Inspired by my good friend ‘Shaista’s Books‘ I wanted to document my reading more, I am liable to forget why I loved some of the fiction I happily consume. I have been aware of the film for a few years and was always interested, so I bought Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe from Gutter Books in Dublin on a lovely trip earlier this year.
For some reason it took me many weeks to read it, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, so much so I wanted to press it upon loved ones. On my copy, Harper Lee’s comment is emblazoned: ‘ A richly comic, poignant narrative.’ and this rings oh so true.
Moving between the town of Whistle Stop and Birmingham, Alabama during the Depression and Birmingham, and a nursing home in Birmingham Alabama in the 1980s there are echoes of ‘The Help.’
It’s a novel about love. And friendship. It addresses huge themes subtly such as sexism and racism. The characters are strong and larger than life loveable. The main part of the story centres around the small town of Whistle Stop, and namely the cafe that Idgie Threadgoode and Ruth Jamieson run. There are hilarious ‘newsletters’ from Dot Weems the post mistress of the town. And in the 1980s, Evelyn Couch befriends old Mrs Ninny Threadgoode in Rose Terrace Nursing Home, Alabama while her husband visits his grumpy mother. Evelyn and the reader are riveted by the stories of bravery, the ridiculous, true love and of course the murder trial…
Idgie Threadgoode is a deeply flawed character but one who knows the meaning of love, and who goes above and beyond for those around her, especially Ruth.
There are stories of real pain, taken in the stride of many of the main characters. The brilliant writing includes many tiny stories within stories that fill the reader with wonder and leave you drawing your own conclusions. Naughty Bird and Miss Fancy the elephant, so touching. I was telling my other half, my friend and my Mum all about it.
You can almost taste the barbecue and the lemon icebox pie!
I look forward to watching the film now. Something to look forward to, just as Ninny Threadgoode looked forward to Evelyn’s visits and the sweet treats.
It’s a book that does you good! It will stay with me for a long time.