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The Wonder Boy Of Whistle Stop

by Fannie Flagg

Kirkus Back to the Whistle Stop Cafe, in a story ranging from the 1930s to the present day.The setting of Flaggs Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (1987), beloved both in print and on film, returns in a sweet ol novel which could not possibly be less of the moment. That sound you hear? A gazillion fans rejoicing. The update includes several of the original characterslargely a bunch of good-hearted white people and a couple of meaniesfrom a small town outside Birmingham, Alabama. By the 1990s, it turns out, the whole town is in ruins and its denizens in diaspora throughout the South, mostly kept in touch by Dot Weems, who eventually replaced her long-running newsletter, The Weems Weekly, with Christmas letters and occasional bulletins. The titular wonder boy is the one-armed prince Bud Threadgoode, son of the late Ruth Jamison, who owned the cafe in the 1930s with her partner, Idgie Threadgoode (sadly, no new lesbian romances this time around). In 2013, Bud is retired from his veterinary practice and living at Briarwood Manor in Atlanta, where he moved when his ailing wife, Peggy, became too hard to care for without help. Though healthy himself, he decided to stay on after her death even though his daughter, Ruthie, widowed young, has begged him to move in with her. Unfortunately, she lives next door to her awful mother-in-law, Martha Lee Caldwell, and Bud aint goin there. Martha Lee is a horrible rich old Southern lady; one of the funniest moments in the book occurs when she gets her 23andMe results. Homesick for the good old days, Bud sneaks out of Briarwood to take one last glance at his hometown, and here the ambling narrative finally gets moving. Though you dont have to read the first book to understand the new one, it wouldnt hurt, either, since theres a lot of backstory filled in in clumps and youll catch on sooner if you know whos who. Or watch the movie; Flagg was nominated for an Oscar for the screenplay.Reading this novel is like entering a second childhood. You have our permission. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Kirkus Back to the Whistle Stop Cafe, in a story ranging from the 1930s to the present day. The setting of Flagg’s Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (1987), beloved both in print and on film, returns in a sweet ol’ novel which could not possibly be less of the moment. That sound you hear? A gazillion fans rejoicing. The update includes several of the original characters—largely a bunch of good-hearted white people and a couple of meanies—from a small town outside Birmingham, Alabama. By the 1990s, it turns out, the whole town is in ruins and its denizens in diaspora throughout the South, mostly kept in touch by Dot Weems, who eventually replaced her long-running newsletter, The Weems Weekly, with Christmas letters and occasional bulletins. The titular wonder boy is the one-armed prince Bud Threadgoode, son of the late Ruth Jamison, who owned the cafe in the 1930s with her partner, Idgie Threadgoode (sadly, no new lesbian romances this time around). In 2013, Bud is retired from his veterinary practice and living at Briarwood Manor in Atlanta, where he moved when his ailing wife, Peggy, became too hard to care for without help. Though healthy himself, he decided to stay on after her death even though his daughter, Ruthie, widowed young, has begged him to move in with her. Unfortunately, she lives next door to her awful mother-in-law, Martha Lee Caldwell, and Bud ain’t goin’ there. Martha Lee is a horrible rich old Southern lady; one of the funniest moments in the book occurs when she gets her 23andMe results. Homesick for the good old days, Bud sneaks out of Briarwood to take one last glance at his hometown, and here the ambling narrative finally gets moving. Though you don’t have to read the first book to understand the new one, it wouldn’t hurt, either, since there’s a lot of backstory filled in in clumps and you’ll catch on sooner if you know who’s who. Or watch the movie; Flagg was nominated for an Oscar for the screenplay. Reading this novel is like entering a second childhood. You have our permission. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Flagg’s memorable cast returns to Whistle Stop, Ala., made famous in Fried Green Tomatoes, in this heartfelt saga. As the characters age, they reflect on the 1930s, when the town was a lively, bustling place—but time hasn’t been kind to the hamlet, and it has become decrepit. In its heyday, Dot Weems ran the post office and published a town newsletter (“No gossip, just the plain facts, folks!”), and best friends Ruth and Idgie ran the Whistle Stop Cafe. Over time, townspeople scatter yet remain connected by Dot’s yearly holiday letters. In 1985, Ruth’s granddaughter, Ruthie, gets engaged to Brooks, an Atlanta society man. Shortly after Brooks dies of a heart attack in 2013, their two children leave Atlanta, and Ruthie receives a call from her father Bud’s retirement community saying Bud’s gone missing. As it happens, Bud is on his way back to Whistle Stop, propelled by memories of the past; meanwhile, his disappearance becomes a major news story, and Evelyn, a wealthy friend of one of Bud’s deceased relatives, hears about Bud’s disappearance and forms a friendship with Ruthie that changes both of their lives. Flagg’s multitude of fans will enjoy reminiscing and learning more secrets from her well-known protagonists. Agent: Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, WME. (Oct.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list The notion that you can’t go home againis a cliché, but when home is Whistle Stop, Alabama, it is grounded in truth. In the 80-plus years since Bud Threadgoode was a boy whose life revolved around the Whistle Stop Café his mother ran with his Aunt Idgie, Bud has longed to return. Bud now lives in a retirement community with very strict rules about leaving the facility, but he puts his Threadgoode wiles to work and finagles a trip back home. Trouble is, Whistle Stop doesn’t exist any more. Kudzu overpowers the buildings and there’s not a landmark to be found. Enter a fairy godmother in the person of the fabulously wealthy Evelyn Couch, who befriends Bud’s daughter, Ruthie. Between them, the women concoct a scheme that may just give the lie to that old cliché and grant Bud his dying wish. All the down-home characters, rural wisdom, and effervescent charm of Flagg’s endearing 1987 novel, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café come back to life in this return to one of the most beloved locales in Southern fiction.

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Book list The notion that you can’t go home againis a cliché, but when home is Whistle Stop, Alabama, it is grounded in truth. In the 80-plus years since Bud Threadgoode was a boy whose life revolved around the Whistle Stop Café his mother ran with his Aunt Idgie, Bud has longed to return. Bud now lives in a retirement community with very strict rules about leaving the facility, but he puts his Threadgoode wiles to work and finagles a trip back home. Trouble is, Whistle Stop doesn’t exist any more. Kudzu overpowers the buildings and there’s not a landmark to be found. Enter a fairy godmother in the person of the fabulously wealthy Evelyn Couch, who befriends Bud’s daughter, Ruthie. Between them, the women concoct a scheme that may just give the lie to that old cliché and grant Bud his dying wish. All the down-home characters, rural wisdom, and effervescent charm of Flagg’s endearing 1987 novel, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café come back to life in this return to one of the most beloved locales in Southern fiction.

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal Loved those Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café? Then you'll want to go along for the ride when Bud Threadgoode travels back to Whistle Stop and the homey little café run by his devout mother, Ruth, and her wild-hare sister, Idgie. With the trains no longer running through, the town is mostly boarded up, but Bud makes some new friends and learns more about a host of beloved Whistle Stop characters.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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