A few months ago I watched a movie that a friend leant me called Fried Green Tomatoes. I had never seen it, nor have I read the book, which is a little embarrassing because my mother is a retired librarian and I worked at a bookstore for six years. But, oh well. I watched the movie and was stunned. I was expecting a chick flick, which it is, but with an extra kick. A chick flick with a kick.
So, tossing around for a good book to read to follow up The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society with, I started Ulysses (of all things!) and when I got tired of thinking so much I sat in my coffee shop shopping with my nook for another book. Nook's "Related Titles" feature has let me down on more than one occasion. I like it, but it offers a limited number of options and they're not always on the spot. Like with Guernsey Literary etc., for instance. I mean, the author's niece had to finish it up and she's listed as a coauthor, but the fact that I liked that book does not mean that I'll like the niece's books written for children. Not a good guess.
Then I decided to download the sample of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fanny Flagg. I've been meaning to read it. I download many samples that remain samples. This book, however, was downloaded in full as soon as I reached the end of the sample. I just like the way she writes. It's a good story – this I already knew. But, aside from that its' just a pleasure to read the prose. The blurbs indicate that it's humorous, and I suppose it is. (I'm still reading it, by the way; I haven't finished it.) So far the humor is the subtle way she writes. I haven't laughed out loud so far, but I have desired to keep reading in spite of being hungry and in spite of the fact that I'm sitting in a coffee shop at 4:52PM and I'm supposed to be in Elgin – 30 miles away – at 6 and I still have to shower and change.
So, I have a challenge/request. If you are a woman who is in her 40's or 50's... oh heck, even in your 30's; if you are a man married to a woman in that category; if you know a woman who is over thirty please go to your nearest book place, virtual or physical, and read this chapter. This is going to be difficult because I'm reading it on a Nook and I don't have any way of knowing the page number in a book. The chapter is called "212 Rhodes Circle" but there are several chapters with that name. On my Nook it is on page 49. The subheading is "January 5, 1986". Read this chapter.
It's interesting that I started reading Ulysses, which is often compared to Mrs. Dalloway (I've seen several comparisons, anyway) and this chapter in Fried Green Tomatoes made me think of Mrs. Dalloway. The chapter is not the intense stream of consciousness that the other two novels are, but there is a striking similarity in the emotions that this chapter evokes and those that I recall from Mrs. Dalloway. I thought of Woolf's novel as soon as I finished the chapter; I just didn't connect the dots to Ulysses until just now.
So, gentle reader, please take a moment and read this chapter from this classic from the American South and see if you don't find just a tiny little inkling of resonance with your own life. And, see if the prose doesn't lift you off of your chair and carry you away for just a moment. Then come back and tell me. I want to know.
Waiting to hear from you,