Flagg's characters come alive in all their quirky glory, something she is good at.
The story begins with elderly Elner Shimfissle on a ladder picking figs when a nest of hornets attack her - I know, Alysen, it sounds like a book you will hate, but hang in there, the fun is just getting started. Although this book deals with sad subjects, it is not a sad book. It is funny, hopeful, deals with human frailty, and shows us how to live with our mistakes and not allow them to rule us.
Elner takes us with her on an adventure that I look forward to some day and gives me hope that my grandma is eating vanilla cake with her sisters in heaven. This story also helps us see what really matters and how we each have the power to help one another. We also learn why an elderly woman is hiding a loaded gun in her dirty laundry. I love the symbolism of hiding a gun with dirty laundry.
Elner Shimfissle has now joined the ranks of my all time favorite characters, and boy oh boy is she a character. I want to be more like her.