Saturday, January 8, 2011
I Still Dream about You by Fannie Flagg......
In Fannie Flagg's latest novel, Maggie Fortenberry is a realtor in Birmingham, Alabama who is also a former Miss Alabama. While others see her and her life as perfect, Maggie is harshly critical of both her past and her present.The real estate industry is in the toilet in Alabama (isn't it everywhere?), and even though she is surrounded by people who admire her, Maggie obsesses about her mistakes. From the very opening of the book, it is apparent that Maggie has decided to end her own life, and she uses meticulous detail to plan it so that it causes the least inconvenience for everyone. Even in that act, however, she is repeatedly thwarted, and that provides the basis of the book's humor.
Fannie Flagg, also the author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, is a delightful writer. I remember her from my youth as a panelist on a game show that I watched regularly, but for the life of me I can't remember what it was called. I thought she was funny even then, and when I realized she was writing novels, I became a fan of her books. I didn't realize until I was looking for information about her for this post that she is openly lesbian, which explains the subtle but controversial references in Fried Green Tomatoes (the book more so than the movie).
I like this book because it is so very Southern, without the usual cray-cray that Southern authors typically feel compelled to include. I won't pretend that the writing is deep or life-changing, but it was certainly entertaining. I laughed out loud a few times, and I was pleased with the ending. It was easy reading, and I became even more grateful for that when I started the book I am currently reading. It may be a week or more before I post a review of THAT one, depending on just how many snow days we end up having.
I recommend I Still Dream About You for anyone who wants some light reading without a ton of emotional investment.