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Can't Wait to Get to Heaven: A Novel (Ballantine Reader's Circle) Paperback – June 19, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
I felt that the author could have expanded upon Elner's journey to Heaven, but was creative with what was written -despite reviewers who are appalled by Flagg's characterization of God. Since none of us know what the afterlife is like (if there is an afterlife), Flagg has made a creative and playful attempt to explain this great mystery of life or the beginning of life in the hereafter.
Loved the book and I recommend it. While the book will certainly not become a great literary classic, it is a nice, easy read for vacation, a plane ride or a weekend by the fire.
Elner, Norma's aunt, was up in the fig tree to get some figs to make a preserve when she disturbed a wasp's nest and got stung and fell off the ladder. This is not the first time she has done that. She has fallen off the ladder other times and drove her niece, Norma, crazy and worried with fear. This time, Elner was knocked out cold. This is just the beginning of an adventure for the townsfolks of Elmwood Springs, Missouri. Elner is taken to Kansas City to the hospital there. Norma and her husband, Macky, followed behind. Ruby and Tots, the local hairdresser takes care of things at Elner's house and the stories just keep on flowing. Bittersweet and heart-warming, it made me, the reader, wish that people would think of me the same way they did Elner. And not only that, it's a reminder to take life a little bit on the easy and slow side because you never know when the last day will come. It may be too late to do all the things you wish you could do or have said.
This book may have a moral to it but it's so wonderfully written. It's a perfect book to read on the front porch drinking your iced tea and relaxing for a day or two. Flagg's writing is always humane and lyrical. You just know these characters as well as you know yourself because you are human as they are. Life doesn't have to be as hard as it sounds ~~ and kicking back once in awhile would do wonders for the soul. Kicking back with this book is definitely the way to do it.
Who knew that so many lives would be affected the day Mrs. Elner Shimfissle fell out of her fig tree and was stung to 'death' by over seventeen wasps? And I just loved meeting up with some of my favorite characters from her previous books 'Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!', and 'Standing in the Rainbow'.
I could sit here all day and write about how wonderful Ms. Flagg's books are, this one in particular (though I do say that after every new Fannie Flagg book I read)...but I won't. All I can tell you is to get out there and read this book as soon as you can get ahold of a copy. You'll laugh-out-loud at Mrs. Elner's quirkiness, and poor Norma's tendency to overreact a bit about EVERYTHING, and all the rest of the colorful towns folk of Elmwood Springs.
Ms. Flagg has a wonderful gift for storytelling, and I just can't recommend her books enough. If you love small town reading, and funny characters, definitely give this a shot. I can't see how anyone couldn't not fall in love with this bunch!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fannie Flagg always writes her books with a ton of interesting characters. Loved it!Published 4 days ago by Moe Pence
I love Fannie Flagg, and this is a typical book of hers with excellent characters, good story, and good feel reading. Highly recommend. Read morePublished 15 days ago by V. Pennington
I love Fannie Fladdd and this is my absolute favorite book, I laughed so much and mostly because I could relate so well with the characters, we all know, have known someone like... Read morePublished 27 days ago by Amazon Customer
Another Fannie Flag feel good book. No deep thinking, just a delightful happy story. When I don't know what to read next, there's always Fannie Flag.Published 2 months ago by linda brecher
I love Fannie Flaggs books. It takes me back to my childhood vas I grew up in rural MO. She is just delightfulPublished 2 months ago by Cheryl O'Brien
Loved this story. Main character is a hoot. I enjoyed all the surprises and will probably read it again. Definitely a light and fun read which moves very quickly.Published 2 months ago by Frances W. Hazelwood
Have you ever wondered how or if you influence the lives of people you know? The reality is that all you have to do is be loving and attentive. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Linda C SMITH