This was the first book I checked out of the Victoria library back in February. It was exactly what I was looking for! I was counting on Fannie Flagg to give me a feel-good story with a happy ending and she delivered. If you love Fannie Flagg’s style, you love this book too. Like so many fantasy authors, she is able to weave her story so convincingly that you really believe it, even when you have to suspend reality.
The story is about Maggie, a real estate agent and former Miss Alabama, who is unhappy with her life. Having grown up living above a movie theatre, and watching movies every day, Maggie always expected the happy ending. When she realizes she may never get her happily ever after, she feels it would be better if she just packed it in. She makes an elaborate plan involving a raft and a river, but every time she sets out to put her plan in motion, something gets in the way and she ends up postponing it (her best friend, Brenda, has called to tell her that the Whirling Dervishes, Brenda’s favourite act, are coming to town. Maggie can’t very well refuse to go, can she?).
Even though a few parts of the book, and the ending, seemed very far from reality, and I didn’t completely buy it, I didn’t care! It was a happy ending and by that time I loved Maggie so much that I didn’t care if the ending wasn’t realistic. I try hard to talk about books without giving out spoilers but it might be hard with this one. Don’t worry, even if you know a bit more about the book than what’s printed on the jacket flap, you’ll still enjoy the book.
Once Maggie has decided to pack it in, she feels a great weight off her shoulders – and starts living her life a bit differently. “Oh, what the heck – I’ll just make this phone call,” she thinks, and it turns out to have hugely positive repercussions. I love how Flagg writes this for the character, and that when Maggie starts living her life just a bit differently, a lot changes. I also loved how, before Maggie makes her decision (I think it’s before), she is noticing that she’s having “crazy” thoughts, like she wants to stand up in a restaurant and shout “ooga booga” or something (not an example the writer uses, but it’s May and I read the book in February… you get the gist) — she almost feels like she can’t trust herself to behave normally anymore.
Anyway this was a great book, and it was the first book in what I hope to be many of the Happy Stories Only mandate 🙂