The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg

October 6, 2015 Chick Lit, Historical Fiction 6

Howdy Bookworms!

I’ve been reading a lot of spooky novels to get me in the mood for Halloween (I’ll tell you all about it, of course, in due time.) Because I’ve been so deep in the dark and broody I decided to lighten things up a bit by picking up The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg. The last Fannie Flagg novel I read, I Still Dream About You (review) was kind of disappointing. It was fine, but it didn’t have enough of that “I’m happy to be alive” vibe that I’ve come to expect from her novels. I’m a glutton for the warm fuzzies. Suffice it to say that I was MORE than fulfilled by The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion.

allgirlfillingstationlastreunionMrs. Sookie Poole has finally married off the last of her three daughters and is recovering from wedding overload. Just as she and her husband prepare for some R&R, Sookie’s world is rocked by a registered letter informing her that all is not as she expected it was in her family’s past. All her life, Sookie has been failing to live up to the impossible expectations of her formidable/eccentric/overbearing mother, Lenore Krackenberry. Lenore’s fixation on Southern gentility and the family silver perplex and exhaust Sookie, but she good-naturedly puts up with her mother’s airs. When Sookie receives her surprising package, Lenore’s behaviors confuse her more than ever. Determined to learn more about her family, Sookie embarks on an unexpected journey.

Sookie’s quest to uncover her family’s secrets leads her on a cross country trek and into a time and place she’d never imagined. Namely, a large Polish family in 1940s Wisconsin. Told half in present day Alabama and half in WWII era Wisconsin, this book was an absolute treat. I’m sure a large part of my affection for this book comes from the Midwestern setting and the Polish family. Technically I grew up in Illinois and technically I’m not Polish, BUT the Chicago area (where I grew up) has a ginormous Polish population. (Fun fact: I once asked a couple of the immigrant girls I went to high school with to teach me how to swear in Polish. They demurred and taught me the names of fruit instead, assuming that even if I tried to use them in a violent fashion at worst I’d sound like a crazed woman obsessed with produce. At least I wouldn’t offend anyone who spoke the language. Probably.) With a colorful cast of characters in each time and place, the Fannie Flagg I’ve come to love was represented fabulously. Historical fiction, contemporary fiction, warm fuzzies, and polka abound. If you need a pick-me-up, you need to pick up The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion

Talk to me, Bookworms! Do any of y’all know how to polka? I don’t actually know how to, myself, but sometimes I do anyway. Evidence:

I'm dancing with my brother-in-law's mom who actually DOES know how to polka. She tolerated my nonsense beautifully.

I’m dancing with my brother-in-law’s mom who actually DOES know how to polka. She tolerated my nonsense beautifully.

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6 Responses to “The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg”

  1. Megan M.

    Katie, I bet you are a DELIGHT at parties! I do not know how to polka! I don’t know very much about the Polish people. Does seeing “Polish Wedding” with Claire Danes count at all? If so, then I know that Polish people eat pierogies.

    • Words For Worms

      I am a delight at parties in which I know (and like) a large portion of the people in attendance and/or I’ve had a few drinks. Otherwise I tend to be rather wallflowerish. This was taken at my BIL and SIL’s wedding, at it was a blast and a half. Pierogies are so good!!! Have you had them?! (Another fun fact, my wedding reception took place at a venue called the Polish National Alliance. The coat room contained a juke box that played nothing but polka. I did not, however, polka at my own wedding. Terrible oversight on my part.)

  2. Just me, Vee

    OOOH! I will have to read this! I am of Polish heritage, and I did do the polka with my dad when I was a kid. I would love to go to Chicago to get some great pierogis and kielbasa!
    Mrs. T’s just doesn’t cut it!

    Sukinsyn! I’ve heard this one a lot.


    • Words For Worms

      The only Polish “swear” I remember is the word for strawberry. TRUSKAVKA! (I am 1000% sure I did not spell that right. There’s probably a c or a z or a curly punctuation mark I missed.) Man. Now I really want some Polish food. The area in which I currently live has a huge Lebanese population, which is super cool, but it’s much easier to find chicken shwarma here than it is to find pierogi. We do always have Paczki in the grocery stores come Mardi Gras though, but I don’t like jelly donuts and it’s October so poo. I bet my MIL would cook me some if I asked nicely, only it would technically be Slovak food, not Polish. But dude, it’s so close it would probably do the trick. I mean, we get Oplatki and kolaczki at Christmas, and Slovak is full of words I can’t spell too. I apologize if anyone who actually reads and speaks Polish and/or Slovak reads this travesty of misspellings.

Talk to me, Bookworms!

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