Continuing in my quest to read more in 2011, I finished another book tonight, partially due to the inclement weather about which I said “I ain’t goin’ back out.”
This time it wasn’t British History, but Southern fiction. See, I figure if I want to be a southern author, I need to read southern authors. So I picked up Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven: A Novel (Ballantine Reader’s Circle) by Fannie Flagg. It was southern, charming and a book which had me on just about every page saying “I know these people.”
The story centers around one Elner Shimfissle, a lady of undetermined age because her deceased sister had buried the family Bible to keep her own age a secret. Elner’s innocent desire to pick some figs to make jam set off a chain of events in this small Missouri town. It’s one of those towns where the women know the appropriate response to the news of a death in town is to bake a casserole. It’s just how things are done.
I fell in love with the book on Page 13 when I read this paragraph:
She also had an earthquake kit in the garage, where she kept bottled water, matches, six cans of Del Monte chili, a small supply of her hormones, thyroid medicine, aspirin, a jar of Merle Norman cold cream, and fingernail polish remover and an extra pair of earrings. Although it was not very likely that an earthquake would hit Elmwood Springs, Missouri, she felt it was better to be safe than sorry.
Like I said, I know these people.
The book is a comedy and a mystery and you’re right to suspect all the way through that there’s just something you don’t know…yet.