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Welcome to the World, Baby Girl! (Elmwood Springs #1)

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  14,403 ratings  ·  717 reviews
Welcome to the World, Baby Girl! is the funny, serious, and compelling new novel by Fannie Flagg, author of the beloved Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (and prize-winning co-writer of the classic movie).

Once again, Flagg's humor and respect and affection for her characters shine forth. Many inhabit small-town or suburban America. But this time, her heroine is
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Paperback, 512 pages
Published February 27th 2001 by Ballantine Books (first published 1998)
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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
30th out of 599 books — 1,494 voters
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellThe Help by Kathryn StockettThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainFried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
Best Southern Literature
81st out of 777 books — 1,871 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kimberly
Fannie Flagg books -the one you read when you feel that you are at your lowest point, when you feel that the world cannot get any worse, when you feel so over burdened that you are ready to go to pieces...if you can stop for a moment and pick up book, read anything written by Fannie Flagg and I PROMISE you that you will feel better...you will laugh and you will cry...you will do both at the same time...she is by far one of the best fiction/humor writers since Damon Runyon walked into Mindy's and ...more
Mimi
For years my mother has been suggesting that I read Fannie Flagg's writing and I just never got around to it. Then one day I was watching some old episodes of "Match Game" on the Game Show Network and I realized there she was - Fannie Flagg herself. I remembered watching her on that show as a child in the 1970s but I never connected her with the renowned author of today. So this is when I decided to pick up the copy of "Welcome to the World, Baby Girl" that my mom had lent me several years ago. ...more
Linda Rowland
Sometimes I think I might be too generous with my fives. Found myself liking this better and better until I did not want it to end. She made me laugh and she made me cry.
Again I have to say that the number of stars represent how much I enjoy a book and not what great literature I believe it to be.
Sylvia
Ambitious Dena Nordstrom works as TV newscaster in New York City in the 1970s. She is intelligent, successful, and satisfied with her chosen profession, yet the change of TV news into sensationalism makes her question her career. After a breakdown she returns to her hometown Elmwood Springs in Missouri. It's there where Dena finally gathers her strength to face and solve the mystery of her mother's past which still haunts her.

Fannie Flagg succeeded not only in creating a strong female protagonis
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Ariella
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrea
This book was a bit disappointing to me considering the title and the homespun appeal of it's author. I started it over Christmas break and didn't finish it until Feb. break and then I was bound and determined to be done with it. I enjoyed the characters in the small town in Missouri, as well as the sorority sister in Alabama- even thought they were such stereotypes. The main character, Dena Norstrom, I found unspympathetic even though she is not unlikable. I found it unrealistic that her psychi ...more
Ruth
May 30, 2007 Ruth rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: novels
Another great book by Fannie Flagg. My dad actually suggested I read this since he had enjoyed it and one of the main characters is involved in the broadcasting industry...but really, that's only a small part of what it's all about! A good read for those who like fiction about small town America set earlier in the 20th century. If you enjoy this book, don't miss Fannie Flagg's Standing in the Rainbow, which is set in the same town and gives a lot of background on some of the characters.
Amber
For years, I had admired Fannie Flagg's crazy sweaters on re-reuns of The Match Game. I realize now that I had no idea she was an author. I thought she was just famous for her sweaters. I'm not even kidding.



This remains the only book of hers that I've read (ETA: 4/14/10 - Not anymore) and it's really excellent. It made me want to learn how to drink men under the table (which I still cannot do but a girl can dream).



I think part of my love of it comes from the fact that I was on a road trip to Mi
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Mark
I joined a bookclub at my place of work in order to force myself to read books outside of my favorite genres. I typically find myself with my nose in horror and crime stories published in the 40's to early 80's and the usual array of "classics" from Twain to Kerouac, so joining the club would force me to get my eyeballs focused on something new...to me at least.

After reading this book, I realized I'm much better suited sitting with a beer and a collection of Richard Matheson's short stories tha
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Sara
Io alla gente voglio bene

"Ogni giorno sui quotidiani e in televisione non si sentiva parlare d'altro che di omicidi, scandali, trame oscure, tragedie e brutte cose. E ogni giorno dal Pacifico all'Atlantico c'erano milioni di brave persone contente e soddisfatte che, facendosene più o meno un baffo dei media, vivevano tranquillamente la loro vita".

Non mi aspettavo assolutamente un romanzo così bello. L'ho trovato profondo e, soprattutto sul finale, ho pianto come una fontana - mi sono anche chies
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Elizabeth
This book is so heartwarming, so eye opening, so cozy, so wonderful.

I laughed and I cried.

Dena Nordstrom is a famous television newscaster in the 1970's. She appears to have it all... looks, money, and a great career. Yet, something is clearly missing. That something is her mother and answers to many questions that have plagued Dena since she was 15 years old.

I did not expect the answers to the questions about her mother's past to be what they were (that's all I can say without giving the story
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M
I don't have much experience with Flagg, but I know she is a rather celebrated writer who captures Southern flavor with a charm that is most effective. I've read a short story or two and know her style to be quietly ironic and wonderfully colorful. In this full length work, however, I kept wishing she would keep her day job.
The novel starts off promising - Flagg is in her element, piecing together a patchwork quilt of Southern personalities as inviting as the warmth they exude, painting detaile
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Katie Gee
The novel tells a story of a high flying gorgeous tv interviewer, Dena Nordstrom, and how she struggles to leave behind her cancerous lifestyle/job- she loves it because its fast pace enables her not focus on her problems (mysterious mom disappearing, lack of family, inability of love, etc.) and to not form real attachments/ commitments/ relationships to people. Like Nick Carraway in the Great Gatsby, she's caught up in glitter of NY, rich, powerful men, but eventually finds her safe haven back ...more
Beatrice
This book was a timely read for me, and I absolutely loved it. It is by far my favorite book I have read by this author. It is a story about coming of age, and coming to terms with the past. Cliched themes perhaps, but there is nothing cliche about his book. The characters brought to life on the pages are so vivid that you will love and hate them as surely as you recognize their traits in your friends, family, colleagues and neighbors. It started a bit slow, but once I got into it, I couldn't pu ...more
Shan
I wish Goodreads gave half stars cause I think I would really give this book 3 1/2 stars rather than 4. I decided to give it 4 because, for the most part, I was entertained and satisfied. It was a quick read, for me, and although I found the story entertaining I didn't find myself emotionally immersed in the story as I thought I would be. There were points in the story where I felt weren't developed enough and I really wasn't crazy about how the ending unfolded. I was dieing to find out the "mys ...more
L.D.
WOW, what a book. This book was for our reading club and at first the size said, " you are not going to finish this in less than a month." I was wrong. The protagonist is a very young lady who is having problems enjoying the life she is living because of an unfinished past. The present is a self destructing life. Through counseling, investigation, she comes to terms with who she is, where she came from, and is now able to go forward with her life in a more positive light. She is at more peace wi ...more
Kim
I just re-read this for a book group discussion this coming week. Fannie Flagg is such a fabulous writer. I like to believe she truly captures the heart of Americana and human nature. Dena, the main character of the book is on the verge of success as a television celebrity, but for some reason she finds herself undergoing dramatic change. As we learn more about Dena, we learn she has more to hide, but even she does not know why. The characters are all quirky, yet likable (although Norma Warren i ...more
Vicki
LOVED this book! Fannie Flagg has such wonderful stories and tells them so well. At first I thought it would be so predictable, but she takes twists and turns and it makes for a delightful (light) read. Baby Girl is what folks in Elmwood Springs, MO call Dena Nordstrom. This is a story of Dena's life in the newscast business, and then her learning about her roots. It was very interesting and disgusting to imagine the decline and fall of honest news, as the reader will learn the truth about papar ...more
Liesl Johnson
Yuck. I hated everything about this book. I made the mistake of taking this as my only reading material on a 12 hour flight to Japan and regretted it! I should have known that Fannie Flagg's writing style would not jibe well with me. It contains characters that are unappealing and a predictable romantic element. Yawn. I've learned my lesson. No more Fannie Flagg! I'm marking this as "read" even though I couldn't force myself to finish it. I even skipped to the end because I was marginally curiou ...more
Ruth
What the what?! I disliked this book -- the third I have read by Fannie Flagg -- so much that part of me wants to go back and read the first two to see if I was out of my mind when I thought I liked them. Where was Flagg's editor? There was no reason for this novel about a TV anchor in the 70's trying to figure out why her mother abandoned her as a teenager to be as long as it was. What's more, Flagg couldn't seem to decide whether to strike a tone of very broad humor (e.g., the characters of So ...more
Janet
I love Fannie Flagg's writing, and I love the way she wrote these characters, particularly those from Elmwood Springs.
Flagg goes back and forth from the cynical to the genuine. Small town to big city. Those that will let you give until you have nothing left, and those who will take you in and fill you back up.

Dena is a sophisticated and driven television journalist. She burns the candle at both ends and tells herself that her life is just the way she wants it, but for some reason she has a ter
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Hermioneginny
Anni Settanta. Dena lavora in televisione e fa brillanti interviste. Da tempo soffre di ulcera e per due volte finisce al pronto soccorso: i medici le ordinano un periodo di riposo assoluto e la sua psichiatra le suggerisce di cercare nel suo passato, di trovare notizie sulla madre...e così finisce a Elmwood Springs, Missouri. Qui vivono dei lontani parenti, che la accolgono a braccia aperte...

Adoro Elmwood Springs, un paesino sperduto nella campagna, dove non c'è praticamente niente, dove si co
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Mindy
Very cute opening chapter that perfectly encapsulates small-town charm. But then I realized that the chapters all went back and forth between a few different settings--a style I've never liked, as it inhibits a smooth flow and often leads to a little confusion and flipping back to previous chapters to remind ourselves who we're reading about or to figure out where we are in relation to some past event. Worked out okay, but is never great. The bigger issue, though, is that the ending has the weir ...more
Melissa
Ms. Flagg has done it again! She tackles real world issues in a direct, yet light hearted manner. She makes no secret of our many flaws as humans but is able, at the same time, to shine light on our many virtues and our unending potential. Allow the world of Dena Nordstrom to consume you and you'll find yourself walking along side her through 35 years of her life and the family history that leads her there.
Jina Howell-Forbes
I usually enjoy Fannie Flagg's stories, but not this one. I also usually enjoy stories that shift between time periods, but not this one. The time shifts were frequent and involved more that just one time period in the present, and one historical time period. This one had several, and there wasn't any order to the back and forth moves. I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out who the people were, and how there related to the people who were introduced previously.

The main proble
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Carolynne
This book really deserved a 2.5. The story of Dena Nordstrom seemed promising, but Fannie Flagg did such a poor job of telling it. The author keeps dragging the reader between Elmwood Springs, MO and NYC, and back and forth from the 1930's and 40's into the 1960's and 70's. It is not until halfway through the book that the reader discovers that Dena's late father is from Elmwood Springs, and that her mother brought her there as an infant. She lived there until she was four, when her mother myste ...more
Sharon Hughes
Loved it! I now want to go back and read her "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe" and every other book she has written. Normally, the idea of going back and forth in time to tell a story would confuse me and turn me off of a book, but I actually loved the way this story was told. I can't imagine it being told without the changes in time...it really fit it perfectly! :)
Barbara Loggia
Fried Green Tomatoes author brings us back to Elmswood Springs, Missouri, home of the Whistle Stop Café and Neighbor Dorothy who had her own radio show from her living room in the 1940's. A relative of Dorothy's family is living and prospering in NYC. She is career driven, afraid of relationships, overworked and overtaken by her past. Dena Nordstrom wants to find her mother who abandoned her at 15 which has influenced much of her life. From the beginnings of tabloid journalism to the simpler lif ...more
Heather
I really liked this book, and I liked the author's descriptive style ... it had kind of an unexpected twist at the end that came out of the blue -- there wasn't the tiniest bit of foreshadowing, which makes the beginning and the end seem like two different books ... but, still, I really enjoyed it.
Elisa
La trama è trita e ritrita, c'è la solita donna bellissima e in carrierissima che è restìa all'amore e a lasciarsi andare alla sua reale natura, fino a che un giorno realizza di essere qualcosa di diverso da quello che ha creduto di essere per trent'anni e cambia. E torna alle origini. E toglie gli abiti coi lustrini. E si innamora. Dicevo, insomma, che la trama è molto usata, ma questo non fa del romanzo della Flagg una lettura noiosa e banale, tutt'altro. Non è banale anche solo per il tema de ...more
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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
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More about Fannie Flagg...
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion Can't Wait to Get to Heaven (Elmwood Springs, #3) Standing in the Rainbow (Elmwood Springs, #2) Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man

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“The line between the public life and the private life has been erased, due to the rapid decline of manners and courtesy. There is a certain crudeness and crassness that has suddenly become accepted behavior, even desirable.” 32 likes
“ Poor little old human beings – they’re jerked into this world without having any idea where they came from or what it is they are supposed to do, or how long they have to do it in. Or where they are gonna wind up after that. But bless their hearts, most of them wake up every morning and keep on trying to make some sense out of it. Why, you can’t help but love them, can you? I just wonder why more of them aren’t as crazy as betsy bugs. ”

Aunt Elner, 1978”
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