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Publisher's Summary

In 1913, little Malka Treynovsky flees Russia with her family. Bedazzled by tales of gold and movie stardom, she tricks them into buying tickets for America. Yet no sooner do they land on the squalid Lower East Side of Manhattan, than Malka is crippled and abandoned in the street.
Taken in by a tough-loving Italian ices peddler, she manages to survive through cunning and inventiveness. As she learns the secrets of his trade, she begins to shape her own destiny. She falls in love with a gorgeous, illiterate radical named Albert, and they set off across America in an ice cream truck. Slowly, she transforms herself into Lillian Dunkle, "The Ice Cream Queen" - doyenne of an empire of ice cream franchises and a celebrated television personality.
Lillian's rise to fame and fortune spans 70 years and is inextricably linked to the course of American history itself, from Prohibition to the disco days of Studio 54. Yet Lillian Dunkle is nothing like the whimsical motherly persona she crafts for herself in the media. Conniving, profane, and irreverent, she is a supremely complex woman who prefers a good stiff drink to an ice cream cone. And when her past begins to catch up with her, everything she has spent her life building is at stake.
©2014 Susan Jane Gilman (P)2014 Hachette Audio
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Critic Reviews

"[A] standout travel memoir...Gilman's descriptions of their trials and tribulations crackle with wit." ( Booklist)
"This shrewd and lively novel tells us about those chasms between public success and private truths that make up so much of American life. The energetic narrator, the ice cream queen, is a confidence-woman, and her darkly comic story about life in the big city and in the media spotlight will give readers chills." ( Charles Baxter, author of The Soul Thief)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Linda on 12-02-14

Fabulous Story, Questionable Narrator

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Hired someone else to do the narration. Not all authors should narrate their own books. It took a lot for me to get past her voice. There was little difference between the characters' voices and it was clear she was not a skilled narrator. The story, however, was fabulous.

Any additional comments?

This story was excellent. It was not the story I was expecting from the cover. The cover suggests a more "girlish" story line, but I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the characters and the story itself. I would most definitely recommend the book. I eventually got used to the narrator, but I have to admit I almost returned the book after the first few chapters and would have had I not become so interested in the story.

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10 of 11 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 05-18-17

Awful narrator

Great story. Couldn't take the voice of the narrator another minute. I gave up on this book after Chapter 7. The narrator's voice made everything about the book annoying.....tone didn't match the story or characters. Akin to bad infomercial or local tv commercial acting. Very lame and unconvincing. The, "so sue me" 's and "darlings" were over used and equally annoying. The story was interesting and compelling, which Is the reason I made it through almost 7 chapters. But, life is too short to be annoyed by leisure reading (or listening).

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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