My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“You never know what’s in a person’s heart until they’re tested, do you?”
How is it that I went so long without reading Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe!? The movie is only one of my top three all time movies and yet the book sat on my To Read list for years. Anyway, I finally read it and I was not disappointed.
First and foremost, Fried Green Tomatoes is a love story. Whether that story is about Idgey and Ruth or Evelyn and Ninny is up to the reader but love, friendship, and a willingness to fight to the end, come what may, ties everyone in this story together. In 1985, Mrs. Evelyn Couch meets Mrs. Ninny Threadgoode in a nursing home one fateful morning. From there, the two develop a powerful bond as Ninny tells the tale of coming of age in Whistle Stop, Alabama. We meet Idgey, Ruth, Big George, and the rest of the Threadgoode clan as try to make ends meet in the segregated south during the Great Depression. We watch Evelyn find herself while Ninny loses herself deeper and deeper in the past. It’s an achingly good book.
Told through a series of vignettes throughout the years, the book has an unusual style that may be off-putting for some readers. If given the chance, however, the book has some wonderful lessons to impart. You’ll probably want to read it alone because you’ll start looking crazy in public. At times I was laughing so hard I cried and other times I just plain cried.
Don’t expect this book to be exactly like the movie. In fact, it’s very, very different but far better than the movie.