Friday, November 8, 2013

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

Title: Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
Author: Fannie Flagg
Date Read: October 27,2013

SummaryIt's first the story of two women in the 1980s, of gray-headed Mrs. Threadgoode telling her life story to Evelyn, who is in the sad slump of middle age. The tale she tells is also of two women -- of the irrepressibly daredevilish tomboy Idgie and her friend Ruth, who back in the thirties ran a little place in Whistle Stop, Alabama, a Southern kind of Cafe Wobegon offering good barbecue and good coffee and all kinds of love and laughter, even an occasional murder. goodreads

Review: I saw this movie a very long time ago and all I remembered about it was the story of Idgie and Ruth. Don't get me wrong, I love Idgie and Ruth, but the best part of this book were all of the colorful characters. This book is told through a series of flashbacks and stories which I though gave it a very unique perspective. I fell in love with the main story teller Mrs. Threadgoode. She had a spark that I thought was special. But the characters get even better from there. Dot Weems gave us a look at the local gossip through Weems Weekly which I thought was very typical for the south. We love us some gossip! She's also extremely feisty and has a good sense of humor throughout. One time she tried to sell her husband through her column and I laughed out loud. Who hasn't been there? Flagg does a good job of characterizing all ages. I found myself relating to Stump as he interacted with his first crush. I think everyone remembers what it was like to be at that awkward age and the author does a good job of portraying that. 

Now let's get back to Idgie and Ruth. Idgie is everything that a strong female lead should be! She's smart, compassionate, tough as nails, and generous. I love that she found Ruth and they made a life together in their own little part of the world. I see Ruth as Idgie's opposite and they complement each other throughout. Ruth is kind, endearing, and caring but she learns to stick up for herself throughout this book and I think she has Idgie to thank for a lot of that. I understand how a movie could be made around these two but the book is soooo much better than (what I remember of) the movie. 

This book addresses everything from race and culture in the south, to religion, to women's rights, to mental illness. It covers it all. It also provides different perspectives of all of these topics which helps the reader to understand (to the best of their ability) what it was like for a black man to go through the same situation as a white woman and get a completely different experience out of it. The reader starts to see how different life can be for someone based on their race or social status. They may handle the same situation but get grossly different outcomes. Sometimes it's hard to remember that and I loved the way Flagg reminded us through this novel. You all already know I have a soft spot for well done "southern novels" and now I just have to add this one to the list! (I may have to watch the movie again.)

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