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Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!: A Novel (Ballantine Reader's Circle) [Kindle Edition]

Fannie Flagg
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (327 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $11.23
You Save: $3.77 (25%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Welcome to the World, Baby Girl! is the funny, serious, and compelling new novel by Fannie Flagg, author of the beloved Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (and prize-winning co-writer of the classic movie).

Once again, Flagg's humor and respect and affection for her characters shine forth. Many inhabit small-town or suburban America. But this time, her heroine is urban: a brainy, beautiful, and ambitious rising star of 1970s television. Dena Nordstrom, pride of the network, is a woman whose future is full of promise, her present rich with complications, and her past marked by mystery.

Among the colorful cast of characters are:

Sookie, of Selma, Alabama, Dena's exuberant college roommate, who is everything that Dena is not; she is thrilled by Dena's success and will do everything short of signing autographs for her; Sookie's a mom, a wife, and a Kappa forever
Dena's cousins, the Warrens, and her aunt Elner, of Elmwood Springs, Missouri, endearing, loyal, talkative, ditsy, and, in their way, wise
Neighbor Dorothy, whose spirit hovers over them all through the radio show that she broadcast from her home in the 1940s
Sidney Capello, pioneer of modern sleaze journalism and privateer of privacy, and Ira Wallace, his partner in tabloid television
Several doctors, all of them taken with--and almost taken in by-Dena

There are others, captivated by a woman who tries to go home again, not knowing where home or love lie.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews Review

Fans of Fannie Flagg's Southern-fried yarns will enjoy her folksy reading of her third novel--the story of New York TV anchorwoman Dena Nordstrom, who must take her fast-paced life down a few notches, face her mysterious past, and shake hands with her small-town heritage in order to find happiness. Listening to Flagg's storytelling on this abridged rendition, one might as well be sitting across a kitchen table from her as she pours two cups of coffee and serves up slices of apple pie along with the latest neighborhood gossip. Flagg, author of the bestselling book Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, received a Grammy Award nomination for her narration on the audio version of that book. (Running time: five hours, four cassettes) --Kimberly Heinrichs

From Publishers Weekly

Because so much of Flagg's third novel takes place in the 1970s media-celebrity echelons of New York City, it doesn't offer the regional and historical color and texture of its predecessor, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. Instead, Flagg's achievement here lies in a well-choreographed story of loyalty and survival that zigzags deftly across the post-war years, panning in on the never-changing decency of Elmwood Springs, Mo., then pulling back to watch national TV news devolve into sensationalism?all the while drawing us into the compelling life of Dena Nordstrom. Star of America's most popular morning news show, Dena shuts herself down and shuts men out for painful reasons that are unknown even to her. Only after the stress of ambush- and sound-byte journalism brings on a hemorrhaging ulcer does Dena slowly unearth the scandal that, when Dena was four, drove her mother from Elmwood Springs, hometown of the war hero father that Dena never knew. That her mother's nemesis is a newspaper gossipmonger is nicely ironic, although her mother's secret shame seems slightly larger than life. In contrast, Dena's college friend Sookie and great aunt Elner are reminders of how well Flagg can cook up memorable women from the most down-to-earth ingredients, while a cameo by Tennessee Williams is uncannily true to life. Fans may be sorry at first to leave Elmwood Springs for the big city, but even the most reluctant will get wrapped up in Dena's search for the truth about her family and her past. Author tour; Random House audio.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1933 KB
  • Print Length: 510 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 044900578X
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (June 22, 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004JHYR36
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,229 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Fannie Flagg serves up a hefty helping of Southern humor in this sometimes funny, sometimes melodramatic, but always interesting story. Baby Girl is Dena Nordstrom of Elmwood Springs, Missouri, who becomes one of the top tv journalists in New York City. She learns a lot of lessons in the big city, such as tv news has no ethics, tabloid shows are what America wants, and people with no morals rise to the top. When Dena crashes from the stress of big city living, she goes back home (against her will) to be coddled and loved by her extended family. The very best parts of this book take place below the Mason-Dixon line as cousin Norma and her husband Mackey Warren delight readers with their down-to-earth goodness and hysterically funny dialogue. Also adding to the fun is Kappa sorority sister extraordinaire Sookie from Selma, Alabama, the complete antithesis of Dena. Sookie is a devoted wife and mother, a born-again Christian, but mostly she is a loving friend who never forgets that being a Kappa is the ultimate achievement for all women. Flagg describes small-town living perfectly and captures all the love, humor, and genuine neighborly concern that small towns have become famous for. Lucky for Dena, because she has a major crisis to confront. Things become serious when Dena delves into her past and searches for the mother who abandoned her many years ago. The climax of this novel is surprising and totally unique. I was shocked at what I learned about Dena's mother and overcome with emotion at the poignancy of the story.
But the reason this book appealed to me so much was primarily due to Neighbor Dorothy, the first character we meet and the one whose spirit hovers over the entire story.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dena Nordstrom's Search for herself February 5, 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
WELCOME TO THE WORLD, BABY GIRL is the second Fannie Flagg novel that I've read. The first, of course, was Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. Welcome To the World, I have to say, is not as wonderful as the other book, but I think comparing the two may be a mistake.
The novel switches back and forth between the present, the 1970's, and the past, the 1930's and 1940's. Dena Nordstrom is a famous television personality of the 1970's, almost akin to what Oprah Winfrey is for us today. She's' highly respected and well-loved by her many fans. She brings ratings to her television network, and everyone just loves her. She lives in New York, lives a fast life of parties and liquor and all the trappings that come with being a famous celebrity.
Then we switch to the 1930's and 40's. We see Dena's roots, where she came from. We get them in pieces, in short scenes, because Dena herself does not know too much about her childhood or about where she came from. Her mother was a mystery to her, and she knows hardly anything about her. All she knows is that she once loved her mother very much, but somewhere along the way she stopped loving her.
The scenes of the 1930's and 40's take place in a small country town called Elmwood Springs, Missouri. To modern day Dena Nordstrom, this is hicktown. She has no desire in going back home. Fannie Flagg paints a quaint, wonderful little town where everyone knows everyone else, and there is not one secret in town that nobody knows. However, the biggest secret is something that no one knew, because Dena's mother chose to keep it secret.
Dena has troubles sleeping and soon is forced to see a psychiatrist to help. She starts with one psychiatrist, Gerry, but he soon sends her off to another one, a friend of his, Dr. Diggers.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ July 27, 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I bought this book at a Library Book Sale, and I brought on my vacation to a Rhode Island beach last year, and I enjoyed it immensely. I loved it, and Ms. Flagg wrote a good yarn. The storyline was really good, and I couldn't put it down. A MUST READ. If you like a good southern story, you will definitely enjoy this one.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great writing from a great author August 26, 2006
By A Customer
She remains a master of characterization, dialogue, language, and good old fashioned storytelling. I appreciate the contrast she was making between city and country here, but it's damn hard to engage me with a story about ethics in TV news, no matter how much is based on experience. It dragged in spots, with plot driving character when I prefer the opposite, but overall I'm glad I read it, and it certainly hit me with some shocks later on. However, I've been advised that you shouldn't read it immediately after STANDING IN THE RAINBOW, and that's right. If you compare the two, this one will fail. So don't compare them. Just enjoy.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Charming August 2, 2006
Welcome to the World, Baby Girl is an amazing collection of lives and events that keeps you guessing all the way. It's not a mystery or thriller - this is a novel about one woman and her search for happiness, but Flagg interweaves so many elements that this book is a pleaser at many levels.

While I initially coudln't like the heroine, Dena, very much, Flagg fleshes her out by going into her past and surrounding her with truly lovable characters who get you to see the sweet person Dena really is. All of the supporting characters are memorable, including the villains, whose lesser traits are explained through Flaggs' narrative. You don't love them, but you understand why they do what they do.

Fannie Flagg is a great observer of human motivation, and has a fabulous sense of humour. Welcome to the World, Baby Girl is a novel you will enjoy and not be able to forget for a long time.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Awesome book, love it
Published 2 days ago by Becky Bailey
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny Fannie Flagg - again
Funny Fannie Flagg - again. It has been many years since I read "Fried Green Tomatoes...", and this offering from Ms. Flagg is every bit as good. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Beverly Kugler
5.0 out of 5 stars If you want a laugh aloud funny book with great characters and a feel...
If you want a laugh aloud funny book with great characters and a feel good ending, Fannie Flagg is your "go to" author. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Catherine Wisniewski
5.0 out of 5 stars Fried Green Happiness!
I love this series of books. Ms. Flagg takes a character that is barely mentioned in one of the books and then makes them a major character in the other books.
Published 16 days ago by Sandi Paynter
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
This book gave you food for thought. Makes you realize that situations in the past can affect your future.
Published 1 month ago by Cecilia Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
At first it went slow but when I got to the core of it the storyline took off and I truly enjoyed it.. I recommend it to everyone.
Published 1 month ago by Shirley R. Hubbard
4.0 out of 5 stars the book was ok, the book too long
It was ok
Thought it was tedious and wordy. The story line was interesting but too many sub plots which made it confusing.
Published 1 month ago by Sandra Lake
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book from Fannie Flagg
I love all Fannie Flagg's books. This is the 5th or 6th I have read. When I began I did not realize that they are all connected in some way through the characters. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lauren C
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to the world, baby girl by Fanny Flagg
Such a multi layered read. You just never know what you are going to get from Ms. Flagg. My favorite imagery that she paints is of "Home/Safe Place". What a wonderful story. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Robin Behrent
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
Great story. I want to move to this town and experience the days of Neighbor Dorothy. What a wonderful time to be alive.
Published 1 month ago by Constance Konefes
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More About the Author

FANNIE FLAGG began writing and producing television specials at age nineteen and went on to distinguish herself as an actress and writer in television, films, and the theater. She is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (which was produced by Universal Pictures as Fried Green Tomatoes), Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!, and Standing in the Rainbow. Flagg's script for Fried Green Tomatoes was nominated for both the Academy and Writers Guild of America Awards and won the highly regarded Scripters Award. Flagg lives in California and in Alabama.

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