I Still Dream About You by Fannie Flagg (Canada) - (US)
Finished: May 28, 2011
First Published: Nov. 9, 2010 (Paperback Jun. 28, 2011)
Publisher: Random House
Genre: southern fiction
Today was the day Maggie had been thinking about, obsessing about really, for the past five years.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Random House Canada.
Reason for Reading: I've only read one Fannie Flagg book, Fried Green Tomatoes, but I loved it so much. I'd like to read all her books because I love Southern Fiction and after I read the book I realized she was one of the regulars on Match Game. LOL
Now this wasn't as good as "Fried Green Tomatoes" and since I haven't read any others yet I can't compare but as one of the characters in this book was fond of saying "Close enough!." It is a delightful, entertaining story with a rather macabre plotline but a feel good, happy ending. A good book for a summer read or beach read as they say.
Maggie is a former Miss Alabama, now a talented real estate woman in Birmingham. Her age is never mentioned but we do know she isn't receiving social security yet. From her state of mind I tended to think of her as pushing up to either the big 6-0 or 6-5. Maggie has decided life has lasted long enough and has a well-planned elaborate suicide all figured out; all she needs to do is pick the day to put the plan in motion. She has a plan for all of her belongings, her money, a note, etc. She'll neatly close her life off with nothing left undone, not even a body for anybody to worry about. When she does pick the day, something happens which she must see to which delays her for a few days. The next time she picks the day something more significant happens and she has to put the date off for a longer period but she's content knowing that eventually she'll end things as soon as she can.
So not exactly the most uplifting plotline; a woman determined to commit suicide. But this woman who has regretted a lot of choices she's made in life suddenly finds herself continually faced with a life that needs to be lived just a bit longer. The story is told in the present but often goes back in time to tell of past events in the life of Maggie and the other main characters namely Harriet, who has died before the book begins, the real estate owner, a 3 foot-four little person exuding optimism; Brenda, Maggie's real estate partner, a large African-American woman with a weight problem who is addicted to food but is determined to run for mayor one day soon and finally Ethel, the grumpy office manager, in her nineties, always wears shades of purple and thinks this generation is the end of civilization. Not to mention their competitor Babs Bingingham, a ruthless real estate agent who will stop at nothing, whether it's legal or not, to steal clients away from others, who hates Maggie with a passion and plans to buy out her business just as soon as legally possible.
A delightful read, with an eccentric cast of characters that even turns into a bit of a mystery when a skeleton is found in an old house just put on the market. Plenty of story lines to follow that all lead back to Maggie and a great humorous Southern fiction romp that is sure to please those looking for a light read.