This past week I read “The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion” this book was perfect for me! As a lover of historical fiction, I certainly got my fill. Alternating between modern and war times (WWII) with a large southern influence, this Georgia girl didn’t want the book to end!
Set in Alabama and Wisconsin, the two stories start off and while you can’t figure out for a bit how they are linked, both stories immediately pull you in and you find yourself disappointed and longing when one chapter ends and a new one within an entirely different time period begins.
In Alabama, it is modern day and our main gal is Sookie (a name which I adore, thanks to Gilmore Girls!). Sookie is a devoted wife, daughter, and the mother of 4 adult children. She’s a little kooky and somewhat insecure, but she leaves you rooting for her all through the book . Sookie comes with many quirks, including her never ending mission to get the blue jays to stop taking all the finch’s food from her bird feeders, and wearing sneakers with hot pink pom poms on them all over town. Sookie comes with a terribly overbearing mother who is pretty much off her rocker, and she will keep you laughing and wondering what she’s going to do/say next. Her mother is convinced that their family is royalty and that the Simmons’ blood is the best there is. Laced with a deep family secret, references to the south, and crazy relatives, Sookie’s story is one of a kind.
Back in time, during the WWII era, meet Fritzi and her three sisters and brother. Fritzi is the oldest child and quite the free spirit. The language she uses brings the biggest smile to my face, always referring to her friends as “pals” and has a mouth that could make a sailor blush. Fritzi isn’t sure what she wants in life but she knows it sure isn’t settling down with whatever man will have her. She is adventurous, and starts taking flying lessons and running the families filling station once the war starts. Fritzi follows her heart and helps to break gender barriers that are present in the 1940’s.
I won’t spoil it and tell you how these two stories become intertwined, but I promise you it’s not what you think! This would be a great book for anyone who needs a feel good (in so many ways) novel. Any lover of historical fiction will appreciate the attention to detail, specifically with the war effort and women’s roles. I honestly cannot recommend this fun read enough.
The only thing I didn’t like with this book was how the ending was written. Not how it ends, just how it was written. Yes all loose ends are tied up, but there were a few additives that I though probably belonged more in an epilogue than the last chapter. However, I really enjoyed how everything did in fact have resolve.
So there you have it! If any of this sounds appealing to you, I urge you to pick up a copy and let me know what you think! Fannie Flagg is also the author of the famous “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe” and I cannot recommend her enough.
I’m not quite sure what my next book review will be on. I have to read the autobiography of Frederick Douglas for my history class by the end of spring break, however it’s only about 90 pages so I can pretty much guarantee that while I’m lying on the beach with my BFF (a fellow book lover), I will probably finish at least one other page turner to blog about…. until then 🙂