Can’t Wait To Get To Heaven by Fannie Flagg

Elderly but very spritely Elner Shimfissle is trying to pick some figs when she disturbs a wasps nest and takes a nasty fall.  She is taken to hosital in critical condition, but suddenly finds herself enjoying the adventure of a lifetime, seeing all sorts of wonderful sights and meeting all kinds of amazing people.  Meantime, her family and friends in the small community where she lives in Elmwood Springs, Missouri, reflect on the influence that Elner has had on them, and how she has touched all of their lives. 

This is the first Fannie Flagg book I’ve ever read, and I did really enjoy it.  It is populated with quirky and slightly eccentric characters, not least Elner herself, but it paints a picture of a loving and close community who all pull together when one of their own needs them.  There was a lot of subtle humour in the book, which made me giggle, rather than obvious jokes.  It also made me think about the difference that one person can make in the lives of others, without even properly realising it.

All of the characters are well drawn, and as the book progresses, I did feel that I got to know them all very well, and for the most part they were easy to like.  Elner was a wonderful main character – despite the fact that she is very elderly, she has refused to give up on life, and is definitely young at heart, getting up to all sorts of antics which cause great concern for her over anxious niece Norma.

I can imagine that for some people, this book might be a bit too ‘twee’ and cosy, and it’s not the kind of book I would want to read all the time.  But for curling up with on a lazy afternoon when you want a feel-good read, it’s just about perfect.  I would mention that there were a couple of editing mistakes – one character refers to something about which it is earlier stated that she knows nothing, and a couple of times a character will hear a snippet of news and then pass it immediately to another character, but embellished with facts which they weren’t originally made aware of.  However, this did not detract from the enjoyment of the book. 

Overall, a very enjoyable read, and it definitely made me want to read more by this author.

Elderly but very spritely Elner Shimfissle is trying to pick some figs when she disturbs a wasps nest and takes a nasty fall.  She is taken to hosital in critical condition, but suddenly finds herself enjoying the adventure of a lifetime, seeing all sorts of wonderful sights and meeting all kinds of amazing people.  Meantime, her family and friends in the small community where she lives in Elmwood Springs, Missouri, reflect on the influence that Elner has had on them, and how she has touched all of their lives. 

This is the first Fannie Flagg book I’ve ever read, and I did really enjoy it.  It is populated with quirky and slightly eccentric characters, not least Elner herself, but it paints a picture of a loving and close community who all pull together when one of their own needs them.  There was a lot of subtle humour in the book, which made me giggle, rather than obvious jokes.  It also made me think about the difference that one person can make in the lives of others, without even properly realising it.

All of the characters are well drawn, and as the book progresses, I did feel that I got to know them all very well, and for the most part they were easy to like.  Elner was a wonderful main character – despite the fact that she is very elderly, she has refused to give up on life, and is definitely young at heart, getting up to all sorts of antics which cause great concern for her over anxious niece Norma.

I can imagine that for some people, this book might be a bit too ‘twee’ and cosy, and it’s not the kind of book I would want to read all the time.  But for curling up with on a lazy afternoon when you want a feel-good read, it’s just about perfect.  I would mention that there were a couple of editing mistakes – one character refers to something about which it is earlier stated that she knows nothing, and a couple of times a character will hear a snippet of news and then pass it immediately to another character, but embellished with facts which they weren’t originally made aware of.  However, this did not detract from the enjoyment of the book. 

Overall, a very enjoyable read, and it definitely made me want to read more by this author.

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