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Hoopi Shoopi Donna Paperback – May 1, 1997
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus Reviews
Top Customer Reviews
Donna's days are filled with dinners prepared by her loving Babci (Grandma), dresses and outfits made by her talented mother, and evenings of playing her accordion for her proud father. But when a poor little cousin from Poland, Betty, is adopted by the family, Donna begins to lose the attention and affection of her father.
A misunderstanding causes a dreadful split that Donna never recovers from. She becomes the selfish teenager while Betty becomes the selfless victim. Donna, once high achieving and dutiful becomes mediocre (working as a quality inspector in a tampon factory--love it!) and estranged as Betty thrives and flourishes from her father's love.
Reconciliation comes late--but not too late for Donna. Through music and the polka, the music of the accordian, she finds forgiveness.
While I found the ending confusing (why did Donna drop Joseph Angello even when she knew he hadn't lied to her?), it did cause me to think. It wasn't a pat ending.
I am in a book club in my area and can't wait for my turn to host and choose the book... as I already know my selection. This definitely needs to be discussed with others.
The only adverse thing I can think of is my sympathy for the nice guys who always got dumped led me to being very frustrated with Donna. She's comes around at the end. Never have I considered reading a book twice... but this may be the one.
Nonetheless, young Donna's life is happy enough, especially with her loving grandmother, Babci, living just next door in the family's duplex. Then her father decides to bring his little niece, Betty, over from Poland, and Donna's life changes forever.
No longer the apple of her parents' eye, Donna is resentful of the attention little Betty garners. Then tragedy strikes, and Donna finds herself a permanent outcast in her own family, with Betty there to pick up the slack.
Because of that fateful day, the two girls' lives are permanently set. Beloved Betty goes on to become successful in every aspect of her life, while Donna, existing in the shadows, is subjected to a mediocre existence. As the years pass, Donna realizes that the events of that long-ago day don't define who she is as a person, and what she needs and deserves from life. It's up to her to strike out into the world, and make things right.
This was the first book of Suzanne Strempek Shea's that I had ever read, and it made me instantly fall in love with her writing. Since then, I have read several others, and I feel they all maintain that same level of literary brilliance.
To read one of Shea's books is to step fully into the universe she has depicted, and to walk among new friends and faces.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Just unpacking boxes of books, and found this gem in my "Lady Lit Box", right next to Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Dreams. (Loyd, sigh. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Vivacia K
I Loved it! Took me back to my Polish roots and reminded me of my mom.
Lots of good memories.
I love this author. She has a way of making experiences real. She's from the North East where I used to live so everything is very familiar.Published on April 14, 2013 by me
Set in a Polish-American community in western Massachusetts, this novel follows Milewski as she tries to come to terms with her father. Read morePublished on October 31, 2011 by LH422
a beautiful book illustrating the character of the Polish family and growing up as immagrants trying to make anew life while remaining true to our parents lifes. Read morePublished on January 1, 2011 by Kathleen Kusmirek
Hoopi Shoopi Donna is a nice little tale about Polish American Donna Mileweski who finds her personal redemption through, what else, polka music. Read morePublished on May 4, 2010 by Tom
I've just begun this book, but I find the author's use of long sentences (sometimes a page long), difficult to read. It's easy to forget her point. Read morePublished on September 2, 2003
Shea not only tells an amazing story, but she also has the ability to make the ordinary parts of daily life seem interesting. Read morePublished on June 26, 2002 by Judith Miller
Suzanne Strempek Shea deserves all the acclaim she has received for "Hoopi Shoopi Donna." This is a very satisfying coming-of-age story of a woman who just happens to be... Read morePublished on March 24, 2002