Monday, October 1, 2012

Central Book Club: Can't Wait to Get to Heaven

Can't Wait to Get to Heaven
by Fannie Flagg


When the sting of a wasp sends Elner Shimfissle falling out of her fig tree, she is suddenly whisked away to a heaven where squirrels are polka dotted, her deceased sister is annoyed that they had her hair and makeup done wrong for her funeral, and God is willing to answer a few questions she has been wanting the answer to forever. (By the way, the chicken came first.) Believing she has passed on,  Elner's family and friends back home each reminisce about their dear friend and the impact she's had on their lives as they prepare for her funeral. But Elner's time is not up and she is sent back to Elmwood Springs, MO to tell everyone that heaven is your life; in the friends you have and the people you love.

For someone who grew up in a small town, Fannie Flagg's novels always feel a bit like coming home. Though her small town may be a little more idyllic than the one you remember. Through each character, Flagg is showing the reader the qualities she values most in a community. Flagg can't even stand to leave the characters with less desirable traits alone, having most of them turn their life around due to some contact with  the force of nature Elner Shimfissle. Recommended to those needing a change of pace in their reading to something that feels homey.

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