When I first grabbed this book, I had no idea that I’d soon be living in Missouri, the same state it’s set in. Maybe I’m weird in this way, but I like reading books set in places where I live.
Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven is a lighthearted book by Fannie Flagg that focuses on Elner Shimfissle, an old woman living in Elm Springs, Missouri. When Elner goes out one morning to pick some figs and falls from the tree, the whole town gets caught up in the drama. Everyone is weeping and worrying, but Elner is having the time of her life–or death, as the case may be. Only Elner can answer the questions everyone seems to be asking: what’s the meaning of life and where do you go when you die?
This book was a quick read that looks at the affects one person can have on all the people around them, even when it doesn’t look impressive on the surface. Elner was a kind old woman, and when she was gone everyone started remembering her goodness. But Elner also believes everything happens for a reason, and her accident brings about a whole lot of good that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.
Though certainly not theologically sound from a Christian perspective, Flagg leads her characters and readers to the conclusion that life is what you make it. Do the things you enjoy, be kind to those around you, and it’ll all work out in the end. Her characters grow and mature throughout the story, realizing that a change in mindset can bring about a change in life.
All in all, it was a fun read that kept me engaged and entertained. As always, Fannie Flagg provides a slice-of-life kind of book that’s just enjoyable to read.