(Some time ago I wrote part 1 of my reading experience about “I Still Dream About You” covering the novel to page 151 and then I put the novel down and took a breather.)
I finished the novel! Finally! And I like it.
“I Still Dream About You” isn’t one of the novels, that I haven’t been able to put down – I actually took a break from it at one point – but in a quirky, roundabout way, Fannie Flagg tells a wonderful tale about what we plan our lives, how our lives turn out, and most importantly, what happens then.
Maggie Fortenberry was a small town golden child, crowned Miss Alabama back in the day, and celebrated as if she was Miss America. She never got the husband or family, she expected, and in her sixties, she is an aging real estate agent, living alone.
However, Maggie isn’t alone in her life, and I believe this is the main theme in the novel. Her life is populated with her colleagues/friends, the woman who has always treated her like royalty in the department store, her main competitor Babs Babington, and her former boss, Hazel, now deceased – just to name a few. There is even a goat named Leroy and a mysterious skeleton in an old trunk. And in this cacophony of story lines and memories, is Maggie’s life.
I believe that is true for all of us. Hopefully, we are the protagonists of our own stories, but we aren’t the only characters, and the timeline isn’t always linear, even though editors prefer it so. Our stories are woven together from multiple points of view, with quirky bylines, recurring memories, and external happenstances that we had no way of foreseeing.
The novel left me with a smile on my lips and the epitaph:
Maybe just the beginning”