Eleanor Blair (lnr) wrote,
Eleanor Blair

4: Welcome to the World, Baby Girl: Fannie Flagg: ISBN 0-099-28855-9

This is one of a pile of books my mum lent me last time I was up visiting. In some ways it feels like I've spent a lot of my life with her trying to nag me to read something different. As a child I was only allowed on Enid Blyton or Nancy Drew book out of the library at a time (and not both) As a late teenager at university she kept trying to tempt me with "proper grown-up books" instead of all the science-fiction and fantasy I enjoyed. And lately she's trying to persuade me I should read something a little more light-hearted than the Iain non-M Banks and the various things in French that I've been talking to her about. Lending me books is a good way of persuing this campaign, and that's how I became fond of Margaret Atwood a few years back and that's why lately I've been reading an odd selection of things including the first two Ian Rankin detective books and now this. (Although technically I believe this one belongs to Emily, which shows she's made even more progress on the satusfactory reading from that I have, since as a teenager it was hard to get her to read anything other than Stephen King and Garfield).

Anyway, enough about why I'm reading it, what about the book itself. It's written by the author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistleshop Cafe, which I haven't read but which has been made into a really lovely film. You can see a certain similarity between the two, with the cutting backwards and forwards between a modern life o a TV presenter in New York (in the 70s) and the life of her parents in backwoods southern Missouri in the late 40s, which snapshots from all sorts of times inbetween. It's a story about finding yourself, and finding you're not quite who you thought you were. It's got a bit of a love story. It's full of friends and family caring for each other. It's very very sweet. Put like that it sounds almost sickening, but there's a thread of mystery running through the book too, and a look at the cutthroat world of the start of tabloid-style TV news which is rather bleak, and you just can't help but like most of the characters. And my mum was right, definitely a feel-good book. With a happy ending and all. And just what I felt like at the moment.

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