The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion

The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion

4.6 143
by Fannie Flagg
     
 

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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 and what they are capable of.
 
Mrs. Sookie Poole of

Overview

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 and what they are capable of.
 
Mrs. Sookie Poole of Point Clear, Alabama, has just married off the last of her three daughters and is looking forward to relaxing and perhaps traveling with her husband, Earle. The only thing left to contend with now is her mother, the formidable and imposing Lenore Simmons Krackenberry—never an easy task. 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 shocking 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.
 
Feeling like a stranger in her own life, and fearful of confronting her mother with questions, 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. With so many men off to war, it’s up to Fritzi and her enterprising younger sisters to keep it going. Soon truck drivers are changing their routes to fill up at the All-Girl Filling Station. But before long, Fritzi sees an opportunity for an even more groundbreaking adventure when she receives a life-changing invitation from the U.S. military to assist in the war effort. As Sookie learns more and more about Fritzi’s story, she finds herself with new answers to the questions she’s been asking her whole life.
 
The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion is a perfect combination of comedy, mystery, wisdom, and charm. Fabulous, fun-loving, spanning decades, generations, and centered on a little-known aspect of America’s twentieth-century story, The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion is Fannie Flagg, the bestselling “born storyteller” (The New York Times Book Review), at her irresistible best.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
11/04/2013
Structured much like Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, Flagg's latest novel alternates between the pedestrian life of Sookie Poole, a timid middle-aged southern woman and that of her brash, adventurous ancestry, a quartet of polish sisters who ran a filling station and flew planes during WWII. The cataclysmic event that unites these narratives is Sookie's discovery that she was adopted. Her journey into the history of her biological family is excruciatingly slow, but the history—particularly of the WASPs, a division of all-female pilots who flew support missions for the Air Force and were written promptly out of history after the war ended proves more entertaining and helps redeem the plot. The language is accessible and much of the backstory is delivered via letters, rendering the voices of the characters authentic, even if they are a bit stock—the archetypal aging southern lady heroine, for example, has a wacky new-age best friend, an overbearing mother, and a Yankee psychiatrist. Readers looking for nuance will not find it here, but there are plot twists, adventure, heartbreak, and familial love in spades, making this the kind of story that keeps readers turning pages in a fever. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Not surprisingly, the author of Fried Green Tomatoes revisits the South, but her novel takes in a larger swath of territory, ranging from Wisconsin to Texas. Flagg's heroine, from present-day Alabama, is intrigued by the story of five women working at a Phillips 66 gas station in 1943, just as Flagg was intrigued by the story of women who ran a gas station and flew in the WASPs during the war. Fans will be waiting; Flagg's latest, I Still Dream About You, sold over 500,000 copies across formats. Billed as a comic mystery, and note the author tour to Fairhope (AL), Mobile, Birmingham, Huntsville, Nashville, Bowling Green, Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara.
Kirkus Reviews
2013-10-01
Flagg highlights a little-known group in U.S. history and generations of families in an appealing story about two women who gather their courage, spread their wings and learn, each in her own way, to fly (I Still Dream About You, 2010, etc.). After marrying off all three of her daughters (one of them twice to the same man), Sookie Poole is looking forward to kicking back and spending time with her husband and her beloved birds. She's worked hard throughout life to be a good mother to her four children and a perfect daughter to her octogenarian mother. Lenore Simmons Krackenberry's a legend in Point Clear, Ala., and has always been narcissistic, active in all the "right" organizations, and extremely demanding. She's also become increasingly bonkers, a disorder that seems to run in the Simmons family. Throughout much of her life, Sookie's never felt as if she's measured up to Lenore's exacting standards, and she's terrified she, too, might lose her marbles. Then, Sookie receives an envelope filled with old documents that turn her world and her beliefs about herself and her family topsy-turvy. Her emotional quest for answers leads Sookie down a winding yet humorous path, as she meets with a young psychiatrist at the local Waffle House and tracks down descendants of a Polish immigrant who opened a Phillips 66 filling station in Pulaski, Wis., in 1928. What she discovers about the remarkable Jurdabralinski siblings inspires her: Fritzi, the eldest daughter, developed a unique idea to keep her father's business operating during difficult times, but her true passion involved loftier goals. During World War II, she used her exceptional skills to serve her country in an elite program, and two of her sisters followed suit. Finding inspiration in their professional and personal sacrifices, Sookie discovers her own courage to make certain decisions about her life and to accept and take pride in the person she is. This is a charming story written with wit and empathy. The author forms a comfortable bond with readers and offers just the right blend of history and fiction. Flagg flies high, and her fans will enjoy the ride.
From the Publisher
“A beautifully told tale, world-class humor, and characters who live forever in a grateful reader’s world. Fannie Flagg keeps getting better and better. The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion proves it.”—Pat Conroy

“Flagg spins another charming tale of the peaks and valleys of everyday life. . . . If all the self-help books that promote ways to ‘find yourself’ were stacked in an enormous pile . . . none would approach the sweet wisdom with which Flagg infuses The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion. And neither could they match the author’s essential kindness, nor her unwavering tenderness toward and belief in humanity, despite all its foibles and foolishness. She understands, but she does so with love.”Richmond Times-Dispatch

“It’s Flagg’s pleasure to hit her characters with several happy endings, but the real happiness is that she’s given us another lovable—and quirky—novel.”—The Washington Post

“Flagg is at her South-skewering best. . . . A chuckle-while-reading book.”The Mobile Press-Register

“The kind of story that keeps readers turning pages in a fever . . . There are plot twists, adventure, heartbreak, and familial love in spades.”Publishers Weekly

“Fannie flies high, and her fans will enjoy the ride. . . . A charming story written with wit and empathy . . . just the right blend of history and fiction.”Kirkus Reviews

“Flagg’s storytelling talent is on full display. Her trademark quirky characters are warm and realistic, and the narrative switches easily between the present and the past. Flagg’s fans won’t be disappointed in this one, and there’s a lot to be said for giving tribute to the real-life WASPs. . . . Great possibilities for nonfiction pairings abound for book clubs.”Booklist

“Yet again, Flagg delivers a book full of heartwarming charm that is sure to provoke lighthearted laughter. A complex story told simply and honestly . . . another treat for Flagg fans.”Library Journal

“Fannie Flagg is a fantastic storyteller. She surprises the reader in every chapter with unexpected twists and turns. The only problem I had with this fascinating story is that it ended too soon. I can’t wait for her next book.”—Carol Burnett
 
The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion is an absolute joy to read, full of Fannie Flagg's trademark humor, warmth, tenderness, and heart. If you’re looking for a novel to lift your spirits and make you smile, this is definitely the book for you.”—Kristin Hannah
 
“An engaging, heartfelt story where family secrets unfurl and the past reshapes the present in surprising ways. Fannie Flagg has crafted a love letter to the courageous women who accomplished the extraordinary on the homefront during World War II.”—Beth Hoffman
 
“Sly and funny, and a delight from beginning to end. Reading Fannie Flagg is like sitting on the porch and listening to a master storyteller, until night falls and the tale is finally told, then not wanting to move a muscle because the story is still resonating in the quiet around you.”—Sarah Addison Allen
 
The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion has all of the ingredients we hope to find in a Fannie Flagg novel. With its unforgettable characters, wildly hilarious scenes, and deeply touching moments, this novel is loaded with delights.”—Edward Kelsey Moore

“There is no novelist better at exploring the sunny side of the American soul than Fannie Flagg. Her books cast a marvelous spell—one minute I’m laughing, the next minute a lump in my throat, and then a sad smile with a rush of deep feeling. The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion is charming, funny, and deeply satisfying.”—Mark Childress, author of Crazy in Alabama and Georgia Bottom

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781400065943
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/05/2013
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
1,101,946
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Fannie Flagg’s career started in the fifth grade when she wrote, directed, and starred in her first play, titled The Whoopee Girls, and she has not stopped since. At age nineteen she began writing and producing television specials, and later wrote for and appeared on Candid Camera. She then went on to distinguish herself as an actress and a writer in television, films, and the theater. She is the New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man; Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe; Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!; Standing in the Rainbow; A Redbird Christmas; Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven; I Still Dream About You; and The All-Girl Filling Station’s Class Reunion. Flagg’s script for the movie Fried Green Tomatoes was nominated for an Academy Award and the Writers Guild of America Award and won the highly regarded Scripter Award for best screenplay of the year. Flagg lives happily in California and Alabama.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Montecito, California
Date of Birth:
September 21, 1944
Place of Birth:
Birmingham, Alabama
Education:
The University of Alabama
Website:
http://www.randomhouse.com/features/fannieflagg/

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