Maggie in “I Still Dream About You” by Fannie Flagg, decides she should end her existence. She doesn’t have anything to look forward to. She is middle aged and single, no children to watch them grow, no possibility of ever having grandchildren. Maggie’s decision to end her life was so matter of fact that it made me frown, it was funny in a black comedy kind of way. Furthermore it was comical to see the everyday things getting in the way of her plan – she promised her friend they would go to the Theater together, so she changes the date on her goodbye letter, postponing her suicide. I am not sure if this was convincing for me though. Maggie claims she has been sad for a while, and it very well might be true, but the sadness did not come through the pages, she seemed far too busy to have time to be sad. More importantly, can such a final decision really be made so emotionlessly?
As a former Miss Alabama, a winner of a beauty contest, that in her state apparently meant a lot, she grew very tired having to live up the expectations of others. What was intriguing is how Maggie became happier and more carefree once she stopped worrying about everyday things. She notices that herself but again is quite indifferent to it, she barely comments ”Oh, well.”.
The book has it strenghts. The descriptions of the Birmingham city in Alabama and the way it has been changing throughout the years, are particularly good. However the story line wasn’t as gripping as I had hoped it would be. It didn’t call to me to keep reading. I felt that I didn’t get to know the protagonist quick enough. I was about half way through the book when it finally, though still slowly, started to reveal events from her life enabling me to understand what might have lead Maggie to her decision. Without getting to know Maggie in time, I wasn’t given a chance to like her enough to care to keep reading, to relate to her in some way.
There is a little story hidden in the book involving previous owners of a house that Maggie, who works as a real estate agent, tries to sell. As much as I enjoyed the mystery about Edwina and her twin brother Edward, I do wonder if perhaps the book wouldn’t be interesting enough witout it.
Overall, I will give the book 3 kites, clouds or ice-cubes but it had to fight for it. So, if you are curious to find out if Maggie’s live will get in the way of her dying plan or if she carries it out, you will have to read the book and see for yourself.
Kites, clouds or ice-cubes rating
– one of the best books I read
– good read
– disappointed, I thought it was going to be better
– don’t waste your time