Tuesday, December 13, 2016
I am a long-time fan of Fannie Flagg. She is such a gifted storyteller and her books just make you feel good. Last week, I was down with a really bad cold. I had Flagg's newest book in my library bag and that was my companion while I was ill. It was the perfect read not only for a sick bed but also for someone who has been feeling down about the world in general lately.
THE WHOLE TOWN'S TALKING tells the story of the town of Elmwood Springs in Missouri from its founding by Swedish dairy farmer Lordor Nordstorm in the 1800s to its disintegration around the year 2020. The story begins with Lordor's founding of the town and his search for the perfect mail-order bride. We learn about the founding families of the town and how they came together to do everything from plan the very first cemetery in town (Still Meadows) to the creation of a real downtown business district and on to the future. Readers follow the stories of these intrepid Swedes and their descendents as they live and love and experience a variety of calamities. At first, the title appears to be about the good-natured gossip that occurs around a small town. But then, readers learn that Still Meadows may be anything but "still."
This book is absolutely charming. It is so easy to get caught up in the stories of these characters as we follow them through establishing a town and various wars and economic booms and hardships. There is sadness along the way but it is mitigated in a very special way. As the book ends around the year 2020, it feels bittersweet but ends on an ultimate note of hope that leaves you feeling good.
BOTTOM LINE: Highly recommended. A great read for when you need a little hope in your life. An excellent "feel good" read.