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Dakota Blues by [Spreen, Lynne]
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Dakota Blues Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 127 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Lynne Morgan Spreen enjoyed a career as a human resources professional before becoming a professional writer. She has freelanced for Palm Desert Magazine, and produced a weekly column for the Business Journal. Dakota Blues is her debut novel.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2172 KB
  • Print Length: 307 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace (July 16, 2012)
  • Publication Date: July 16, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008RCZGU2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #566,033 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Karen Grace is your typically successful, career-driven perfectionist, a seemingly indispensible superwoman: she is also your typically `Why can't I get a life' crazed, slightly neurotic middle-aged female. When life throws her a curve ball, she discovers that perhaps her goals in life have been skewed - perhaps there is more to life than constantly banging one's head against the ever-present glass ceiling. How she resolves this contradiction is the basis of this story.

In her debut novel, Dakota Blues, Lynne Spreen weaves an uber-believable tale of how a seemingly perfect life can be upturned in the blink of an eye. Returning to her Midwestern roots upon the death of her mother, Karen discovers many truths about herself and what is important in life, and in the process offers many insights for the reader. The characters are interesting and fully-drawn and Lynne's descriptive narrative is superb. One can practically taste and feel the flavors and sensations that Karen experiences throughout her journey to self-discovery and ultimate happiness. I found myself identifying with Karen's emotions and choices, to the point that I couldn't put the book down. The consistent theme is that life is too short and too precious to go mindlessly through the paces. To truly live and enjoy life, it is important to be present in the here and now, being mindful of all that happens and making decisions based on that viewpoint.

This novel is a must-read for any woman who has questioned her life choices and is searching for ways to make her fall and winter years the best of all! I am looking forward to a second novel from this insightful and witty author.
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Format: Paperback
On the positive side, this book was very well written with respect to sentence structure, grammar, flow, and style. There was excellent character development, and the author's descriptions of the physical surroundings were so realistic, I felt like I was there. Technically, in my opinion, Lynne Spreen is a very good writer.

On the negative side, nothing happened of any consequence until halfway into the book--up until then, it was all backstory and set up. Throughout the book, there were several long scenes that didn't go anywhere and therefore didn't move the story forward, which may be the reason it didn't hold my interest.
7 Comments 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dakota Blues: Lynne Spreen

Karen Grace, at fifty, is forced to confront herself and her choices when her mother dies. She reluctantly travels from her expensive life in California to her childhood home on the weather beaten prairie of North Dakota.

With her cousins, who did not flee to the shinier promises of career and wealth, she visits the graves of her ancestors. Karen is brought face to face with her legacy:

"Done with their short, hard enlistments, their bodies worn out from bearing children and tilling the soil, they lay waiting for her to make their efforts worthwhile."

Whether we are aware of this task or not, every generation must answer this question: what are we doing with our legacy?

Ms. Spreen deals with this issue as old as Homer in this odyssey of one woman's quest to sort her priorities and find the courage to uproot herself and embark on her own wilderness in Dakota Blues. Karen Grace must face her own obstacles, not Dust Bowls and reluctant prairies, but complacency and following the script of what success means in 21st century America.

I enjoyed Karen's odyssey. I loved the cantankerous Frieda who played her part well in prodding Karen from her assumptions to her options in their rocky road trip across the American West.

My take-away from this book is that I shouldn't wait for life to fall apart before I take a chance and step out into my own wilderness.

I recommend this book, especially to fellow baby boomers who still have choices to venture from their lives and their "supposed to's" to something else, something bigger.
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Format: Paperback
Karen Grace is a hard-working executive who gets fired while attending her mother's funeral in her Midwestern hometown - and this on the heels of her husband having left her for his pregnant girlfriend. Now Karen's adrift, and she's beginning to realize her life lacks meaning and purpose. Having just turned fifty, she can find a truer path, but how? And does she have the courage? Is it too late? Every woman will identify with the issues raised in Dakota Blues. It's a fast, funny, sexy, and empowering read that'll leave you feeling like you have a new friend, and that the world is just a little bit more beautiful of a place. Buy it, ladies!
Dodie Cross, author of: A Broad Abroad in Iran
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Format: Paperback
Lynne Spreen writes masterfully and lyrically, so it is no surprise that her debut novel, Dakota Blues is a beautiful book that both entertains and inspires. Karen Grace embarks on a classic hero's journey surviving betrayal, heartbreak, and disappointment to discover her real power. Her journey, both metaphorically and literally, is a story that every woman of a certain age can relate to, although Dakota Blues is more than a woman's book. The fifty-something Karen is an elegant, smart, and gutsy survivor, and demonstrates the courage most people, no matter their gender, wish they had to shed an existence that no longer serves them. This book is not only powerful, but a good read with a little something for everybody. Turn the pages and find a hot love interest, fast moving adventure, quirky and admirable characters, and a chase scene that will stop your heart. I cannot wait to see what Lynne comes up with next.
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