Fannie Flagg's heartwarming stories never fail to entertain, and the characters in this one are some of the most endearing ones in all of Southern lit. The deceptively simple story is told in a witty and light-hearted manner, but delves into such emotionally-charged issues as lesbian relationships, the treatment of minorities, the problems of aging and more in an unforgettable narrative.
The story moves effortlessly between two time frames. The first story begins in the 1920's and centers on Idgie Threadgoode, a female Huck Finn, and her friend Ruth Jamison. Together, they own and operate the cafe which is the center of small-town life in Whistle Stop, Alabama.
The second story begins in 1985 when Evelyn Couch meets Ninny Threadgoode, the now-elderly sister-in-law of Idgie, at the Rose Terrace Nursing Home in Birmingham.
The two stories unfold in a light-hearted, folksy way that puts you into the lives of these poignant charaters and has you longing for the neighborly friendliness of a time long past. Evelyn is, in fact, so touched by Ninny's recollections that she is finally able to take control of her own life through the often hilarious and always inspiring life of Idgie.
For a feel-good read where the inherent goodness of people causes them to carry on through good times and bad, I highly recommend this one.