Thursday, December 01, 2005
A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg
I don't usually read themed books, especially not Christmas books, but I picked this one up for a group that I read with over at the Oprah Bookclubs.
Oswald T Campbell had a poor start to life, and it hasn't really ever got much better. He was abandoned at an orphanage when just a few days old. Oswald was the next name on the orphanage's list, and, as there was a can of Campbell's Tomato Soup nearby he was given the name Campbell, and his middle initial is T for Campbell.
When we meet Oswald he is in his doctor's office being told that he should get his affairs in order as this is likely to be his last Christmas, and that it would be beneficial for his health if he moved away from cold and draughty Chicago to warmer climes. The doctor has an old pamphlet for a health spa in Lost River, Alabama. Given that getting his affairs in order means giving away a few things, Oswald decides that he might as well go to Alabama, and once he is there, life begins to change for him.
Along the way we meet the ladies of Lost River, along with the shopkeeper who keeps a Redbird in his shop, the postman who delivers the mail by boat, and Patsy, a young girl who is in need of medical attention. We also meet a much better Oswald.
This book was magical. It reminded me in tone of The Five People You Meet in Heaven. In some ways it felt like a fairy tale...there being an innocence around the characters and the storyline.
I haven't read any Fannie Flagg books before, but I have added her to my list of authors to read more of in due course.