The day before Trout Moseley turned 16 his father, southern Methodist minister Joe Pike Moseley, abruptly set off for Texas. His mother has been in an Atlanta psychiatric hospital for many years.
Trout is eventually reunited with his father in the aging Georgia town named for their family. Joe Pike preaches to a new congregation and Trout learns more about his family than he ever wanted to know.
The Moseleys are the city's largest employer, with most of the residents working at the mill and living in identical houses on Moseley-owned land. Trout befriends a local girl and learns why the Moseley name is often muttered like a curse word.
At the same time, Trout observes cracks in his own family. The stable, stoic image portrayed in town isn't at all accurate.
Dairy Queen Days follows Trout as he tries to forge his own identity in a new town with a family he hardly knows. At first glance, this Robert Inman novel appears to be a coming-of-age story. Readers will find that as the story progresses, Moseley and it's inhabitants are aging as well.
The tale is set in 1979, though it feels more like a 50's piece. Inman does little to remind readers of the time frame, though it's clear change is on the horizon.
The pace of Dairy Queen Days is simple, sweet and slow. Be patient with the cast of misfits as they do eventually tell a charming tale.
Robert Inman can paint pictures of the South with his words. A whole world of emotion is captured and placed at the heart of one small Georgia town. Inman's writing is not to be missed.