The one and only Fannie Flagg, beloved author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café, Can't Wait to Get to Heaven, and I Still Dream About You, is at her hilarious and superb best in this new comic mystery novel about two women who are forced to reimagine who they are.
Mrs. Sookie Poole of Point Clear, Alabama, has just married off the last of her daughters and is looking forward to relaxing and perhaps traveling with her husband, Earle. The only thing left to contend with is her mother, the formidable Lenore Simmons Krackenberry. Lenore may be a lot of fun for other people, but is, for the most part, an overbearing presence for her daughter. Then one day, quite by accident, Sookie discovers a secret about her mother's past that knocks her for a loop and suddenly calls into question everything she ever thought she knew about herself, her family, and her future.
Sookie begins a search for answers that takes her to California, the Midwest, and back in time, to the 1940s, when an irrepressible woman named Fritzi takes on the job of running her family's filling station. Soon truck drivers are changing their routes to fill up at the All-Girl Filling Station. Then, Fritzi sees an opportunity for an even more groundbreaking adventure. As Sookie learns about the adventures of the girls at the All-Girl Filling Station, she finds herself with new inspiration for her own life.
Fabulous, fun-filled, spanning decades and generations, and centered on a little-known aspect of America's 20th-century story, The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion is another irresistible audiobook by the remarkable Fannie Flagg.
©2013 Fannie Flagg (P)2013 Random House Audio
This is my new favorite Fannie Flagg book! This had just the right amount of humor, emotion, and family drama to make it a perfect mix and a great story.
Mrs. Sookie Poole has accidently found out some life altering information, that changes how she sees herself and who she thinks she is, which honestly she was already struggling with before any of this happened, since she just married off her last daughter. She has an overbearing mother who she thinks is never happy with anything Sookie does. She is lucky that she has a wonderful, understanding husband and great kids that help her through this difficult time.
We also meet Fritzi in the 1940’s, her family runs a gas station but when her father takes sick and her brother is sent off to war the girls of the family take over the station and make it a big hit with an all-girl staff. This works for a while but what Fritzi really loves to do is fly, and here is where we learn some great history of the WAF’s and how these sister’s became an integral part of that, it was a great history lesson of a little known part of the stateside war effort.
This was somewhat of a coming of age book for Sookie, she became something so much more than she ever thought she could be by the end but what I loved is that her kids and husband knew how great she was all along but she couldn’t see it. There is some great laugh out loud moments, and the relationship between Sookie and her mother Lenore is interesting and makes you realize sometimes people don’t see you the way you think they do.(and vice versa)
I loved this book and when I finished it I thought about starting over from the beginning again.
As always Fannie Flagg is one of those rare breed of authors that excels at reading their own work, try the audio you won’t be disappointed!
You really end up going through a life journey with this character, who discovers herself adrift as to past, identity, purpose....and it's a romp of a journey with twists that leave you laughing, thinking 'how ever in the world!' It's inspiring as well as entertaining.
I loved the narrator, story, everything but must mention, there are production problems. A couple of times the narration goes back a few chapters and replays entire sections. So don't think you are crazy when you think 'didn't I already hear this part?' you did, and you'll have to forward a few places to pick up the story again. This story is good enough you'll be happy if you don't let this dissuade you!
I enjoy mysteries, NOT thrillers, contemporary fiction, especially about diverse cultures, and sometimes history, if it doesn't involve too many dates. I often listen to a book multiple times, discovering unnoticed details in the retelling.
I love Fannie Flagg's approach to life, the characters she includes could well be in my own family and the neighborhood where I grew up. Besides delightful characters and situations, I loved the historical settings.
Maeve Binchy's books are similar in scope. Believable story in a realistic setting. Wonderfully diverse characters.
I believe this is the first story I've heard which was narrated by Fannie Flagg, herself. At first, I thought the voice sounded too old for some of the characters, but I adapted quickly. I've read or listened to everything Fannie Flagg has published. The characters and story in this title did not disappoint. The historical context is very important, as a bit of "womens' rights" during and after WW2 are a large part of the story. Many of us are unaware of the many separate battles women have faced in gaining their fair share of salary, position, etc.
Of course, I was always waiting to see what would happen next.
I broke out in spontaneous laughter over many situations and comments. This book left me feeling happy. I don't need any "downer" literature! And I'm absolutely sick of all the vampire and science fiction mysteries. I wish they would have their own special category so I wouldn't have to trudge thru them in a search for new titles.
I am a huge fan of Fannie Flagg and I was anxiously awaiting her latest book. I was thrilled with the intertwining plots and historical data. This is an uplifting, interesting story that makes me want more books just like it. So I am going to download my other favorite Flagg novel- A Red Bird Christmas. If you love Fannie Flagg and are looking for similar light-hearted novels, I would recommend the following downloads from Audible:
Marriage Bureau for Rich People by Farahad Zama
Major Pettigrews Last Stand by Helen Simonson
Mrs. Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn
~And if you like Young Adult Fiction~
The Misadventures of Maude March is wonderful and has interesting historical information too.
Another narrator would have made the world of difference.
Not with her reading.
I am only half way through the book and don't know if I can finish. Fannie just sounds like she is reading the book in slow motion. My goodness... some of the conversations are drawn out sooo very long that I get a headache.
An old broad that enjoys books of all types. Would rather read than write reviews though. I know what I like, and won't be bothered by crap.
I think I would. The story pulls you in and gets you involved with the characters lives. I recognized some of the people as relatives in my family, if you know what I mean! lol
Quite similar style to Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Café by Fannie Flagg. Both books go backward and forward thru time and have some great characters to love.
Some of her reading was off, not enough inflection etc. but she nailed Winged Victory perfectly and even the Wisconsin characters.
What if you found out your life was based on a lie and it turned out better than ever!
I loved this book but the enhanced version has some repeating chapters in it, so I recommend at this time to use another version which I have been told work fine.
I couldn't tell if if it was the narration that sounded like someone reading a picture book to three-year-olds or a story that was rampant with stereotypes of women that irritated me the most. She obviously tried to explain the contribution of women in WWII, but the stereotypes and one dimensional views of women, especially the Southern ones, was a disgrace. There was a real story in a woman trying to survive a narcissistic woman, but there was no real exploration of the damage and recovery and it was treated as humorous, which is disrespectful. I did appreciate the few insights that Sookie had about her mother.
Overall I thought the story was messy.
Not good at 3 word descriptions. I really enjoyed this book. I hope that were I around during WWII, I would be as adventurous and brave as Fritzi.
I don't have one specific moment, but I like the Fritzi storyline the best.
This is not only for Ms. Flagg but for all authors who read their books.
Please allow professional readers to bring your books to life. I completely understand that your book is your baby and you think that nobody can do a better job at bringing it to life. Professional readers can and do. Ms. Flagg sounded like she was reading a book. I would have loved this book so much more if it have been read by Jenna Lamia. She is an amazing performer and brings the characters to life. I enjoy audio books because the readers make the characters real through their performance, eg. Jim Dale reading Harry Potter.
I really enjoyed this book and came back to audible for another but I don't want to listen to Ms. Flagg reading again. I'll check them out at the library and read them myself.
Please Ms. Flagg, have someone else read for you in the future.
Not sure about that.
Good book, needs a new reader!
I've read almost all of Fannie's books and this one didn't fall short! I loved the story line, the characters and her ability to make you feel like you were a part of the story. I almost felt like I was listening to my life story, Lenore was my mother.. and almost all mom's of the deep south. Fannie is an amazing story teller and her performance really made the book even better. I'm so glad that I decided to listen to it instead of reading it.
Such a wonderful feel-good, vacation book. Read it, you won't be disappointed!!
Sure, I'd love to hear your story....
I love when a book feels like a warm bath followed by a fluffy robe and hot chocolate. Fannie Flagg writes those kind of stories that are just grounded enough in tragedy and misfortune to make the triumph feel even more joyful at the end. This one includes a fascinating, but little known, historical context that makes it even more fulfilling. As always, patience is required for a Fannie Flagg book, the story never runs forward, it meanders as you get to know the main characters who are always Southern women through and through. So, when you're ready to slow down a bit and dedicate some time, this is the book to pick up.
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