Miss Dreamsville and the Lost Heiress of Collier County: A Novel (New York: Atria Books/Simon & Schuster, Sept. 8, 2015)
The second of two novels featuring a restless middle-aged wife and mother in small-town Florida in the early 1960s.
Miss Dreamsville and the Lost Heiress of Collier County is a stand-alone sequel that begins in the late summer of 1964, one year after the first book ends. Race and class issues, and divisions between Northerners and Southerners, are explored as the lead character and members of her book club face changes in their town and their own lives. The strange beauty and reclusiveness of the tidal rivers and land bordering the Everglades is threatened when a huge development is proposed.
The second book has an environmental theme but reviewers have noted that it reads like a literary mystery. Secrets kept from one generation to the next could be exposed if the book club continues to look for ways to block the development. The personal risks are high. An old land deed, the discovery that one of the characters has been using a false name, and a dramatic court hearing are a few of the highlights - not to mention the reappearance of the Ghost of Seminole Joe, who some believe to be simply a legend, and others insist is real.
Just like the first novel, the sequel was a selection of the Simon & Schuster Book Club; the 600-plus chapter of the international Pulpwood Queens Book Club; and the Fall-Winter Reading List of Deep South Magazine. Like the first novel, it was published in large print and also as a Reader's Digest Select Edition. It has been translated and published in Brazil, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
Here are a sample of reviews:
“They’re back! Dora Witherspoon, Miss Dreamsville, and the gang. So rejoice—Amy Hill Hearth has written another beauty aimed right at your funny bone and your heart.”-Peter Golden, author of Comeback Love
“The stories in Miss Dreamsville and the Lost Heiress trade in serious and provocative issues, and the misfit characters within are authentic and true…a vivid, vibrant plot in a journalist’s efficient prose.” - The Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J.
"Hearth's sound writing and wit create a story featuring a wealth of eccentric characters." - Kirkus Reviews
"Miss Dreamsville and the Lost Heiress of Collier County is a story of the strength of women. And it is a story of secrets and of secrets revealed. I highly recommend reading the two Miss Dreamsville books. You can read the Lost Heiress as a stand-alone but your heart needs to read both. They are both so good." - MysteriesEtc
“With this follow-up novel about the colorful women of Collier County, Florida, Amy Hill Hearth has proven herself to be one of the most talented fiction writers on shelves today. “ - Julie Cantrell, New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of Into the Free, When Mountains Move, and The Feathered Bone
“Miss Dreamsville and the Lost Heiress of Collier County is not only a delightful diversion, but it is also a lively and wise deliberation on the dynamics of friendship, change, and self-realization.” -Philip K. Jason, Southern Literary Review