A Life Fulfilling Filling Station Reunion Review:
Just when you think you know who you are, with the opening of an envelope, your family, heritage, and life changes forever. Fannie Flagg's new novel: "The All Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion," craftily cross stitches two different families, cultures, and times in American history together.
One story smacks of the old South in present day Clear Point, Alabama, as the Simmons family struggles to become more modern, tolerant, and multi-cultural. Sookie adores birds but acts like a tiny titmouse of a woman as compared with her blue jay of a mother, Lenore, who constantly criticizes Sookie. She doesn't understand why, until at age 60, opens an envelope and begins a journey to find her life's purpose.
The other story, unfolds inside the envelope, and tells the tale of the Polish Jurdabralinkski family in 1938 Pulaski, Wisconsin. Their four daughters work as attendants in their father's filling station. Fritzi, the oldest, becomes a wing walker, learns how to fly the plane, then joins the military as a pilot just as World War II begins. Two of her sisters follow her lead. Women's rolls change overnight.
Success of a family is no longer determined by who has the most complete set of sterling silver, or the finest pearl necklace. Family players come and go from the Thanksgiving tale, but family remains family. Success is no longer defined by what we have, or have achieved in life, but by what we ourselves become.
As a member of the Real Simple Magazine's Readers Panel, this review has been published on p. 34 of their November issue.