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Can't Wait to Get to Heaven (Elmwood Springs #3)

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  12,904 Ratings  ·  1,625 Reviews
This novel takes readers back to Elmwood Springs, Missouri, where the most unlikely and surprising experiences of a high-spirited octogenarian inspire a town to ponder the age-old question: why are we here?
Hardcover, 365 pages
Published July 31st 2006 by Random House (NY) (first published 2006)
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The Help by Kathryn StockettTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeThe Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk KiddFried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie FlaggGarden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
Quirky Southern Fiction
71st out of 691 books — 1,776 voters
The Help by Kathryn StockettThe Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk KiddFried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie FlaggDivine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca WellsWhere the Heart Is by Billie Letts
Best Adult Female Friendship Books
43rd out of 467 books — 930 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dec 05, 2015 Phrynne rated it liked it
Not my first by this author so I knew what to expect but this one seemed to be a bit too whimsical at first and started to border on the silly (for my taste that is). But then just as I started muttering under my breath about having to give up soon if it kept on like that something wonderful and very funny happened. Then of course I was hooked and raced through to the end. So, not the best book she has written, but a pleasant way to pass a Sunday afternoon.
Apr 28, 2012 Terri rated it really liked it
I bought this book on impulse at Borders, before it closed (boo hoo), because it was very cheap. I loved "Fried Green Tomatoes" and Candid Camera so I was ready to enjoy this novel by Fannie Flagg. I made a couple false starts as I began to read. I was somewhat distracted by a busy life and the featured small town quirkiness just didn't grab my attention at first. Then, my dear friend, Lillian, passed away at age 90. For years, I spent most Saturday lunches with Lillian. Suddenly, that privilege ...more
Saskia Marijke Niehorster-Cook
I have so far read two books from this writer and this is her third. The firs was Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, by far one of my favorite books to date. Although this new book takes place later on in time, the characters of this book are somewhat linked to the characters of the previous book "Welcome to the World, Baby Girl". It is a great book to read if life has hung you out to dry and the last thing you need is more drama. This book is a spoonful of honey when your life/throa ...more
Jun 17, 2011 Eva rated it it was amazing
Laugh out loud funny, this book describes how any single person can greatly influence the lives of their neighbors. Elner Shimfissle is blessed with an inquiring mind and a large loving heart. In her eighties, or possibly nineties, she decides to make fig jam for her friends and falls out of the tree when attacked by wasps while picking figs. She doesn't know her age because she was born at home, the only record is in the family bible and her sister, Ida, buried that years ago so no one would kn ...more
Nov 10, 2011 Rayni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rayni by: Talking Books
My mom got this from the State library Talking Books. I immediately checked out the reviews & thought this was something she would love. Imagine my surprise when she announced Monday she did not like this book at all & wanted to send it back. It was too hard to understand. Huh??? I slipped the cartridge into the digital reader &, of course, it was too hard to understand: the reader sounded like a chipmunk. I slowed it down to "normal," then went one notch lower. This book snagged me ...more
Mom Shaw
Mar 02, 2009 Mom Shaw rated it really liked it
this is the story of an elderly lady who has a near death experience and the people in her life both those she has known for years and those she meets in the hospital setting whose life she touches, this is a funny book, lots of great characters, fanny flagg also wrote fried green tomatoes, i watched the movie and wasn't that impressed but maybe I would like the book better, some of the characters in this story are also in welcome to the world baby girl.
Mar 15, 2009 Robin rated it really liked it
Oh okay read. It was for book group or I wouldn't have read it. I have such a list of books I'm working on. If you have tons of time and would enjoy a few laughs it does have them. There is mild language and God/Harvey doesn't judge his children. No final judgement and heaven is how we want it to look. They just want us to be happy. Flagg wrote this book to remind us that there are still so many good people in the world and the best is yet to come, so on that aspect I would not dissagree. One th ...more
Aug 28, 2016 Eliza rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cartaceo

Se ricordate bene nella recensione di Miss Alabama e la casa dei sogni via avevo detto che le storie della Flagg per me sanno sempre di buono. Come non sentire anche con questo libro, dal titolo quanto mai azzeccato, il profumo di torta che cuoce in forno? Lo so, fuori ci sono 30C, siamo in piena estate eppure... Niente la Flagg per me sa di casa, di lenzuola appese ad asciugare, di gatti panciuti e pigri che dormono all'ombra, di strade tranquille e aiuol
Mom2 Bradley
Oct 24, 2008 Mom2 Bradley rated it it was amazing
A funny and engaging story of the old South where neighbors really knew each other and really cared. And with quite a bit of spiritual insight as well. Good feelings come from reading it.
Book Concierge
Audio book read by Cassandra Campbell

From the dust jacket: Life is the strangest thing. One minute, Mrs Elner Shimfissle is up in her tree, picking figs, and the next thing she knows she is off on an adventure she never dreamed of, running into people she never in a million years expected to meet. Meanwhile, back home, Elner’s nervous, high-strung niece Norma faints and winds up in bed with a cold rag on her head; Elner’s neighbor Verbena rushes immediately to the Bible; her truck driver friend,
Aug 07, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was ok
When the supply of available audiobooks is limited, this is the kind of thing I come up with. It's certainly not something I would have picked if I had had a significantly wider selection, and my guess about what kind of book it would be turned out to be fairly accurate. (Thank goodness for competent book designers who help us pick books by their covers.)

That said, I would recommend this book to somebody else who wasn't much like me. The ideal reader for this book shouldn't mind not having much
May 26, 2014 Felicia rated it liked it
When I first started this book I was really wondering why I was reading it. It seemed like a book for old women. I kept with it however and ended up enjoying it. Good story. A "feel good" easy to read book. I liked the way the author told the story, similar to Janet Evanovich's style. I am pretty sure my friend Toni told me this similarity. Not sure I'll read another book by this author but I won't rule it out.
Jul 11, 2016 Lisa rated it it was amazing
I read this book every time I'm feeling a little down and depressed, and it makes me feel better every time.

I'm sure others wouldn't be as impressed by this story; the pace is a little slow, the writing might be interpreted as too cute and sweet, and the philosophy of this book is nothing new ("life is a gift-live every day like it might be your last"...yeah, we get it). But it's my comfort read, and when I first read it, I had needed to read something like this, and it ended up having a huge im
There's something about Fannie Flagg's writing that is comforting. I like how she can write stereotypical characters and not be patronizing. It's not for everyone, but for cozy Southern Americana, it's a safe bet.
Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven: Quick, quaint, humorous, and quirky . . . charmingly and deceptively entertaining.

Elner Shimfissle is an eccentric nonagenarian filled with compassion, curiosity, and a love for life. I adore her. The joy she gets from some of the simplest things that others don’t give a passing thought about is so endearing.

“I just saved a butterfly! I walked out here a little while ago and saw the prettiest butterfly caught in a spider web and I was able to set it loose. I’m sorr
Karen O'Brien-Hall
Feb 07, 2014 Karen O'Brien-Hall rated it really liked it
Just when I was reminded of how much I enjoyed reading Fannie Flagg’s books, my library book club chose Can't Wait to Get to Heaven as the our first choice for 2014. What a great read!
Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven reminds us that you don’t have to be rich and famous to be loved and appreciated in your community. It doesn’t take the brains of an Einstein, or the wealth of a Rockefeller, or the psychoanalytical skills of Freud to make a difference to the people around you. Sometimes a friendly wave
Jan 16, 2009 Katrina marked it as to-read
Combining southern warmth with unabashed emotion and side-splitting hilarity, Fannie Flagg takes readers back to Elmwood Springs, Missouri, where the most unlikely and surprising experiences of a high-spirited octogenarian inspire a town to ponder the age-old question: Why are we here?

Life is the strangest thing. One minute, Mrs. Elner Shimfissle is up in her tree, picking figs, and the next thing she knows, she is off on an adventure she never dreamed of, running into people she never in a mill
Dec 01, 2008 Marilyn rated it liked it
I have not ever read anything by Fannie Flag but I have friends that enjoy her books, so when I found this one at Costco, I bought it. It was a good choice and seemed fitting for the time. We drove to my parent's home in Idaho for Thanksgiving so I have 4 good hours of reading time each way, less the time spent with my eyes closed.

My parents are in their 80's, like the main character in the book, Elner. The exact year of her birth was unknown because her sister had buried the family bible years
May 12, 2012 Mary rated it liked it
The book was a folksy Southern story, but it did make my book club feel good about life for awhile. It was refreshing to think there is this kind of goodness in life. The author was able to transport us to another dimension, out of our present reality and into a place where there are basic pleasures. This is not such a bad thing to take away from a book. I hope Heaven is a place where there will be reuniting and joyful moments and ultimate peace; a place where you will no longer worry about mone ...more
Aug 03, 2011 Donna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, favorites
Fannie Flagg has given us a very wonderful and witty book of Elner Shimfissle. Elner falls from a fig tree after being attacked my a bunch of wasps. Unconscious on the ground, Elner is seen by a neighbor who has called the ambulance and Elner is hoisted off to the hospital. Here she has an afterlife experience and goes to heaven. However, she doesn't remain there; she is sent back. Oh so much had happened prior to Elner's return- a funeral was being planned and everyone knew about her death. The ...more
Oct 20, 2013 Mayda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian, humor
Author Fannie Flagg is a storyteller unlike any other. Her unique characters come alive on the page with charming southern manners and somewhat unusual personalities. In this novel, Elner Shimfissle (the name says it all) finds herself in heaven even as her friends are mourning her passing. It is an adventure of a lifetime, so to speak, and Elner embraces it with her whole being. Filled with humor, Flagg gives her readers a glimpse of heaven and its inhabitants that is amazing in its simplicity ...more
Dec 12, 2013 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Linda by: shelf at ChCPL
Shelves: chcpl, audio
I didn't realized when I picked this up that it is the third (and last) of a series. It certainly stands on its own. Aunt Elner Shimthistle is confident that despite being in her 80s, she can still do everything she always has - such as climbing her fig tree to pick the fruit. Her niece and nephew-in-law have appointed themselves as her guardian angels. The niece, Norma, is not as patient with her aunt as her husband who stops in for coffee with Aunt Elner every day before heading to work.
Full o
Lisa Nelson
Aug 03, 2011 Lisa Nelson rated it liked it
I think it's always fun to read a book or watch a movie and see someones view of what Heaven might look like. In this novel the main character dies and goes to Heaven. She visits with God and Jesus before returning back to earth. I read most of this book on the flight to my Grandma Helen's funeral. Maybe that is why I picked this one to read. Grandma Helen's funeral and the time with family was priceless. This book left me wanting more. In the past I have really enjoyed this author and her sense ...more
Dec 30, 2014 Meno rated it really liked it
Fannie Flagg doesn't develop much of a story line in Can't Wait To Get To Heaven, but it doesn't matter. Her heroine, the delightful Elener Shimfizzle, a truly kind and quirky old lady, has collected a cast of characters worthy of several novels. The development of these characters, each one extraordinary in their ordinariness, makes for an engaging read. From her anxious ocd niece, Norma, to the arrogant lawyer, Winston Sprague, all are touched by Elener's goodness.
Mar 27, 2016 Gisele rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Considered chick lit, this light easy read turned out to be exactly what I needed to read at this particular time...the chapter titled "Learning the Ropes" had me laughing out loud! Comic relief, words of wisdom and the "warm fuzzies"...what more could you ask for?
Apr 12, 2016 Patty rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
I always enjoy Fannie Flagg. A bit of southern-ness makes it feel like home. Crazy characters that you can enjoy. And, I smile as she gets on her soapbox about issues that bother her (how she doesn't like cussing in movies, the degradation of old-fashioned values, or other changes in modern times.)
I just re-read this book for the book club. Amazing how much I forgot since the last time. Still a good book. We had a lively discussion about the book and enjoyed the caramel cake one of our book club members made from the recipe in the back of the book. Funny and delicious! What more can you ask for?
Jul 18, 2015 Sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While not my very favorite Fannie Flagg novel, this book was very enjoyable and easy to read. I do love these characters, and this book was delightful because it focused on one of the characters that you'd just love to have lunch with, Elner Shimfissle. She's just great!
Aug 02, 2016 Carla rated it it was ok
I am very southern, and it bothered me to death that the tree on the front of the cover is obviously an oak - probably a live oak - but it is supposed to be a fig bush which they keep referring to as a fig TREE. The main character falls off a 9 foot ladder picking figs from her fig TREE. Anyone from the south knows that no one climbs a 9 foot ladder to pick figs. I don't know why this bothered me so much except the main reason I enjoy a good southern novel is the small details of the life I know ...more
Jan 29, 2016 Valerie rated it it was amazing
I love Fannie Flagg, and this is a typical book with characters, good story, and good feel reading. Highly recommend. It says it is third in a series, but I have not read the other two, and I did not need to do so. Another plus for the book.
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Fannie Flagg began writing and producing television specials at age nineteen and went on to distinguish herself as an actress and writer in television, films, and the theater.

She is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (which was produced by Universal Pictures as Fried Green Tomatoes), Welcome to the World, Baby G
More about Fannie Flagg...

Other Books in the Series

Elmwood Springs (3 books)
  • Welcome to the World, Baby Girl! (Elmwood Springs, #1)
  • Standing in the Rainbow (Elmwood Springs, #2)

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