Summary and book reviews of Welcome To The World, Baby Girl by Fannie Flagg

Welcome To The World, Baby Girl

by Fannie Flagg

Welcome To The World, Baby Girl
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  • First Published:
    Sep 1998, 467 pages
    Paperback:
    Dec 1999, 396 pages

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Book Summary

Once again, Flagg's humor and respect and affection for her characters shine forth.

Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!is the funny, serious, and compelling new novel by Fannie Flagg, author of the beloved Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (and prize-winning co-writer of the classic movie). Once again, Flagg's humor and respect and affection for her characters shine forth. Many inhabit small-town or suburban America. But this time, her heroine is urban: a brainy, beautiful, and ambitious rising star of 1970s television. Dena Nordstrom, pride of the network, is a woman whose future is full of promise, her present rich with complications, and her past marked by mystery. Among the colorful cast of characters are:

  • Sookie, of Selma, Alabama, Dena's exuberant college roommate, who is everything that Dena is not; she is thrilled by Dena's success and will do everything short of signing autographs for her; Sookie's a mom, a wife, and a Kappa forever.
  • Dena's cousins, the Warrens, and her aunt Elner, of Elmwood Springs, Missouri, endearing, loyal, talkative, ditsy, and, in their way, wise.
  • Neighbor Dorothy, whose spirit hovers over them all through the radio show that she broadcast from her home in the 1940s.
  • Sidney Capello, pioneer of modern sleaze journalism and privateer of privacy, and Ira Wallace, his partner in tabloid television.
  • Several doctors, all of them taken with--and almost taken in by-Dena.

There are others, captivated by a woman who tries to go home again, not knowing where home or love lie.

PREFACE
Elmwood Springs, Missouri
1948

In the late forties Elmwood Springs, in southern Missouri, seems more or less like a thousand other small towns scattered across America.

Downtown is only a block long with a Rexall drugstore on one end and the Elmwood Springs Masonic Hall on the other. If you walk from the Masonic Hall to the Rexall, you will go by the Blue Ribbon cleaners, a Cat's Paw shoe repair shop with a pink neon shoe in the window, the Morgan Brothers department store, the bank, and a little alley with stairs on one side of a building leading up to the second floor, where the Dixie Cahill School of Tap and Twirl is located. If it is a Saturday morning you'll hear a lot of heavy tapping and dropping of batons upstairs by the Tappettes, a troop of blue-spangled Elmwood Springs beauties, or at least their parents think so. Past the alley is the Trolley Car diner, where you can get the world's best chili dog and an orange drink for 15 cents. Just ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. This novel tells of Dena's long journey home. What does home look and sound and smell like to you? Is it a place or a state of mind?
  2. "Elmswood Springs is a town that likes itself." Do you agree with this assessment of Dena's hometown? How does Dena's opinion of the town change over the course of the novel?
  3. The Smith family talks about being able to stop time. Would you like to have this power? If you could, when would you freeze time in your own life?
  4. Aunt Elner would want to be at home with her family and friends if she knew the end of the world was coming. What would you do?
  5. What has caused Dena's identity crisis? How does she manage to keep the people in her ...
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Reviews

Media Reviews

People Magazine - Laura Jamison

Flagg's faith in the healing power of small towns and family are refreshing.

Time Magazine - Jill Smolowe

....utterly irresistible. . .fast-paced.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Because so much of Flagg's third novel takes place in the 1970s media-celebrity echelons of New York City, it doesn't offer the regional and historical color and texture of its predecessor Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café. Instead, Flagg's achievement here lies in a well choreographed story of loyalty and survival that zigzags deftly across the post-war years…..Fans may be sorry at first to leave Elmwood Springs for the big city, but even the most reluctant will get wrapped up in Dena's search for the truth about her family and her past. Also a Random House audio book.

Reader Reviews

Mrs. Marie 99

Another Good one!
I am not a big reader... To be quiet honest I do not really read at all... But when we got assigned to do an author project at school and my teacher told me to read a story by an author named Fannie Flagg... I spent hours looking at a lot of the ...   Read More

Tina

A book that truly captures your heart with the protaganist. Highly recommended.

Deirdre Graham

I happened upon Baby Girl and when I saw it had been penned by the author of Fried Green Tomatoes (an absolute favourite film) I bought it. Am I glad I did. One of those rare books I hated finishing - wanted it to go on and on. The characters are ...   Read More

Mitch

Character Time Conflict of Norma & Macky
My favorite Fanny Flagg book and just like Fried Green Tomatoes, Ms. Flagg's story line jumps effortlessly from the past to the current time. However, and I know this is being picky and I will just have to accept it, but in "Fried Green ...   Read More

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