Fannie Flagg has been described as a born storyteller. Who can argue with that? Best known for writing Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, which became a hit movie, this Alabama author has written another good book.
Pat Conroy says of The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion, “A beautifully told tale, world-class humor, and characters who live forever in a grateful reader’s world…Fannie Flagg keeps getting better and better.”
Anywhere there’s Fannie Flagg there will be humor. However, she explores many other emotions in this quirky novel. The mother-daughter relationship — often a land mine — is a central factor. Many Southerners know, or have known, a formidable woman like Lenore Simmons Krackenberry of Point Clear, Ala. This bigger-than-life character is the mother of Sookie Poole, who has just married off the last of her daughters and is looking forward to relaxing with her husband. But is Krackenberry really Poole’s mother? An interesting discovery calls into question everything Poole thought she knew about herself and her family. Poole is the self-effacing type who’s always put the needs of others (her mother, her husband, her children) ahead of her own. Sound familiar among polite Southern ladies?
Still, Poole begins a journey of self discovery that includes persuading the town’s young Yankee psychiatrist to meet her at various cafes and coffee shops because his office is next door to a busy hair salon, and, well, we know she can’t be seen going in and out of his office by the wagging tongues at the beauty shop. These encounters are some of the more humorous episodes in the book.
Poole’s journey also takes her to California and the Midwest and back in time to the 1940s. She learns about a Polish family in Wisconsin with a son and four daughters, all of whom become pilots. The girls operate the family’s filling station after the father’s illness and the son’s entrance into World War II. Later, three of the daughters serve in the WASPs (Women Airforce Service Pilots), a little known part of the war. Flagg skillfully weaves the brave, ground-breaking role of these women into a story of family, adventure and inspiration
— Lynn Lofton, firstname.lastname@example.org
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