Monday, October 16, 2006

Review of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg

1987, McGraw-Hill
403 pgs
Rating: * (Very Good)

First Sentence: The Whistle Stop Café opened up last week, right next door to me at the post office, and owners Idgie Threadgoode and Ruth Jamison said business has been good ever since.

Reason for Reading: Years ago, I had seen the movie and after hearing nothing but good comments about Fannie Flagg and this particular novel, I decided to take a chance on it. I found a copy being circulated by bookring through BookCrossing and thought it would be a good time as any to read it.

Comments: There comes a time in life when every person examines where they are and where they’ve been. Evelyn Couch is not happy with her life. She tries to be the perfect wife and the expected gentle and polite woman, but has found that it is not enough. Escaping a weekly visit between her husband and his mother, Evelyn finds herself the listening board for an elderly woman whose “old timey” tales enchant her, stories of the Whistle Stop Café, Troutville, Idgie and Ruth, Big George and Smokey, among a few whose lives were full of hardship, laughter, courage, and strength. The elderly Ninny Threadgoode and Evelyn become fast friends and Evelyn finds herself taking more of an interest in life itself.

Fannie Flagg has written a beautiful novel that had me laughing out loud with almost every other chapter, crying at times and feeling like I was right there in Whistle Stop. Idgie’s humor and toughness was balanced out by Ruth’s gentleness and strength. Fannie Flagg captured the prejudices of the times between the blacks and the whites, as readers followed the stories of Artis, Big George, Willie Boy, Naughty Bird and several other characters that are sure to become favorites once met. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café just about has it all: a murder mystery, a love story, the Great Depression, the Ku Klux Klan, a robin hood of the trains, and plenty of family and friends. This is a novel that reaches into the heart and stays there.

Favorite Part: It’s hard to choose! One of my favorite scenes is when Idgie takes Stump to visit Eva’s dog. It was such a meaningful move on her part. Another favorite part of mine was the trial when the reverend takes the stand.

Miscellaneous: The author, Fannie Flagg, played Nurse Wilkins in one of my favorite movie musicals, Grease.

Take a look at Puss Reboots review of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe.

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