DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from the publisher in connection with NetGalley in return for my review. Copyright © 2017 Laura Hartman
The Whole Town’s Talking is a condensed saga of generations of families in a tiny town in Missouri. Established by Swedish immigrant Lordor Nordstrom, the story of the town and its inhabitants spans from 1889 to 2016 in just over 400 pages.
Lorder was a kind, gentle, intelligent man. He grew the town with craftsmen and merchants after more settlers arrive. He did the olden day version of online dating to find a wife when no suitable women were available. He communicated via letters and luckily ended up with a wonderful girl that took to life on his dairy farm like she had been born in the Midwest.
Life was not always easy, but it went on. Many years past, babies were born and people died. But strange goings on began after they were laid to rest up on the hill. Maybe it was just this little town, or maybe this happens everywhere and we just don’t know about it until we pass away.
Award winning author Fannie Flagg brings her signature voice and love of small southern towns to this novel. She writes with a deep love of the American south and it is evident in all of her writings. I am very fond of this style; it takes me back to the hot summers I spent down south visiting family. To me reading this novel was like sipping sweet tea on a hot summer afternoon. There might be a gnat or two bugging me, but I was enjoying it far more than I was not.
The gnat that irritated me about this book was the number of characters I had to keep track of. In the beginning there were the core characters and a few supporting. By the end, the years quickly went by and I had to keep back tracking to see who was who. It ruined the flow of the story at times for me.
The main characters were multidimensional, interesting and made me want to go have a slice of pie and a chat with them in their kitchens. A few of them made me want to run the other way – no town is perfect.
This was different that most of Ms. Flagg’s other books as they did not span so much time, nor did they take a ride someplace out of the ordinary. That does not mean I didn’t like it, nor does it mean all of her books need to be cookie cutter copies of the previous ones. The timespan I am not sure about, but the place she took us was a surprising twist that I quite enjoyed.
I would suggest this as a nice summer read, but hate for avid readers to wait that long. It was entertaining and different. Grab a glass of tea and head on out to the porch or your favorite armchair and enjoy.