From Pages to Screen · LGBTQA+

“Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe” by Fannie Flagg

I take notes while I read. Instead of writing them on the book itself, I have this journal that I carry around with me everywhere. In it, you will find some of my favourite quotes and some thoughts on whatever it is I am reading. The first note I wrote about Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe?

I could read this book forever.

It’s true. Honestly. This book is life. It will make you laugh, smile, giggle, cry, yell out in frustration… it will take you through the whole emotional spectrum. At the end? You will want more.

I don’t know about you, but I found Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe to be exceptionally well put together. Sometimes one gets lost when different voices across different times come together to tell a story, but Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe does it brilliantly. You can pick up on the different tones, and quite distinctively, and yet they blend together perfectly. It’s fantastic.

The characters, though. What to say about these precious gems? I truly don’t know where to start. I tried to choose a favourite but soon ended up realising that they are all my favourite, this novel is a favourite. Even Dot Weems, the author of The Weems Weekly, that you basically only get to know from her writing, is absolutely fabulous.

There are all these details, all these tiny puzzle pieces and Fannie Flagg just makes them all come together in this phenomenal novel. Even though you keep time-skipping and skipping in time, there is no disruption to the flow. I am in awe, as you might have felt by now.

I guess what I am trying to say is that this is an absolute treasure, a delicious treasure. You should find yourself a copy and meet these characters for yourself. I don’t think it’s possible to do them any justice. Once you’re done, do look for me in the kitchen so that we can discuss the wonder that is Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. I will be out there, trying some of the recipes that you will find at the end.

P.S. I fell in love with many quotes while reading Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, but there is one that absolutely killed me.

[Onzell] said, Miss Ruth is a lady and always knew when to leave a party, and this wasn’t going to be any exception as long as she was around.”

If you read the book you will understand.

P.P.S. I couldn’t be happier, or more grateful, for the way the relationship between Ruth and Idgie was written. There was no exploitation. They were truly just two human beings in love that had, as everyone else, ups and downs. Interesting way of looking at things, isn’t it? Evelyn Couch does question a lot of the so called social issues… One clever lady, that one.

From Pages to Screen · Reviews

“Brooklyn” by Colm Tóibín

“She almost smiled at the thought of it, then closed her eyes and tried to imagine nothing more.”

I must confess I was expecting Brooklyn to find its strength in the emotional roots of homesickness. Instead, I found myself reading a book that stayed true to its main character till the very end, closing its eyes and imagining no more.

I believe it’s no coincidence that the only time emotion seems to deliberately reach out to touch the reader’s heart is when Eilis herself becomes so overwhelmed that it starts to show. It’s as if by allowing herself to feel, for her pain to reach the surface and find the attentive eyes of some of the other characters, she’s authorizing the narrator to let us in as well. This voice, the one telling the story, seems to have a soft spot for Eilis, respecting her privacy, even though she’s the main character. I don’t know whether that was intended or not, but it comes across as beautifully romantic. The narrator tells this story with such dedication, such devotion…

“Some people are nice and if you talk to them properly, they can be even nicer.”

I found the writing style to be as quiet as Eilis while living with Rose and their mother. Almost invisible. However, the story seems to flow as easily as Eilis seems to navigate the world. There are up and downs, of course, motion sickness, homesickness and even grief… But otherwise, it’s the routine that brings the familiarity to a place before unknown.

All in all, I quite enjoyed Brooklyn. Having just returned from spending a couple of months abroad myself, I understand where she’s coming from. The seeming lack of emotion makes sense when you are out there and you feel like if you say it out loud it will become exceedingly true, eventually suffocating you.

I believe this book will work perfectly as a film. Visually stunning, most definitely. And Eilis played by the extraordinarily talented Saoirse Ronan! Must watch this one before the Oscars.

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