A Review by Antoinette Klein

What a wonderful treat Fannie Flagg's newest trip to Elmwood
Springs is. The characters we first met in WELCOME TO THE
WORLD, BABY GIRL and got to know better in STANDING IN
THE RAINBOW have aged, had more experiences both good
and bad, but still maintain the small-town, folksy charm of
Flagg's earlier works. The laugh-out-loud moments are many
amidst the tears, the suspense, and the fantasy.

Norma Warren's aunt, Elner Shimfissle, who was a minor
character in the other novels set in Elmwood Springs, comes
into her own as the main character and the epicenter of an
emotional upheaval in the little town.

While picking figs from her tree in the front yard, Elner
accidentally disturbs a nest of wasps and is bitten to death. Or
is she? Fannie Flagg takes liberal license with the heaven
alluded to in the Bible, but it's all in good taste and puts a very
personal spin on a place still quite mysterious to the living.

The best thing about this book is the characters, their obvious
love for one another, and the close-knit feeling of community
that Flagg captures with her razor-sharp wit and endearing

Remember Tot Whooten from the Tell It Like It Is Beauty Shop?
And Neighbor Dorothy with her fabulous radio show? Macky
Warren, Norma's high school sweetheart and husband, and
Dena Nordstrom, the cousin who was a high-powered New
York executive? These and others have all returned and
catching up on their lives is an experience not to be missed.

Along the way, the reader is actually told the meaning of life
and given the formula for leading a happy and rewarding one.
That's certainly more than I expected when I bought this book.

Another bonus is the yummy recipes mentioned in the book all
appear at the end. They sounded so mouth-watering that I
have Neighbor Dorothy's Heavenly Caramel Cake in the oven
as I type this.
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Remember if people talk
behind your back, it only
means you're two steps ahead!
~ Fannie Flagg
Combining southern warmth with unabashed
emotion and side-splitting hilarity, Fannie
Flagg takes readers back to Elmwood Springs,
Missouri, where the most unlikely and
surprising experiences of a high-spirited
octogenarian inspire a town to ponder the age-
old question: Why are we here?

Life is the strangest thing.

One minute, Mrs. Elner Shimfissle is up in her tree,
picking figs, and the next thing she knows, she is off on
an adventure she never dreamed of, running into people
she never in a million years expected to meet.

Meanwhile, back home, Elner’s nervous, high-strung
niece Norma faints and winds up in bed with a cold rag
on her head; Elner’s neighbor Verbena rushes
immediately to the Bible; her truck driver friend, Luther
Griggs, runs his eighteen-wheeler into a ditch–and the
entire town is thrown for a loop and left wondering, “What
is life all about, anyway?”

Except for Tot Whooten, who owns Tot’s Tell It Like It Is
Beauty Shop. Her main concern is that the end of the
world might come before she can collect her social

In this comedy-mystery, those near and dear to Elner
discover something wonderful:

Heaven is actually right here, right now, with people you
love, neighbors you help, friendships you keep.

Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven is proof once
more that Fannie Flagg “was put on this earth
to write” (Southern Living), spinning tales as
sweet and refreshing as iced tea on a summer
day, with a little extra kick thrown in.
Can't Wait to Get to Heaven
by Fannie Flagg
Read about Fannie Flagg

discussion questions about this book for your book club

Neighbor Dorothy's

Indulge yourself in the sweet world of Fannie Flag

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