Fannie Flagg is one of the best story tellers around. In this book, she mixes in historical fiction by switching from past to present throughout the book as we learn about the little known piece of history in WWII, the Women Airforce Service Pilots.
Filled with southern charm and plenty of humor, this is a fast read.
Sookie Poole is more than ready for the empty-nest syndrome to set in
now that she and husband Earle have married off their last daughter.
Sookie's Alabama socialite mother, Lenore Simmons Krackenberry, lives
right next door and Sookie does her best to look after the octogenarian
Lenore but Lenore is a force to be reckoned with. Beautiful, opinionated
and outspoken, Lenore has been the darling of Point Clear, Alabama, and
Sookie has always felt like an ugly duckling living in her mother's
shadow. One morning as Sookie opens Lenore's mail (one of Sookie's
duties since Lenore can't be bothered with the mundane task) she finds a
letter from the Health Department in Houston, Texas, and Sookie's life
will never be the same.
In 1941 in Pulaski, Wisconsin, the
Jurdabralinski family were owners of the local filling station where
father and son proudly serviced the cars along the busy interstate. Now
that America had entered the World War Wink Jurdabralinski heads off to
war and the filling station becomes the full-time job of the 4
Jurdabralinski sisters, Fritzi, Sophie, Tula and Gertrude. The sisters
capture the imagination and the admiration of male motorists and the
filling-station becomes the busiest in the area. Fritzi, the eldest,
wants more excitement in her life and joins the Billy Bevins daredevil
flying circus where she performs death-defying stunts and becomes a
skilled pilot herself. When the military forms the WASP group Fritzi
signs up immediately and she is soon followed by sister Sophie. The two
sisters ferry planes to US pilots throughout the war.
stories intertwine throughout the book making for an enjoyable read of
both present day and WWII America. The characters are wonderful and
there is a great deal of Flagg's trademark humor.