 25,000 first printing; $30,000 ad/promo; author tour. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Northern Montana in the 1960s is ``man's country.'' While the building of underground missile silos has changed the economic and physical features of the area, it has done nothing to enhance customs or the status of women. This is the story of Dorrie Vane, who escapes to Chicago but returns two years later an unwed mother. Family relationships and former friendships no longer work for her, but then neither do new relationships. Dorrie struggles with the reality of her mother's mental illness, her father's radical political activities, and her own changed status, often relying on fantasy to maintain her mental well-being. McNamer captures in beautiful prose the harsh realities of Montana life, making her debut as a novelist with this touching analysis of the modern Western woman.-- Thomas Kilpatrick, Southern Illinois Univ. at Carbondale Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.