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Sunday, October 23, 2016

I'm Back from Vacation...and I read The Whole Town's Talking by Fannie Flagg

I had a wonderful vacation:  two weeks in Italy with friends.  We traveled to Rome, then the seaside town of Salerno, and finished up in Venice.  The weather was beautiful, the food was great, and it was a trip of a lifetime.  

Of course, I had my books with me, and got some reading done on the plane rides and at night before hitting the sack (but not much--full days of walking everywhere had me tired and ready for sleep!).  I'll be posting my review of three Heather Graham Krewe of Hunters novels later this week.  Simon Green will have to wait...but in the meantime, I did read the new Fannie Flagg novel that's being published at the end of November.  I got sucked into it and read it on the flight home.  9 hours in various planes gives you time to get some serious reading done!

I must confess this is my first Fannie Flagg novel.  I have a few on my bookshelves, bought with the intention of reading them right away.  But of course life and other books got in the way, and they remain unread.  I'm happy to say that won't be for long, because I was delighted with The Whole Town's Talking.  

This novel takes place in Elmwood Springs, MO, and traces the history of the town from it's earliest beginnings in the late 1890's through 2021.  It all begins with Lordor Nordstrom's quest to find a bride.  He enlists the help of his friends in town and places an ad in a paper.  Soon the beautiful Katrina answers, and eventually comes to Elmwood, meets Lordor, and falls in love.  Their marriage, and successful dairy farm, are the center of the story and their beloved town.  We see the town start off small, with a core group of people, and through the years, as Lordor leads the town as mayor, it grows, thrives, and becomes a town that everyone sees as that perfect piece of Americana. Small town life is pretty sweet, gentle, and full of all the quirky characters that make each town unique. 

There's more to the story, of course, as we see what happens to Lordor, Katrina, and so many other townspeople, as they die and are put to rest in the town cemetery, Still Meadows.  All of these folks remain part of the town, as they rest and chat with each other up on the hill.  It's a peaceful place, and a wonderful "in-between" spot for those souls before they go on to.....where?  That's the fun part of the novel; Fannie Flagg's take on where we go after we leave our bodies.  The connectedness of families, the love that never ends are big themes, as well as the circle of life.  I loved the ending, and how it all is neatly tied up in a lovely bow.  It is a gentle reminder that those we love are always with us.

So, Christmas (yes, I said that word) is coming soon!  And I can heartily recommend this novel as an excellent holiday gift to Moms, Grandmas, Aunts, and anyone who enjoys a read filled with gentle humor and delightful characters you'd like to have as your neighbors.  I'm so glad I had the opportunity to read Fannie Flagg's The Whole Town's Talking.  I will pick up her books without hesitation from now on whenever I need something down home and gentle to sooth my frazzled self.  

This novel will be published in hardcover November 29, 2016.  It will also be available in e-book and audio formats.  

Rating:  7/10 for a delightful read to help bring my unforgettable vacation to a close.  I found myself grinning, chuckling out loud, and enjoying the people of Elmwood Springs, Missouri.  

1 comment :

  1. Fanny Flagg. I have read a couple and she is a bit too close to comfort fiction for me. (When I need comforting I eat cake!) But this one sounds intriguing because I love books that are a history of a town and I am curious about the afterlife stuff.

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