Individual Books Reviewed:
Wait to Get to Heaven - Fannie Flagg - 24
has weak spots when it comes to literature. I love the stories of Fannie
Flagg or Patricia Neal to give her real name. Ever since I read Fried
Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe I have been a fan.
the surface Flagg's books have a naive feel to them, but underneath they
make a whole host of comments about human nature. By and large her
characters are hometown Americans - the salt of the earth. Her books
always see good prevail and at times the people are just too good to be
her observations are very sharp and there is wit and humanity running
through them all. Last year I found A Redbird Christmas just a little too
sentimentally cloying. Can't Wait to Get to Heaven finds a better balance
- never becoming over mawkish. I have to day that at one point I did begin
to struggle when the main character "dies" and is ushered into
the presence of a God who looks surprisingly like a former neighbour. Here
the tale stretched reality just too thinly.
after skating on the brink, the story pulls itself back to life - just as
the main character does. It is essentially the story of Elner Shimfissle,
a minor character in some of the previous Flagg novels. One day she falls
out of a fig tree, is certified dead at the hospital, meets God, and comes
back to life. Yes I know it sounds ridiculous but Flagg just about gets
away with it.
rest of the novel introduces us to many already well known characters from
the world of Elmwood Springs and relates just how Elner touched their
lives and there is also a mystery story in how peace loving Elner came to
have a gun and what the secret is behind it.
with most of Flagg's books all loose ends are tied up and you get to a
point in this novel where you realise that process is just beginning.
Although the storyline of this might be more implausible than in many of
her novels there is no doubting that once again Flagg has come up with an
easy to read moralistic story of everyday country folk.