December 9th, 2011


Cheery reading: A Redbird Christmas

A man is told by his doctor that he has only months to live and must get out of cold and wet Chicago as soon as he can. Doesn’t sound a cheery little tale, does it? But when Oswald rents a room in a tiny riverside community in Alabama he finds himself immediately accepted and welcomed by the sort of eccentric, kindly people we expect to meet in a book by Fannie Flagg. Throw in a feud with the Creoles living just over the river, a crippled child who becomes the responsibility of the whole village, the attempts of the female population to get Oswald married and of course a Redbird or Cardinal for an entertaining mix. There’s even a miracle at the end of the book. Describing this story you run out of clichés: warm hearted, feel good, magical … It is utterly delightful. I’ve enjoyed several of Fannie Flagg’s books now, especially Standing in the Rainbow. She has the gift of writing about good people without making them boring, which is very refreshing when we’re all such cynics.