A Review by Antoinette Klein

What a wonderful treat Fannie Flagg's newest trip to Elmwood
Springs is. The characters we first met in WELCOME TO THE
WORLD, BABY GIRL and got to know better in STANDING IN THE
RAINBOW have aged, had more experiences both good and bad,
but still maintain the small-town, folksy charm of Flagg's earlier
works. The laugh-out-loud moments are many amidst the tears, the
suspense, and the fantasy.

Norma Warren's aunt, Elner Shimfissle, who was a minor character
in the other novels set in Elmwood Springs, comes into her own as
the main character and the epicenter of an emotional upheaval in
the little town.

While picking figs from her tree in the front yard, Elner accidentally
disturbs a nest of wasps and is bitten to death. Or is she? Fannie
Flagg takes liberal license with the heaven alluded to in the Bible,
but it's all in good taste and puts a very personal spin on a place
still quite mysterious to the living.

The best thing about this book is the characters, their obvious love
for one another, and the close-knit feeling of community that Flagg
captures with her razor-sharp wit and endearing charm.

Remember Tot Whooten from the Tell It Like It Is Beauty Shop?
And Neighbor Dorothy with her fabulous radio show? Macky
Warren, Norma's high school sweetheart and husband, and Dena
Nordstrom, the cousin who was a high-powered New York
executive? These and others have all returned and catching up on
their lives is an experience not to be missed.

Along the way, the reader is actually told the meaning of life and
given the formula for leading a happy and rewarding one. That's
certainly more than I expected when I bought this book.

Another bonus is the yummy recipes mentioned in the book all
appear at the end. They sounded so mouth-watering that I have
Neighbor Dorothy's Heavenly Caramel Cake in the oven as I type
this.
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Remember if people talk behind your back,
it only means you're two steps ahead!

~ Fannie Flagg
Combining southern warmth with unabashed emotion and side-
splitting hilarity, Fannie Flagg takes readers back to Elmwood
Springs, Missouri, where the most unlikely and surprising
experiences of a high-spirited octogenarian inspire a town to ponder
the age-old question: Why are we here?

Life is the strangest thing. One minute, Mrs. Elner Shimfissle is up in
her tree, picking figs, and the next thing she knows, she is off on an
adventure she never dreamed of, running into people she never in a
million years expected to meet. Meanwhile, back home, Elner’s
nervous, high-strung niece Norma faints and winds up in bed with a
cold rag on her head; Elner’s neighbor Verbena rushes immediately
to the Bible; her truck driver friend, Luther Griggs, runs his eighteen-
wheeler into a ditch–and the entire town is thrown for a loop and left
wondering, “What is life all about, anyway?” Except for Tot Whooten,
who owns Tot’s Tell It Like It Is Beauty Shop. Her main concern is that
the end of the world might come before she can collect her social
security.

In this comedy-mystery, those near and dear to Elner discover
something wonderful: Heaven is actually right here, right now,
with people you love, neighbors you help, friendships you keep.
Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven is proof once more that Fannie Flagg
“was put on this earth to write” (Southern Living), spinning tales as
sweet and refreshing as iced tea on a summer day, with a little extra
kick thrown in.
Can't Wait to Get to Heaven
by Fannie Flagg
Read about Fannie Flagg

Get discussion questions
about this book for your
book club

Neighbor Dorothy's
Recipes!



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