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I Still Dream About You by Fannie Flagg - A Review
Fannie Flagg, the author of one of my all-time favorite novels, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café, delivers again with I Still Dream About You (Random House, November 2010).
The novel centers on Maggie Fortenberry, a former Miss Alabama and current agent at Red Mountain Realty. Maggie, now 60, is still quite the beauty with impeccable manners and Southern charm oozing from every pore. Yet, underneath, years of disappointment, guilt and self-doubt have simmered to the point that Maggie can only think of one resolution. She devises a plan to finally rid herself of her demons but the dynamic cast of characters that surround her – ambitious Brenda Peoples, her dear friend and fellow agent at Red Mountain Realty who also hides beneath a façade; Ethel Clipp, the elderly office manager at Red Mountain Realty who longs for a return to the days of genteel manners and ruthless competitor Babs Bingington, owner of a rival real estate agency - create enough detours until Maggie realizes on her own and through memories of Hazel Whisenknott, the motherly founder of Red Mountain Realty, that life, although sometimes difficult, is wondrous.
To call Ms. Flagg a gifted storyteller feels like a gross understatement. Her grasp of the tone and climate of both the Old and New South is masterful. Her characters are multidimensional and believable rather than dim-witted caricatures. Admittedly, this novel did not move me as much as Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café. That novel was so touching it brought me to tears (it may have something to do with my own Southern roots). No, I didn’t reach for a tissue while reading I Still Dream About You, but I did find myself chuckling and pulled into the intrigue of a murder mystery that unfolds in the background. At a little over 300 pages, this is a light-hearted read that will leave you feeling warm and renewed in your own belief that life is well worth living.