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I Still Dream About You

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Overview

The beloved Fannie Flagg is back and at her irresistible and hilarious best in I Still Dream About You, a comic mystery romp through the streets of Birmingham, Alabama, past, present, and future.

Meet Maggie Fortenberry, a still beautiful former Miss Alabama. To others, Maggie’s life seems practically perfect—she’s lovely, charming, and a successful real estate agent at Red Mountain Realty. Still, Maggie can’t help but wonder how she wound up in her present condition. She had ...

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I Still Dream About You

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Overview

The beloved Fannie Flagg is back and at her irresistible and hilarious best in I Still Dream About You, a comic mystery romp through the streets of Birmingham, Alabama, past, present, and future.

Meet Maggie Fortenberry, a still beautiful former Miss Alabama. To others, Maggie’s life seems practically perfect—she’s lovely, charming, and a successful real estate agent at Red Mountain Realty. Still, Maggie can’t help but wonder how she wound up in her present condition. She had been on her hopeful way to becoming Miss America and realizing her childhood dream of someday living in one of the elegant old homes on top of Red Mountain, with the adoring husband and the 2.5 children, but then something unexpected happened and changed everything.

Maggie graduated at the top of her class at charm school, can fold a napkin in more than forty-eight different ways, and can enter and exit a car gracefully, but all the finesse in the world cannot help her now. Since the legendary real estate dynamo Hazel Whisenknott, beloved founder of Red Mountain Realty, died five years ago, business has gone from bad to worse—and the future isn’t looking much better. But just when things seem completely hopeless, Maggie suddenly comes up with the perfect plan to solve it all.

As Maggie prepares to put her plan into action, we meet the cast of high-spirited characters around her. To Brenda Peoples, Maggie’s best friend and real estate partner, Maggie’s life seems easy as pie. Slender Maggie doesn’t have to worry about her figure, or about her Weight Watchers sponsor catching her at the Krispy Kreme doughnut shop. And Ethel Clipp, Red Mountain’s ancient and grumpy office manager with the bright purple hair, thinks the world of Maggie but has absolutely nothing nice to say about their rival Babs “The Beast of Birmingham” Bingington, the unscrupulous estate agent who hates Maggie and is determined to put her out of business.

Maggie has heartbreaking secrets in her past, but through a strange turn of events, she soon discovers, quite by accident, that everybody, it seems—dead or alive—has at least one little secret.

I Still Dream About You is a wonderful novel that is equal parts Southern charm, murder mystery, and that perfect combination of comedy and old-fashioned wisdom that can be served up only by America’s own remarkable Fannie Flagg.
 

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

After her four-year silence, booksellers and other readers will welcome back novelist Fannie Flagg with unfeigned eagerness. Her I Still Dream About You heralds a comeback too: Maggie Fortenberry is a former Miss Alabama whose charmed life recently has been screeching downhill. To resurrect her career (and her spirits), Maggie must cobble together an effective real-estate business plan pronto and also grapple with some secrets from her past. As every Fannie Flagg novel, I Still Dream About You is fitted with a full ensemble of characters, including in this case a vindictive villain named Babs "The Beast of Birmingham" Bingington. Part charming Southern romp; part murder mystery; a totally delectable read.

From the Publisher
“[Fannie Flagg is] a born storyteller.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Undoubtedly [Flagg’s] wisest book, comic and compassionate . . . Born of a tender heart and nurtured by an imaginative mind, it’s certain to touch the reader’s soul.”—Richmond Times Dispatch
 
“A fun and rollicking Nancy Drew mystery for grown-ups.”—The Birmingham News
 
“Classic Fannie . . . What [Flagg] writes about, time and again, are the touching, terrifying, heartbreaking, hysterical, extraordinary, everyday things that make us human.”—Southern Living

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Sarah Pekkanen
For a comic mystery romp, Fannie Flagg's latest book, I Still Dream About You, has a lot of talk about suicide, incest, cross-dressing and vicious backstabbing. But hey, who says those are bad things? Flagg, the author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe and a half-dozen other popular books, has filled this charming new novel with quirky characters, led by a former Miss Alabama.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Flagg's whimsical heartstring tugger (after Can't Wait to Get to Heaven) follows the continually interrupted suicide attempt of a former Birmingham, Ala., beauty queen, now 60 and a realtor. The 2008 election is hitting the home stretch as former Miss Alabama, Maggie Fortenberry, plans her exit from a world she can no longer bear. Still grieving over the loss of her best friend and unceasingly optimistic boss, Hazel Whizenknott, Maggie feels like a failure: the business is in decline, and she's lamenting a lifetime's worth of chances missed, including turning down her one true love. In fact, she's come up with 16 "perfectly good reasons to jump in the river" and only two reasons not to. Of course, there is hope to be found--professionally, personally, perhaps romantically--even in Maggie's darkest hours. Flagg gives the story some breadth with a subplot about a friend's campaign to become Birmingham's first black mayor. Maggie's quandary, meanwhile, is detailed with Flagg's trademark light touch and a sincere wit that's heavier on heart than sass. (Nov.)
Kirkus Reviews

Life keeps interrupting a former beauty queen's planned suicide in Flagg's latest (Can't Wait to Get to Heaven, 2006, etc.) take on Southern womanhood.

Maggie Fortenberry, Miss Alabama circa the late 1960s, is not exactly depressed, but at age 60, toiling as a Birmingham Realtor as the housing bubble implodes, she simply finds life too burdensome. So she's planned a graceful exit, donating her sparse but tasteful wardrobe, paying her bills, leaving the balance of her meager bank account to charity, etc. She's set her suicide for late October 2008, when Brenda, her best friend and colleague at Red Mountain Realty, convinces her she must see the Whirling Dervishes during their one-night-only November appearance in Birmingham. Maggie reschedules her date with doom, but pretexts for further postponements pop up. Crestview, a mansion originally owned by Scottish industrialist and Birmingham city father Edward Crocker, is coming on the market, and Maggie suspends genteel despair long enough to snatch the listing from Red Mountain's archrival in realty, Babs Bingington, the Beast of Birmingham. Not only did Babs indirectly cause the death of Red Mountain's revered founder, the miniscule but irrepressible Hazel, but thanks to Babs' scorched-earth sales tactics, Birmingham's historic homes are being razed and replaced by shoddily constructed, vulgar monstrosities. Once Crestview is safely sold, an auto accident and grateful goat farmers present further impediments to self-destruction. Not to mention the skeleton, dressed in full Scots regalia,discovered in Crestview's attic. Or Brenda's compulsive overeating, which lands her in the hospital. The early sections of the novel evoke sympathy for Maggie as she rifles her catalog of regrets: her sabotaged chances at the Miss America crown, failed love affairs, thwarted dreams of success in the Big Apple and general incompetence at everything except beauty—now rapidly fading. Although the plot may justify tarring its villain or deifying its savior too broadly, there is no excuse for the Hazel-ex-machinaending.

What could have been an edgy excursion into the individual toll of the Recession on real women devolves into fluff.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739353998
  • Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/9/2010
  • Format: CD
  • Product dimensions: 6.94 (w) x 11.80 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Meet 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!, Standing in the Rainbow, and A Redbird Christmas. 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.

Biography

Quite early on in her writing career, Fannie Flagg stumbled onto the holy grail of secrets in the publishing world: what editors are actually good for.

Attending the Santa Barbara Writer's Conference in 1978 to see her idol, Eudora Welty, Flagg won first prize in the writing contest for a short story told from the perspective of a 11-year-old girl, spelling mistakes and all -- a literary device that she figured was ingenious because it disguised her own pitiful spelling, later determined to be an outgrowth of dyslexia. But when a Harper & Row editor approached her about expanding the story into a full-length novel, she realized the jig was up.

"I just burst into tears and said, 'I can't write a novel,'" she told The New York Times in 1994. "'I can't spell. I can't diagram a sentence.' He took my hand and said the most wonderful thing I've ever heard. He said, 'Oh, honey, what do you think editors are for?'"

And so Fannie Flagg -- television personality, Broadway star, film actress and six-time Miss Alabama contestant -- became a novelist, delving into the Southern-fried, small-town fiction of the sort populated by colorful characters with homespun, no-nonsense observations. Characters that are known to say things like, "That catfish was so big the photograph alone weighed 40 pounds."

Her first novel, an expanded take on that prize-winning short story, was Coming Attractions: A Wonderful Novel, the story of a spunky yet hapless girl growing up in the South, helping her alcoholic father run the local bijou. But it was with her second novel where it all came together. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café -- a novel, for all its light humor, that infuses its story with serious threads on racism, feminism, spousal abuse and hints at Sapphic love -- follows two pairs of women: a couple running a hometown café in the Depression-era South and an elderly nursing home resident in the late 1980s who strikes up an impromptu friendship with a middle-aged housewife unhappy with her life.

The result was not only a smash novel, but a hit movie as well, one that garnered Flagg an Academy Award nomination for adapting the screenplay. She won praise from the likes of Erma Bombeck, Harper Lee and idol Eudora Welty, and the Los Angeles Times critic compared it to The Last Picture Show. The The New York Times called it, simply, "a real novel and a good one."

Before her career as a novelist, Flagg was known principally for her on-screen television and film work. She was second banana to Allen Funt on the long-running Candid Camera, perhaps the trailblazer for the current crop of so-called reality television. (Her favorite segment, she told Entertainment Weekly in 1992, was driving a car through the wall of a drive-thru bank.) She appeared as the school nurse in the 1978 film version of Grease, and on Broadway in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. And she was a staple of the Match Game television game shows in the '70s.

As a writer, though, this Birmingham, Alabama native found her voice as a chronicler of Southern Americana and life in its self-contained hamlets. "Fannie Flagg is the most shamelessly sentimental writer in America," The Christian Science Monitor wrote in a 1998 review of her third novel. "She's also the most entertaining. You'd have to be a stone to read Welcome to the World, Baby Girl! without laughing and crying. The cliches in this novel are deep-fat fried: not particularly nutritious, but entirely delicious."

The New York Times, also reviewing Baby Girl, took note of the spinning-yarns-on-the-front-porch quality to her work: "Even when she prattles -- and she prattles a great deal during this book -- you are always aware that a star is at work. She has that gift that certain people from the theater have, of never boring the audience. She keeps it simple, she keeps it bright, she keeps it moving right along -- and, most of all, she keeps it beloved."

But, lest she be pegged as simply a champion of the good ol’ days, it's worth noting that her writing can be something of a clarion call for social change. In Fried Green Tomatoes, Flagg comments not only on the racial divisions of the South but also on the minimization of women in both the 1930s and contemporary life. Just as Idgie Threadgoode and Ruth Jamison commit to a life together -- without menfolk -- in the Depression-era days of Whistle Stop, Alabama, middle-aged Evelyn Couch in modern-day Birmingham discovers the joys of working outside the home and defining her life outside meeting the every whim of her husband.

On top of her writing, Flagg has also stumped for the Equal Rights Amendment.

"I think it's time that women have to stand up and say we do not want to be seen in a demeaning manner," Flagg told a Premiere magazine reporter in an interview about the film adaptation of Fried Green Tomatoes.

Good To Know

Flagg approximated the length of her first novel by weight. Her editor told her a novel should be around 400 pages. "So I weighed 400 pages and it came to two pounds and something," she told the Los Angeles Times in 1987. " I wrote until I had two pounds and something, and, as it happened, the novel was just about done."

She landed the Candid Camera gig while a writer at a New York comedy club. When one of the performers couldn't go on, Flagg acted as understudy, and the show's host, Allen Funt, was in the audience.

Flagg went undiagnosed for years as a dyslexic until a viewer casually mentioned it to her in a fan letter.

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Read an Excerpt

The Big Decision

Monday, October 27, 2008

Today was the day Maggie had been thinking about, obsessing about really, for the past five years.

But now that it was actually here, she was surprised at how calm she felt: not at all as she had imagined; certainly not as it would have been portrayed in a novel or in a movie. No heightened emotions. No swelling of background music. No beating of breasts. No nothing. Just the normal end of a perfectly normal workday, if anyone ever could consider the real estate business normal.

That morning, she had gone to the office, worked on newspaper ads for Sunday's open houses, negotiated a washer and dryer and an ugly monkey chandelier to be included in the sale price in one of her listings (although why her buyers wanted it was a mystery), and made a few phone calls, but nothing out of the ordinary. She had known for some time it was coming, but she wondered why it happened on this particular day, instead of one last month or even next week? Yet not more than two minutes ago, as she drove past the pink neon Park Lane Florists sign, she suddenly knew this was the day. No bells, no whistles, just the sudden realization of a simple fact. She sat and waited for the red light to change and then turned off Highland Avenue and pulled up to the black wrought iron gates, pushed her gate code, and drove into the large cobblestone courtyard. At first glance, seeing the tall, flickering gas lamps lining the sidewalks and the ivy growing up the sides of the walls, a stranger might have guessed they were in a quaint little mews somewhere in London, instead of in Mountain Brook, just five minutes from downtown Birmingham. Mountain Brook had always looked more English than southern, something that had always surprised her out-of-town buyers, but most of the iron, coal, and steel barons who had settled it had been from either England or Scotland. Crestview, her very favorite house, that stood atop Red Mountain and overlooked the city, had been built by a Scotsman and was an exact replica of a house in Edinburgh.

A few seconds later, she eased the new light blue Mercedes into her parking space, took her purse and keys, and headed up the stairs leading to her townhome. When she got inside and closed the door behind her, thankfully, the loud, jangling five-?thirty traffic noises quieted down to a soft muffle. Her building was just one of the many stately old red brick apartment buildings built in the twenties and turned into condominiums in the eighties, when this side of town had gone condo-crazy. Her unit was a well-appointed two-story townhouse in the elegant, high-end enclave known as Avon Terrace and was kept immaculate at all times. The dark brown parquet floors were polished and shined, rugs vacuumed, kitchen and bathrooms gleaming and spotless. They had to be. She was the listing agent for the entire complex, and her unit was the model other realtors showed to potential buyers. Today, she ?didn't stop to check the mail in the silver dish on the small table in the foyer, as she usually did, but walked straight through to the small den off the living room and sat down at her desk.

She knew it must be written by hand. Something like this typed up on the computer would be far too impersonal and certainly not in good taste. She opened the right-hand top drawer and pulled out a small box of monogrammed stationery containing ten sheets of thin blue paper with matching blue envelopes. She took out a few pages and one envelope, then reached across the desk and fingered through a bunch of pens she kept in a brown leather penholder with gold embossing, searching for something to write with. As she continued to test one cheap plastic pen after another, she wished she had kept at least one good fountain pen and that bottle of maroon Montblanc ink she had saved for years. Every one of her old black felt pens had dried up, and now she would have to use the only thing she had left that still worked. She stared at it and sighed. Life was so odd. Never in a million years could she have imagined that she would wind up writing something as vitally important as this on ten-year-old stationery with a fat, bright red ballpoint pen with silver sparkles that had Ed's Crab Shack: Featuring the Best Crab Cakes in Town written on the side.

Good Lord. She had never been to Ed's Crab Shack in her life. Oh, well. Nothing to be done now. She carefully dated the upper right-hand side of the page with tomorrow's date, then took a moment to think about exactly what she wanted to say and how best to say it. She wanted to strike just the perfect tone: not too formal, yet not too casual. Businesslike, but personal. After reviewing the specific points she wanted to make, she began:

To Whom It May Concern,

Good morning, or afternoon, whatever the case may be. When you read this, I will be gone for good. The reasons for my action are varied and many. In the past, I have always strived to be someone my state could be proud of, but I feel that my leaving at this particular time will not cause as much attention as it once might have.

On a personal level, as I do not wish to upset my friends or co-workers or cause anyone undue stress, this letter is to inform you that I have already made all the necessary final arrangements, so please do not worry about finding me, and I apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause. But please be assured that although I..."

The phone inside her purse on the floor suddenly started ringing to the tune of "I'm Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover." Still concentrating on her letter, she reached down with one hand, rummaged through the purse, and finally dug the phone out and answered it. It was Brenda from work, all excited.

"Have you seen the paper yet?"

"No, not yet. Why?"

"Guess what? The Whirling Dervishes are coming to Birmingham!"

"The who?" asked Maggie, not wanting to be rude, but also not wanting to lose her train of thought.

"The Whirling Dervishes from Turkey! The men with the tall cone hats and long skirts that twirl around in a circle. There's a picture of them in today's Entertainment section."

"Really? The real ones?"

"Yes, the real ones! And they're coming to the Alabama Theatre for a one-?night-?only performance. The Chanting Monks from China or Tibet or somewhere had to cancel, and they got the Dervishes to fill in at the last minute."

"Well, that was lucky."

"And guess what else? I can get us two free tickets from Cecil. Aren't you just dying to see them?"

"When are they coming?" Maggie asked, still trying to concentrate on her letter.

"November the second. Look at your calendar."

"Now?"

"Yes, I'll hold on. You know everybody in town will be scrambling for tickets."

Oh, dear. Maggie could tell Brenda was going to pin her to the wall on this, so as a courtesy, she reached across her desk and picked up the Red Mountain Realty calendar with the photo of the entire staff on it and flipped the page over to November; then she said, "Oh, honey, that's a Sunday, and I don't think I can make it. Darn, and I really would have liked to see them. Why don't you take Robbie?"

"Robbie?"

"Yes, she might enjoy it."

"You know I can't get my sister to go anywhere at night, much less go and see any Whirling Dervishes. Oh, come on, Maggie, you have to go! When in your lifetime will you ever get another chance to see real Whirling Dervishes? You know, you're not going to Turkey anytime soon."

"Well...that's true...but...."

Brenda did not let her finish. "I don't care what you say, we're going. I'm calling Cecil first thing in the morning. Goodbye!" Brenda hung up before Maggie had a chance to say no. Oh, Lord.

Maggie started to dial her right back and tell her she really ? couldn't go, but then hesitated. What excuse could she give? She hated to lie. She supposed she could say she would be out of town. In truth, she really would be out of town, but knowing Brenda, she would insist on knowing where she was going, who she was going with, and why. Oh, Lord. Why had she answered the phone? Now that she had finally made the decision, she wanted to go ahead and do it, and sooner rather than later. It had taken her long enough to get to this point.

Naturally, doing something like this would never have been her first choice, but after having made out list after list of all the pros and cons of her life and thoroughly exploring every other possible solution, it had become painfully clear that she had no other option. Oh sure, it would have been easier if she could have somehow unzipped her scalp, taken her brain out, and held it over the kitchen sink, and just rinsed away all the old regrets, hurts, and humiliations right down the drain, and started over, but that was impossible. All she could do was get out now while she still had the mental and physical faculties to do it. Thankfully, all the major preparation and planning of how she was going to do it, method, logistics, etc., had already been completed. Just one last quick stop at Walmart in the morning for some equipment, and she was good to go.

But she was torn about what to do about Brenda. Should she call her back? Or should she simply drop it? Brenda wasn't just any casual acquaintance. She was her real estate partner, and they had been through so much together. Especially after Hazel died. Had it been under any other circumstances, she would have been more than happy to go with her, especially considering all the nice things Brenda had done for her. Just last month, when she had been so sick with that terrible flu, Brenda had insisted on coming over and cooking all her meals. She had taken such good care of her. Oh God, the very last thing in the world she wanted to do was to have to let Brenda down. But now, thanks to her stupidly picking up the phone, it would be the last thing.

She sighed and looked at the calendar again. It would be so much more convenient for her to do it tomorrow or the next day at the latest, but Brenda had sounded so excited, and the poor thing had been having such a hard time lately. November 2 was only six days from now, and considering everything was almost in place and ready to go, she guessed there really was no great rush. So, maybe waiting until the morning of the third ?wouldn't make all that much difference. It was the decision to do it that mattered most and sticking to it, not when. There was certainly no danger of her changing her mind. It would just mean a slight delay and having a little extra time to get things in order and do a rehearsal to make sure there were no last-minute glitches. After all, this was something you had to get right the first time. And Brenda had made a point; it really would be a shame to miss the Dervishes.

When she was eleven, she had seen a photograph of the Whirling Dervishes in one of her father's National Geographic magazines, and they had looked like something right out of the Arabian Nights, so exotic in their tall cone hats and long swirling skirts. And seeing them the night before she left for good would be a nice send-off for her and certainly make more of an occasion out of it. Besides, it was so important to support the arts, but most of all, she wanted to do something nice for Brenda, as a sort of farewell gift. It was the least she could do for a good friend. She picked up the phone and dialed.

"Listen, Brenda, when you speak to Cecil, ask him if it's possible to get us seats in the middle, and if he could, to try to get us as far up front as he can. We want to get a close look at their outfits."

Brenda said, "Don't worry. If Cecil knows you're coming, they'll be good seats. But I'm bringing my binoculars so we can get a really good look at them, okay?"

"Okay."

"Oh, I'm so excited! Hey, Maggie-what do you suppose they wear when they are not in their twirling outfits?"

"Oh gosh, honey, I don't have a clue."

"Me neither. I just can't wait until November the second. Can you? I'm so glad we're going. Yeah!"

Maggie smiled. "Well...I'm glad you're glad."

"See you tomorrow."

"Yes, you certainly will," said Maggie.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Reading Group Guide

1. Maggie’s life hasn’t turned out the way she’d hoped, and at the beginning of the book she makes her big decision to fix it once and for all. Why do you think she feels this way, and what makes her decide that the time has come to put her plan into action?  Have you ever felt the way Maggie does, and if so, what did you do to solve it?
 
2. Maggie’s decision comes at the end of a perfectly ordinary day, with no bells and whistles or dramatic events. In your opinion, is this typical of the way big changes happen in real life? Can you think of examples in your own life where a major event happened on an otherwise ordinary-feeling day?
 
3. What are Maggie’s “16 perfectly good reasons to jump in the river”?  If you were making the list, what would you put in your “pros” and “cons” columns?
 
4. When Charles proposed to Maggie years before, she turned him down. Why did she do this? Do you think she made the right decision, given the circumstances at the time? In hindsight, should she have made a different decision? What would you have done?
 
5. Both Brenda and Maggie each think that the other’s life is easier and happier. Brenda is envious of Maggie’s good looks and constant cheerfulness and charm, while Maggie wishes she had Brenda’s practicality and the comfort of her big family. Why do you think they believe this—is the grass simply always greener on the other side of the fence? If you had to choose between Brenda’s and Maggie’s, which kind of life would you prefer?
 
6. Edwina Crocker-Sperry spent her life protecting a huge secret, one that both gave her tremendous freedom and tightly curtailed her world. What do you think that life was like for her? Would you like to have been Edwina, or to have lived a life like hers?  What do you think would have happened if her secret had been discovered?
 
7. Everyone who meets Hazel Whisenknott falls in love with her, with her energy and enthusiasm and optimism. Even five years after she is gone, she still brightens the lives of all her friends and employees. Do you know anyone like Hazel?
 
8. Hazel refused to let anything get in the way of her dreams. What lessons could we all learn from Hazel’s story? What about Maggie’s?
 
9. At one point, Maggie meets a schoolmate who is surprised to hear that Maggie never became Miss America—the friend has been bragging about knowing Miss America for years. When Maggie tells her she was just the second runner-up, she laughs, “Honey, it’s like the Oscars; after so many years, nobody ever remembers who won, just who was nominated.” How does this change Maggie’s perspective? Do you think the observation is true, or not? Can you think of examples?
 
10. One effect of Maggie’s decision, she realizes, is that she no longer has to worry about the consequences of her actions. She stops going to the gym and watching the news, and starts having a lot more fun. She even speaks her mind to Babs Bingington! If you didn’t have to worry about the long-term consequences of your actions, what would you do differently? Is there anything on your list you might want to do anyway? Is there anything you might want to give up, despite the consequences?
 
 
 

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 432 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This is a heartwarming story

    Still beautiful, former Miss Alabama Maggie Fortenberry works for Red Mountain Realty in Birmingham. She is very successful at her job and considers her co-workers as friends. Yet with all she knows she has going for herself, Maggie has problems getting out of bed each day as she wonders what she has worth living. Maggie has made elaborate plans to commit suicide without any of her friends knowing she killed herself.

    On the day she decides it is time to deploy her exit strategy, she gets the contract to sell Crestview on Red Mountain. She has dreamed of owning that house all her life and wants to make sure the right people, appreciative of this lovely abode, will buy it. She postpones her departure until she finds two people she likes and trusts to do right by Crestview buy the place. Her time selling the house has given Maggie the will to live.

    This is a heartwarming story about a woman who rejected love in pursuit of a dream of becoming Miss America and living on Red Mountain that never materialized. Instead she became a realtor instead, but fails to understand how rich she truly is with friends like Brenda and Ethel, and can eat Krispy Kreme doughnuts without weight gain Like Brenda I just look at one and gain 5 pounds). Miracles can come in many ways as Fannie Flagg merges humor with somberness to tell the passionate tender tale that we are all rich in our own ways if we take the time to learn how.

    Harriet Klausner

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    This Book Is Heaven Sent

    Let me start by saying I love Fannie Flagg and this book is another reminder why. Maggie...Brenda...Ethel...you will fall in love with everyone of these characters. Even in offering my review, I don't think my words will do it justice. I'd also recommend that you buy "When God Stopped Keeping Score," an intimate look at the power of God and forgiveness. If you ever felt bound by your hurt, guilt or anger, given the chance, this book will change your life.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2012

    True entertainment!

    Love all of Fannie Flagg's books. Funny and touching.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2014

    Kevin

    Bios at vig res 1...i rip off your shirt popping off the buttons

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    not a mystery

    Ahhhhh, Birmingham, Alabama, how I miss that city! I was excited to read what was advertised as a mystery by Fannie Flagg. But alas this book did not meet my expectations. While the descriptions of the Magic City were spot on and life in the Old South was true to what I remember, having lived there for ten years; I STILL DREAM OF YOU is not a mystery. Though there is a small mystery within the novel, the story is Maggie's. And I found her to be whining and a bit boring.

    In the last days of the 2008 Presidential Election, Margaret Fortenberry has made the decision to leave. She has made a list of pros and con's: 14 pro and only 2 cons to stay in this world. Maybe she saw too many movies. After all, the former Miss Alabama spent her formulation years living above the Dreamland Theatre. She hadn't accomplished anything in her 60 years, had she? And she misses her great friend, Hazel "the biggest little Real Estate woman in the world." She should have married Charles, but then it was Richard that she devoted her child bearing years. Oh the scandal of it, she had a long adulterous affair with a married man! Always the gentile Southern woman, she can't leave until she ties up all the loose ends - and the loose ends keep her from her mission throughout the book.

    We meet Red Mountain Real Estate's Team Hazel: Maggie, Brenda, Ethel and even the late Hazel through flashback vignettes and short chapters set in 2008 and 2009. The characters are well developed and the setting descriptions, especially Maggie's dream home, Crestview are wonderfully accurate. However, Flagg's humor doesn't seem appropriate when the subject of suicide is the main plot. For 175 pages I grew weary of Maggie, but after Crestview goes on the market and a skeleton is found in the old home's attic, the story picks up and Flagg's humor shines to the end of the novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 1, 2011

    Not her best!

    I tried to like this, but was definitely not one of her better ones. First, I don't usually care for an author reading her own book, and that held true for the audio version of this book. Second, I didn't care for what seemed like drawn out opinions of certain topics. If I wasn't one who feels compelled to finish every book, I would not have finished this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 1, 2010

    Sadly I must suggest a moderate rating

    Fannie Flagg is one of my favorite authors. I usually remember funny quotes, but not this time. This is not her best work and I feel disloyal even making these statements.


    This is not the best of Fannie Flagg.

    GrandmaJoOH

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2014

    Katherine

    I absolutely love Fannie Flagg books. Her characters are so engrossing and Daisy Fay is no different. I found myself laughing outloud. A must read like all her books.

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  • Posted December 13, 2013

    I wish I had a Hazel Whisenknott in my world!  As for Maggie, I

    I wish I had a Hazel Whisenknott in my world!  As for Maggie, I just wanted to shake her from time to time.  The characters were very well developed and I enjoyed the book.  I am a Birmingham gal and a huge Fannie fan!  Was it her best?  Nope, that would be the All Girls Filing Station, but certainly worth reading. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    ENTERTAINING

    I LOVE MOST EVERYTHING FANNIE FLAGG HAS WRITTEN. "I STILL DREAM ABOUT YOU" WAS A FUN READ...I NEVER GOT BORED. IT WAS COMPARABLE TO A JANET EVANOVICH "STEPHANIE PLUM" NOVEL, FUNNY AND INTERESTING.

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  • Posted June 22, 2013

    Believable charaters

    The author does a great job making you feel like the characters are real. I would tell anybody to read it.

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  • Posted May 8, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I love all of her books. Each one is so different but with the s

    I love all of her books. Each one is so different but with the same hometown feel. I love her. I keep checking back when her next book will be coming out. I will be the first in line at the bookstore. She was great on t.v. but she is a better author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2012

    Worse book.

    It was like reading a book written for a ten year old. What a disapointment. Certainly not worth anyone's time.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2012

    Enjoyed this book

    Fun, Light reading

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2012

    Enjoyed this

    I love all Fannie Flagg books and don't think I could ever rate one of her books lower than four stars. The main character in this book seemed to have everything going for her, but was a very sad person. Would definitely recommend!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2012

    Fun book

    Fun book

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  • Posted October 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fabulous Cast of Characters

    I Still Dream About You follows along with a former Miss Alabama, Maggie Fortenberry, and her bout with depression. She is lonely and not where she thought she would end up in life, but no one else around her seems to see her that way. Everyone else thinks she is still gorgeous and leading a pretty nice life. Maggie is a real estate agent, but the business she's worked at isn't doing so well - mostly due to a vindictive competitor. Maggie is planning her suicide throughout the entire story, but things get put on hold time and time again. Especially when she gets the listing for the best house in town - she has to see it through. The mystery of the story comes with the house and we go back and forth in time to discover how it all ties together.

    I felt sorry for Maggie at times, as great as she thinks her best friend is - she doesn't listen to her when she tries to tell her what's going on with her life. Maggie is too much of a pushover, even when she discovers she really does have a backbone, it still doesn't hold. The oddity of the characters was in true Fannie Flagg style and they were the best part of the book. From that best friend with an overeating problem to the midget boss that has a fascination with wearing costumes. The mystery was what I was waiting for the whole time and it took more than half of the book for it to even come up. That said the mystery was a good side story to what was going on in Maggie's life. I do wish the mystery would have taken place in the current time though so that more of the other characters would have played into it and kept those parts light and fun. All in all a decent read, but it's no Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café.

    Reviewed by Jessica for Book Sake.

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  • Posted October 28, 2011

    always a pleasure

    Fannie Flagg always writes a comfortable, warmly human story... and this one is no different. There is always a character in the book you can relate to, or you somehow know. If you want a warm, fuzzy, with hints of humor, easy read to go with your cup of tea, this is it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 19, 2011

    Great book!

    What fun. I laughed out loud. The characters were developed in such a way that i could relate easily to them while i found their foibles very humorous. Thanks Ms. Flagg!

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  • Posted August 15, 2011

    Not her best at all

    I am very disappointed in this book, and I have decided to stop reading it. I have read 137 pages (far more than I should have) and don't want to read a book centered around a character planning her death. The details are not interesting, and frankly, this book doesn't seem like Fannie Flagg at all. I've read both Can't Wait to Get to Heaven and Welcome to the World, Baby Girl, and both are excellent! The most redeeming character in this book is Hazel. Other than that..completely boring.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 432 Customer Reviews

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