Wednesday, February 17, 2021

The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop

Fannie Flagg delivers feel-good fun, revisiting stories about a small Alabama town--focusing on a beloved local--from her popular 1987 novel.

Fannie Flagg's enduring Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café was published in 1987 (and made into a movie in 1992). The heartwarming novel explored the friendship between a disillusioned, middle-aged housewife and Ninny Threadgoode, an elderly woman living out her days in a nursing home. Ninny had astonishing tales to tell about a bustling railroad cafe in a small Alabama town east of Birmingham in the 1930s.


Flagg's long-awaited sequel focuses on Buddy Threadgoode, Jr., son of the late Ruth Jamison, who once ran the Whistle Stop Cafe with Imogene "Idgie" Threadgoode, an adventurous, rebellious tomboy. Through a patchwork quilt of scenes, Bud's history unfolds from the 1930s: how he managed life with a missing arm, an injury incurred in a train accident when he was six years old, and became a veterinarian; how Aunt Idgie became Bud's best friend and cheerleader, even after she sold the café and moved to Florida; how Bud fell in love with and married his childhood sweetheart, and they raised a daughter, Ruthie, a woman with her own story to tell.


As in Fried Green Tomatoes, Flagg infuses short chapter vignettes with cozy snippets of gossip about Whistle Stop townsfolk--memorable characters from the first book--who left town and set down roots elsewhere. Bud--now in his 80s, retired and widowed--looks back lovingly and longingly at his Whistle Stop days. The story blossoms in vintage Flagg style--folksy and feel-good. An abundance of Southern charm will delight both readers eager to journey back to beloved Whistle Stop and also those wanting to visit for the very first time.

The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop: A Novel by Fannie Flagg

Random House, $28.00 Hardcover, 9780593133842, 304 pages

Publication Date: October 20, 2020

To order this book on INDIEBOUND, link HERE

NOTE: This review is a reprint and is being posted with the permission of Shelf Awareness. To read this review on Shelf Awareness: Reader's Edition (October 27, 2020), link HERE