Most helpful critical review
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Cute, Sweet, Historically Inaccurate
on December 30, 2002
First, I have to say that I genuinely liked most of the characters that Fannie Flagg developed in "Welcome to the World, Baby Girl". Especially well liked were Norma and Macky and Aunt Elner. There was a sweet charm to these characters that made me smile and wish that I actually knew people like these.
The layout of the book was a little frustrating for me. Ms. Flagg jumps back and forth between time periods, which makes following the story more than a bit confusing. Also, because the shifts can be dramatic - going from 1974 to 1952 - means the reader must make some real mental shifts to follow along. I realize that Ms. Flagg is trying to build suspense, but this was overly much.
I'm not certain if it is because it took Ms. Flagg 12 years to write this book, or because of the back and forth nature of the way she tells the story, but historical inaccuracies abound and are very, very apparent. For me, they drew away from the story being told, and I am quite frankly amazed that no other reviewer has mentioned this. Ms. Flagg has the 911 emergency number fully operational as of 1968 (when in fact it was 1973), and an 87 year old woman giving birth. (A woman born in 1808 giving birth in 1895 - a little far-fetched) There are scores of other historical inaccuracies until the book simply becomes comical for a reader to find all of the errors.
If one is able to get beyond these inaccuracies and this book as pure "fluff", it might be quite enjoyable. Otherwise, it might be interesting just to pick out the inaccuracies.