Welcome to the World, Baby Girl, by Fannie Flagg

Cover ImageFinished 6-7-10, rating 4/5, fiction, pub. 1998

His voice began to drift off.  The earth, baby…sometimes I think it’s just a holding pen for crackpots.  Who knows what planets have discarded us as factory rejects, unfit to live among more civilized planetary societies.  We may be living on the dark side of the moon and don’t know it.”

-The Court of Two Sisters chapter

Dena is a high-profile, on the rise network anchor who has the looks and smarts to have the world at her feet.  Only she has no real friends, is afraid to love and drinks herself into oblivion most nights.  The bright lights of New York City have always been her goal and now that she’s there she finds that she must do questionable gotcha interviews to stay on top.  It’s the 1970’s and the beginning of  tabloid journalism and even the icy, ambitious Dena has qualms about the tactics and the stress leads to a serious health issue that sidelines her in the small town of Elmwood Springs, Missouri.

Dena’s 1970’s story jumps back to the early days of Elmwood Springs and the people who that relate to Dena.  It’s a small town with nice, honest, and eccentric people.  When Dena finds herself convalescing there her heart begins to thaw just a little and she begins to question her childhood and the mystery surrounding her mother.  Dena also touches base with her best friend from college, Sookie, a loveable woman living in a small Georgia town.

Dena has so many flaws, but for some reason she is easy to like because you sense the goodness underneath all of the reserve.  Everyone seems to love her een though for most of the book she offers nothing back, how lucky is that?  The story itself is charming and rich, if a bit meandering at first.  I enjoyed the rose-colored glasses view of Elmwood Springs as the ideal dream and loved its juxtaposition with mean, heartless New York City.  Neither seemed particularly accurate, but it was a fun ride until the mystery involving Dena’s mother unraveled.  For me it seemed a bit anticlimactic.  Realistically, I know it could have happened but I was hoping for more.  It didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book, only left me with a less positive feeling than I’d felt the rest of the book.

I really liked my first Fannie Flagg book and its southern charm.

This is from my personal library and chosen by Debbie, Molly, and Sarah.  Here’s what they had to say…

“I love all of hers because of the great characters and the small town settings.”  Debbie

“A novel about a small-town filled with many interesting, quirky characters.”  Sarah

“She writes with great humor and I have a feeling you will want some good laughs after reading the rest of my choices. Plus, I have this book sitting in my to read pile and would love to have someone to read along with it ;0)”  Molly

15 thoughts on “Welcome to the World, Baby Girl, by Fannie Flagg

  1. Bumble says:

    Geesh! What on Earth were my other reading selections for you! I’m glad you enjoyed this – it is still in my pile, but now I know it’s a winner.

    • stacybuckeye says:

      I checked your other selections – In Cold Blood (liked it), As I Lay Dying, The Glass Castle, and Digital Fortess (fun!). And you didn’t even choose War & Peace!!! I’ve read three of your choices already 🙂

  2. Jenners says:

    Oh wait … I do! I always mix this author up with Fannie Farmer … who I also confuse with Fannie May candy. Basically, I confuse my Fannies.

  3. Wrighty says:

    So glad you enjoyed it! I read this books several years ago and I remember that I liked it too, although not as much as some of her other titles. I do love the characters and the cozy environments that are common to Fannie Flagg’s books.

  4. Kimmie Dee says:

    Scheduled to meet my father in NOLA, “all planes were grounded until further notice,” everywhere September 11, 2001. For two days I waited for word. In the mean time, I decided I needed a book for the flight and my nerves. Having recently run into Fannie, it seemed like the perfect book when I happened upon it. It would be a safe choice, I thought. Other than the pilot, about 2-3 flight attendants and perhaps 1 or 2 passengers, the plane was empty. Being from NJ, all my family from NY, this wasn’t an easy trip. Now living in CA, I’d felt a sense of unrecoverable loss and obviously, distraught to say the least. I couldn’t bear getting on the plane, but ‘what if something were to happen to my father and this would have been my only and last chance to see him?’ So, that was it. No one was going to stop me from seeing my Dad. I boarded the plane. The next day, Dad and I strolled the French Quarter and randomly walked into a restaurant for brunch. Dad went to the bathroom, I was led to the table and decided to pull out my book while I waited. The next chapter was the exact same title as the restaurant. It was pretty clear, I was in the right place at the right time.

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