This was an absolute surprise. I chose this book as something to fill time and found a wonderfully written and humorous book that gives hope to what is on the other side. The main character is who I want to be when I am in my 80's;spunky, optimistic and able to take all that she is given with grace and humility. Spend some time with her.
I love Fannie Flagg's books. They are sweet and sentimental and always fun to read, without too much sappiness.
Can't Wait to Get to Heaven is set in Elmwood Springs, MO, where several of her other books have been set. We have a handful of recurring characters, but this time the focus is on Elner Schimfissle, who is 80 years old and has fallen out of a tree and passed away. Or has she? Is Elner dreaming or is she having an after death experience? And what will this mean for her friends and family getting ready to mourn her passing?
Funny, sweet and life affirming this book brought a smile to my face and a small tear to the eye. Thoroughly enjoyable.
If you have read any of Ms. Flagg's books, you will know she writes about quirky people and two of her previous books took place in Elmwood Springs and this one continues the thread. You might say it is sort of a sequel to "Standing in the Rainbow" and "Welcome to the World, Baby Girl."
I really enjoyed this book. Here we have Elner, a widow who is determined to remain independent and free as long as she can despite her niece-in-law thinking she needs to be in a care facility. Elner has a wonderful, generous if kind of odd spirit. She decides to pick some figs for a friend and when she climbs her ladder, accidentally hitting a wasp nest, well, she comes tumbling down and is stung by the angry wasps. She is rushed to the hospital but is pronounced dead.
Next we have Elner going to Heaven and seeing her sister and old friends but most of all, she does not feel any pains like her knee which was sore lots of times. The town is notified of her death and wheels are set in motion for her funeral. But something happens and things are turned upside down.
Ms. Flagg writes a delightful story and her style makes you feel like you are there. I easily got caught up and found myself having read the book in two days. Highly recommended for those who love a good old fashioned story with a few twists and some odd characters thrown in for some laughs! I certainly hope she writes some more about Elner, Dorothy and the town of Elmwood Springs.
Another wonderful read by Fannie Flagg. Elner Shimfissle get stung by wasps, falls out of her fig tree and dies. We have met Elner in other Flagg books; she is quite the character. The entire book, as usual, is filled with Flagg's wonderful characters. This tells about who Elner meets in Heaven, what Heaven is like, and what happens to her there. Also what is going on with her family back on Earth. When Elner dies, I admit I cried.
If you have ever had a chance to read any of Ms. Flagg's books before then you already know how endearing her characters are and how much fun and trouble they can get into.
Aunt Elner is someone you wish was part of your own family and everyone who has ever lived in a small town knows how fast "word" spreads from the local beauty shop all the way to the funeral home at lightening fast speed. In the end you will come away thinking "I never thought a golf shoe could prove that there's life after death to someone so educated and sane" but it did.
This book is a great ride through the wonderful down to earth community of Elmwood Springs MO and a breath of the mid-west that everyone can and will enjoy.
This was my first time reading a Fannie Flagg book but it won't be my last! I was hooked from the first few pages. The characters are fantastic and easy to identify with. This book is a fun read with a real message. A feel good story that will stay with you.
Sweet little story about what happened after Elner Shimfissle accidentally poked the wasps' nest in her fig tree. The tale meanders through a small Southern town and through the lives of its residents, today, yesterday, and tomorrow, and winds up in a totally satisfactory read.
The book is a wonderful escape into a comedic faith adventure, full of rich and memorable characters! Ms. Flagg is a gifted storyteller. I have recommended to others and now have also purchased copies for gifts.
excellent book for loved visiting the old characters from previous books though the way it ended was excellent and my husband laughed at me crying though the author is #1 on stories with old traditional values in it. Recommend to everyone.
Another fabulous offering from Fannie Flagg with some many of the old characters returning. She always leaves me feeling uplifted and happy. Aunt Elner is the main character who can teach us all a thing or two. I heartily recommend this to all Flagg fans.
I read this with a few reading pals in my online book club The Reading Cove. I really enjoyed it! Aunt Elner is so loveable, and so are the rest of the characters from Elmwood Springs and beyond....
Well, her niece Norma got on my nerves, but in a good way, LOL.
There were also some pretty touching moments, but I love how Fannie Flagg strikes a great balance between LOL humor and dramatic sentiment.
There was some unexpected violence at the end, and the book felt like it was about 100 pages too long, but I can forgive it that. It's like the author loved her characters so much she didn't want to leave them!
I give this one a solid B. You'll have a great time reading it!
My favorite book by Fannie Flagg so far, even beats "Whistle Stop Cafe" (the book that Fried Green Tomatoes was based on). I love when Elner is able to talk to God...the questions that she asks him are so innocent. Highly recommended and hope you enjoy as much as I did when I read it.
Taking readers back to Elmwood Springs, Missouri, Fannie Flagg produces ( for me!) the best of her novels yet. It's the story of Elner Simfissle, an elderly lady, who is quite extraordinary. The book is a combination of comedy and mystery and takes its readers along with it on a journey, all about life and death and the road inbetween.
Have you read other Fannie Flagg books? They are a pleasure & draw the reader into a mid-Western town, in this case, brimming w/a variety of people, jobs, habits, etc. The main character, an elderly, very independent woman is well known to all as a friendly, helpful person, ready to help any & everyone.
You'll meet her neighbors, her niece, the woman reporter at the local newspaper office and many others along the way. Everything has happened for a reason in the elderly woman's life but she feels it is time to be in the bliss of heaven. The humanity and humor make this novel one you will remember!
I haven't laughed out loud while reading a book for some time. Of course, I usually read more serious things, so.... But, I have to say I really enjoyed this book and I did laugh out loud several times. It was Fannie Flagg, who could resist her? And, I loved Fried Green Tomatoes From the Whistle-Stop Cafe, so it was an easy choice to make. Totally different from Fried Green Tomatoes, but so entertaining. An easy read. Try this one, you'll love it and if you don't, it won't take you that long to read it anyway!
I haven't liked any of Flagg's books since Fried Green Tomatoes, which I thought was brilliant. Can't Wait is much lighter fare, but it's an upper, with some good giggles. It's sweet and life affirming--an easy, fun read.
Unfortunately, this book was a letdown. I kept reading with hopes it would improve, but it did not. The characters are southern one dimensional and the story line provides too little substance to keep my attention.
Fannie Flagg, for those of you out there that remember her, is as funny on paper as she is in life. This book is really funny. It isn't how I imagine Heaven, but I like that it is just what Elner Shimfissle needs.
Fannie Flagg is on of my favorites and this book does not disappoint. It's full of her wacky characters and hilarious situations. Her take on God is quite unusual and while I don't agree with it, the reading of it was quite entertaining. A real feel good book.
This third of the trilogy about Elmwood Springs, Missouri features the same colorful characters as the previous two books. Fannie Flagg's reading makes it even more authentic, as she gives us her perspective on Heaven in her own inimitable style.
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, Elners nervous, high-strung niece Norma faints and winds up in bed with a cold rag on her head; Elners neighbor Verbena rushes immediately to the Bible; her truck driver friend, Luther Griggs, runs his eighteen-wheeler into a ditchand the entire town is thrown for a loop and left wondering, What is life all about, anyway? Except for Tot Whooten, who owns Tots 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 security.
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. Cant 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.
Returning to Elmwood Springs, Mo., (where her sprawling 2002 novel, Standing in the Rainbow, chronicled the small town's inhabitants over five decades), Flagg keeps this outing much more tightly-focused; most of the novel takes place over a few days. Octogenarian Elner Shimfissle falls off a ladder after accidentally disturbing a hornets' nest while picking figs. After she dies at the hospital, the novel's bite-size chapters alternate between funny and touching vignettes showing how Elner's death and life has affected dozens of people in town, interspersed with scenes of Elner's laugh-out-loud assent into the hereafter. From there, the plot offers readers a series of delightful surprises. Perhaps Flagg's funniest novel since her debut, Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man, she's created a charming, life-affirming tale and a full cast of memorable characters, including Elner's late sister, Ida, who greets her in heaven still carrying her purse and a grudge about the bad hair styling she got for her funeral. Flagg is an expert at balancing pathos with plenty of Southern sass, and this could very well be the feel-good read of the summer.
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY REVIEW
If your looking for a lighthearted read - this is it! Fannie Flagg does it again with Can't Wait to Get to Heaven. Full of fun, characters most of us can relate to in one way or the other - very real & full of Southern charm.