Tag Archives: Small-town

Flagg, Fannie: Standing in the Rainbow (2002)

Cover photo: Corbis.

As a character in this book I can tell you that everything in it really did happen, so I can highly recommend it without any qualms whatsoever. With this quote from Mrs. Tot Whooten we are once again brought into the universe that one of my favorite authors has created for my and your pleasure.

Fannie Flagg has the gift, the gift I tend to on and on about without being able to define exactly what it is. Most of us have probably experienced the Author Gift at least once. You know those times when you are dragged into a piece of writing while struggling to keep yourself IRL at the same time. What a wonderful time to be a Reader.

Me, I love Aunt Dorothy, our radio-host, and source of information about the happenings in Southern Missouri. She is as complex and well-rounded as a written character can be. Finding her own way around her experiences has made her into the loving and straight-forward (Southern style) person that she is. There is something about the Southern style that is appealing even to this Viking-hearted Norwegian.

The winner!” screamed Ward McIntire and the audience was on its feet applauding. What glory. What a triumph. Five minutes later Bobby ran into the Trolley Car Diner with gum still sticking to his eyelashes and ears, waving his free-pass book in the air, yelling, “JIMMY … I WON … I DIDN’T GET RATTLED. I WON!” But before Jimmy had a chance to congratulate him he had to run out the door, headed for the drugstore to tell his father. When he got home his mother had to use kerosene to get all the gum out of his hair, and he used up all twenty-five passes in less than a week taking everybody to the movies but he didn’t care. He had blown the biggest bubble in the history of the contest, people said. Maybe the biggest in the entire state. From that day on he felt special.

How can you not love characters like that. Tot, Bobby, Aunt Dorothy, the Oatman Family, Hamm, Charlie and Anna Lee are all characters that interact and add to the quality of Standing in the Rainbow. I hope you get as much pleasure out of reading Standing in the Rainbow as I did.

Harris, Joanne: Coastliners (2003)

Coastliners” is yet another book I’ve read in Norwegian. I prefer reading in English if the author writes in English, but when I receive books as gifts here in Norway, they’re going to be in Norwegian.

“Coastliners” was fun. Harris’ characters are flawed and delightful with all of their imperfections.

On the island of Le Devin, off the British coast, the population is ageing and dwindling. The wealthy live on the la Houssinière side, while the poor live on the les Salants side of the island. As usual, the wealthy hold the power and this has been a source of no little resentment from the poorer population.

Les Salants has a serious problem. Each year the ocean comes closer and closer to the houses that hug the cliffs and dunes. Something must be done to redress the problem, but no one knows quite what to do.

Once Madeleine Prasteu arrives at les Salants, things begin to change. She is trying to recover from the death of her mother and goes back to her childhood vacation spot. After a while Mado becomes involved in the attempt to save les Salants and with the help of mysterious Richard Flynn a secret engineering project is underhand.