First sentence: "After Elner Shimfissle accidentally poked that wasps' nest up in her fig tree, the last thing she remembered was thinking, "Uh-oh." " I chuckled right off the bat with this book and continued giggling through the first half. After that, it gets a little frantic and far-fetched. Elner is such an eccentric and fun character, that you fall in love with her just like everyone else in Elmwood Springs. Her niece, Norma, is high-strung and neurotic; but, just when you can't stand her, she does or says something to let you know that she is still a caring and giving person. When asked what she wanted readers to take from this book, the author said, "I'm hoping they will think of something I am trying to remember as well -- that the old cliché is true: life really is what you make it, and a lot is up to us. As Abraham Lincoln once said, 'People are about as happy as they make their minds to be' " Elner Shimfissle is one happy person and, through the events in this story, most of her friends and neighbors learn to be happier people as well.