In these rocky days, it’s good to find a place in the fictional world to put up your feet, drink some sweet tea and eat some fried green tomatoes. Thank you Fannie Flagg for writing The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop. Like your character Evelyn, I didn’t grow up in Whistle Stop, Alabama, but I always feel refreshed when I visit.
Bud Threadgoode grew up in the bustling little railroad town of Whistle Stop with his mother, Ruth, church-going and proper, and his Aunt Idgie, the fun-loving hell-raiser. Together they ran the town’s popular Whistle Stop Cafe, known far and wide for its fun and famous fried green tomatoes. And as Bud often said of his childhood to his daughter Ruthie, “How lucky can you get?”
But sadly, as the railroad yards shut down and Whistle Stop became a ghost town, nothing was left but boarded-up buildings and memories of a happier time.
Then one day, Bud decides to take one last trip, just to see what has become of his beloved Whistle Stop. In so doing, he discovers new friends, as well as surprises about Idgie’s life, about Ninny Threadgoode and other beloved Fannie Flagg characters, and about the town itself. He also sets off a series of events, both touching and inspiring, which change his life and the lives of his daughter and many others. Could these events all be just coincidences? Or something else? And can you really go home again?
Every time I finish a book by Fannie Flagg I say to myself was her best book ever, so here it is. This was her best book ever. In The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop she takes us back to the days of Fried Green Tomatoes and the legendary town of Whistle Stop, Alabama. Flagg successfully goes back and forth between the past and the present and we get to see how her characters have grown. Some have died and and all share a sense of loss because the little town of Whistle Stop no longer exists. We get to see Bud Threadgoode who was the child of Iggy and Ruth, owners of the Whistle Stop Café. Not only do we find out about Bud, we see what happened to Idgie, Dot Weems, Evelyn, who still has more insurance than I do, Opal Butts and all of the delightful characters created for this magical world. If you’ve read Fried Green Tomatoes or have seen the movie, you’ll want to read this book. I found myself left with the feeling of positive expectations, joy, and a chance to come home again.