The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg (author of Fried Green Tomatoes) tells the story of Sookie, a woman who discovers a long-hidden family secret in her 60s. The tale takes the reader from Alabama to the Midwest to California, alternating between the 1940s and the present day, and spotlights a little-known aspect of American World War II history. As different books are appropriate in different situations, the purpose of Papers and Airplanes Book Club Reviews is to determine a book’s suitability for book clubs. Today’s focus is Flagg’s 2014 novel The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion.
When the novel begins, Sookie has found herself an empty nester, ready to relax and enjoy some time to herself at home in Point Clear, Alabama. Alas, relaxation is not what’s in store for Sookie. She is soon delivered papers meant for her domineering mother, Lenore, which reveal a decades-old family secret. Shocked and confused, Sookie begins digging into the past and unearths a family history; she learns of the adventures of the Jurdabralinski family of Pulaski, Wisconsin, complete with an all-girls filling station and Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs). Sookie grapples with her family relationships and identity throughout the story, and discovers her own individuality and strength in the process. Not much more can really be said without giving the plot away, but it’s truly an absorbing read, and for fans of Southern breakfast foods, it even includes many trips to Waffle House.
So, should your book club read this book? In short, yes. In fact, everybody should read this book. Fannie Flagg’s writing draws you in immediately and creates a compelling, heart-warming tale. As one friend and fellow book club member put it, “it’s like being wrapped in a blanket every time you pick it up.” Its strong focus on female relationships and women’s history makes it particularly suitable for a women’s book club, but it would be an enjoyable read for anyone.
So, if you’re looking for a wonderful sisterhood read, no matter the circumstances, look no further than Fannie Flagg’s The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion. Happy reading!