Thursday, May 29, 2014

Review: The All-Girls Filling Station's Last Reunion

The All-Girls Filling Station's Last Reunion
by Fannie Flagg

Why did you choose this book? This was our book club selection for May
When did you read this book? May 2014
Who should read this book? readers of Fannie Flagg or WWII fiction
Source: library ebook
Here is a synopsis of The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion from Goodreads

The one and only Fannie Flagg, beloved author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, Can't Wait to Get to Heaven, and I Still Dream About You, is at her hilarious and superb best in this new comic mystery novel about two women who are forced to reimagine who they are.
Mrs. Sookie Poole of Point Clear, Alabama, has just married off the last of her daughters and is looking forward to relaxing and perhaps traveling with her husband, Earle. The only thing left to contend with is her mother, the formidable Lenore Simmons Krackenberry. Lenore may be a lot of fun for other people, but is, for the most part, an overbearing presence for her daughter. Then one day, quite by accident, Sookie discovers a secret about her mother's past that knocks her for a loop and suddenly calls into question everything she ever thought she knew about herself, her family, and her future.
Sookie begins a search for answers that takes her to California, the Midwest, and back in time, to the 1940s, when an irrepressible woman named Fritzi takes on the job of running her family's filling station. Soon truck drivers are changing their routes to fill up at the All-Girl Filling Station. Then, Fritzi sees an opportunity for an even more groundbreaking adventure. As Sookie learns about the adventures of the girls at the All-Girl Filling Station, she finds herself with new inspiration for her own life.
Fabulous, fun-filled, spanning decades and generations, and centered on a little-known aspect of America's twentieth-century story, The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion is another irresistible novel by the remarkable Fannie Flagg.
My Review

I’ve read Fannie Flagg previously, and while her books are entertaining enough, they are a bit lighter than the books I usually choose to read. This was a book club selection and most of the ladies in our group loved our previous selection by Fannie Flagg, Can’t Wait To Get To Heaven. I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting much of this one. But this one was actually very good!

This is actually historical fiction that alternates between present day and the WWII years. Sookie Poole is a southern woman of a certain class. Her mother, Lenore, is a bit overbearing, and constantly lecturing Sookie on what she should be doing and reminding her of who her family is and what that means. Fritzi is a daughter of Polish immigrants. She has three sisters and a brother. Their father opened one of the first filling stations in Minnesota and because of this all the girls are mechanically inclined. When the war starts, and the WASP (Women’s Airforce Service Pilots) is created, Fritzi joins up. Both threads are interesting, but I really enjoyed Fritzi’s story. (The stories do eventually merge.)

I have read at least two other novels about the WASP and one thing I found fascinating about this book is how certain events were very similar to events in another book. This tells me the authors did some research! If you are interested in reading other stories about the WASP of WWII, I suggest you pick up Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith or Wings by Karl Freidrich. And if you are interested in learning more about the WASP, you can visit the WASP Museum online.

My Rating:  ★★★★1/2   4-1/2 Stars

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