Michelle's Reviews > Can't Wait to Get to Heaven

Can't Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg
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's review
May 16, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: audio, library-has-it, read-2011
Recommended for: Fans of Fannie Flagg

Fannie Flagg books rarely disappoint me and this was no exception. I was looking for something to listen to on a long road trip and this fit the bill perfectly: funny, entertaining, complicated enough to be interesting but not so complicated that I couldn't listen and drive at the same time.

If you Flagg's books because of the depth of characters, rich narrative & quirky anecdotes, you will love this one as well.

We are introduced to a whole cast of characters who are linked together by their hometown of Elmwood Springs, Missouri. And I do mean a whole cast of characters - there are a lot. But Ms. Flagg is successful in this approach because she introduces them slowly & weaves them throughout the novel, so you never lose track of who they are or why they are important to the story.

I remember reading "Fried Green Tomatoes" and "Welcome to the World Baby Girl" in late high school and being charmed by the eccentric characters, but I also remember thinking how exaggerated they seem. Now, in my early 30's, having met people like that in real life, it only makes Flagg's quirky characters that much more endearing.

The main character of the novel is Elner Shimfissle who has a big heart of gold. She drives her neurotic niece crazy while simultaneously amusing the niece's husband with her behavior. She takes in stray cats, helps misguided youth, and evens helps a neighbor cover up a deep dark secret. She is funny, curious, spunky and larger than life...the perfect focus of this novel. You finish the novel wishing that Elner was a real person & that you had a chance to enjoy a caramel cake and iced tea on her front porch with her.

Having said that, the supporting cast each had great roles as well, and you felt right at home in Elmwood Springs as you discovered each of these neighbors.

Like many of Flagg's novels, there is a dark spot - and the ending isn't perfectly happy - but you are satisfied, and all of the loose ends are tied up (most are done so happily & predictably).

And there's even recipes at the end of the book! Yum...

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Michelle Great narrator.

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