Book Review – July 2015 – Sallie Eden

The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg – Published by Vintage in 2014

allgirlfillingstationThis is the latest, delightful, ever-so-slightly bonkers book from Fannie Flagg, author of the rather more serious ‘Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café’.

Set in 21st century Alabama and early 20th century Poland, California and elsewhere, this is the story of Mrs Sookie Poole, dentist’s wife, mother of four and, more importantly, daughter of the one and only Mrs Lenore Simmons Krackenberry (one of THE Simmons’ family).

Having finally married off her daughters, Sookie is ready to enjoy life but, wouldn’t you know it…the Simmons’ family secret is revealed and she can no longer ignore her heritage, whatever that is. Just when all she had to worry about was Aunt Lily, who, one day was “fine then for no reason, she shot the paperboy” and, as for Uncle Baby, one day president of a bank, the next, oh dear….

In a series of flashbacks, we read about the family who own and run the All-Girl Filling Station and the WASPs (Women Airforce Service Pilots), the real life female pilots, employed to fly US military aircraft in WWII.

A really good story incorporating a fascinating slice of history, great characters, the trials and tribulations of keeping blue jays away from the bird feeder and other important matters… in other words typical Fannie Flagg. A gem of a book.

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