cover image Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Coming Home

Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Coming Home

Amy Dickinson, read by the author. Hachette Audio, , unabridged, 7 CDs, 9 hrs., $30 ISBN 978-1-4789-1251-4

Dickinson, who writes the syndicated “Ask Amy” advice column, follows The Mighty Queens of Freeville with this similarly themed memoir of love lost and found. Returning as a divorced adult to the small town near Ithaca, N.Y., where she grew up, Dickinson did not expect to find love; her primary motivation for moving was to be near her aging mother. But most of this memoir is about falling in love with a prior acquaintance, carrying out a courtship under the prying eyes of a small town, and remarrying and becoming a stepmother. Reading the audiobook, Dickinson’s emotions comes through as she recounts the ups and downs of these years, especially the slow decline of her mother and her own debilitating grief following her mother’s death. She is more spirited while reading the lighter elements of her story, gleefully recounting a series of terrible dates between her two marriages and describing the various indignities of middle age. Dickinson’s delivery can be rushed and at times giggly, with many sentences rising in pitch at the end so that they resemble questions. Still, the intimacy of this memoir rests on Dickinson’s authenticity, so these small imperfections only add to the listening experience. A Hachette hardcover. (Mar.)