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.
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 Cafe. Instead, Flagg's achievement here lies in a well-choreographed story of loyalty and survival that zigzags deftly across the post-war years, panning in on the never-changing decency of Elmwood Springs, Mo., then pulling back to watch national TV news devolve into sensationalism--all the while drawing us into the compelling life of Dena Nordstrom. Star of America's most popular morning news show, Dena shuts herself down and shuts men out for painful reasons that are unknown even to her. Only after the stress of ambush- and sound-byte journalism brings on a hemorrhaging ulcer does Dena slowly unearth the scandal that, when Dena was four, drove her mother from Elmwood Springs, hometown of the war hero father that Dena never knew. That her mother's nemesis is a newspaper gossipmonger is nicely ironic, although her mother's secret shame seems slightly larger than life. In contrast, Dena's college friend Sookie and great aunt Elner are reminders of how well Flagg can cook up memorable women from the most down-to-earth ingredients, while a cameo by Tennessee Williams is uncannily true to life. 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. Author tour; Random House audio.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Fun Characters and a Mystery
I had fun reading this story. There are so many ridiculous characters that you just gotta love. I also didn't figure out the whole deal with her mother ahead of time. I wouldn't have guessed that. There's lots of sadness and laughs and heart.
So very refreshing. I am in my mid fifties and have abandoned tv. I've taken to books now. These books mirror my thoughts on how in a few generations we have lost the love and joy of a simpler way of life.
Is this it?
This book is making me crazy. I bought it because the author came highly recommended by one of my favorite authors & the sample seemed promising. However, I'm halfway through the book and ABSOLUTELY NOTHING has happened. I can't tell if this is the back story to something great that may happen or if this is the actual story (I sure hope not)
This is basically one really long story about a very boring person. Its not sad, funny, thrilling, dramatic or suspenseful. It's just telling the life of a very boring person. A story about my life would be more interesting. (that's not saying much)
And another thing - it keeps jumping from the 1940's to the 70's to the 50's to the 40's. It's confusing. I'm not liking this book at all - but I'm going to finish it because I spent $$ on it. If it gets better I will revise my review I promise. But I'm not holding my breath...
The book got better in the end. I think that it would be a good book if u just leave out book II. Shorten it some and get to the point. There are some interesting characters that I came to like. Basically, If u can stick it out til the end it's ok- but i would rather read books that I like all the way thru.