I have very mixed feelings about this book. I very much enjoy Fannie Flagg's work (Fried Green Tomatoes is one of my favorite novels) but this one just didn't do that much for me. I couldn't identify with Daisy Fay very well. She was too innocent for my taste- and she flip flopped between way too trusting and not trusting at all. Reading her text and seeing through her eyes was difficult at times; there were lots of characters to keep track of and her observations sometimes required a re-read to determine what actually happened in certain situations. Her voice didn't change much between age 11 and age 17, as it should have as she grew up. The end of the book read much like the beginning, and I had to constantly remind myself that she was old enough to be engaged, and/or graduating high school. It was meant to come off as funny or amusing, and while I didn't laugh out loud, there were certain observations and sections that made me smile. The way the book was broken up into dates of journal entries certainly helped move the story along and made it easier to read. It was easy to put down and pick up again.
I do have a gripe with the title and the description on the back cover. The book was originally called "Coming Attractions" and I think it should have stayed that way. The title, as it stands now, is misleading. It refers to a few pages in the middle where her father came up with some hair-brained scheme to earn money. Otherwise, he was a useless drunk the rest of the book- there was no miracle about him. The blurb on the back cover indicates that the book is all about Daisy on Shell Beach, which is only true for half the novel. The rest of the time is spent in other locations in Mississippi. Honestly, the description makes the book sound way more nostalgic and heartfelt than it actually is. I would have loved to hear more about Shell Beach itself, instead of the weird people that inhabited it.
All in all, it was a little longer than it needed to be, there were way too many people to keep track of, and some things, like the pageant at the end, really came out of nowhere and didn't feel like they fit with the rest of the story. It was cute for what it was, but I wouldn't recommend it if you're new to Fannie Flagg.