Friday, June 08, 2007

Buttery yeast rolls and a chicken in the pot

Remember the last book I read by Fannie Flagg and how much I loved it?

"A Redbird Christmas" was just as wonderful. I think I'm going to end up reading ALL of her books, and my life will definitely be richer because of them.

My family has a friend that we've been friends with for as long as I can remember. Her name is Alice. She is a wonderful woman who sits you down to dinner, feeds you way too much buttery, fattening, fabulous homemade food and treats you just like family. She is a lot old-fashioned and has the biggest heart of anyone I've ever met. Both of these Fannie Flagg books make me think of Alice and every wonderful homemade meal I've ever had at her giant dining room table. Fresh buttery yeast rolls, made from scratch, farm-fresh chicken and veggies from the pressure cooker, loads of rich brown gravy and hand-mashed potatoes topped off with homemade pie or cake.

Rich, fulfilling, satisfying and good for your soul...that's Fannie Flagg, like a meal at Alice's house. And when you read the last page, you can't help but have a smile tugging at the corners of your lips and want to unbutton the top button of your pants.

This is a Christmas story, but who can't use a little Christmas spirit all year round? Are there a few unbelievable, slightly mystical, magical parts? Absolutely. But you know what? Somehow, I believe them. It all works and Flagg MAKES you believe these things are possible, without a doubt. I believe.

Once again, as in "Can't Wait to Get to Heaven," most of the characters are elderly, except for the two "stars" of the story: a crippled Cardinal and a crippled little girl. Neither say much. The cardinal says nothing, but he doesn't need to. The little girl is rather quiet as well, but you love her any way. Maybe you love her a little more because she is so quiet.

The characters are loveable, irritating, frustrating, eccentric, funny and thoughtful and everyone is someone you know. Although I've never been in southern Alabama, where this story is based, I felt like I was home. I felt like I knew every street, every neighbor, every Magnolia. I couldn't wait for the next small town newsletter to come out so I knew what time this month's potluck at the community center would be held or who did what last month.

Going back home for a home cooked meal and family, that's what reading Fannie Flagg feels like.

So, pick up "A Redbird Christmas," grab a glass of milk and a couple of warm chocolate chip cookies and settle yourself in for a trip home. I don't think you'll be disappointed.


Scribbit said...

I love Fried Green Tomatoes, so this one might be worth a look too, thanks.

Rebecca said...

There's nothing better than a good book, is there. I prefer mine in the bathtub, with the jets set for one hour :)