Disclosure: I voluntarily read a Review Copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely my own and no one else’s.
While I was born in a bigger city, we moved to a small town out of state when I was young, so I became intimately aware of the little things associated with living in a small town. I was able to get the best of both worlds, for the most part, but there were some things about small town life that really hurt–especially when one I had no control over. I was, because I had not been born and bred in the town, considered an outsider for much of my schooling. It made it that much easier to leave, though, so there’s that.
In The Whole Town’s Talking Flagg introduces us to Lordor Nordstrom, an immigrant to the USA who develops a small community (later named Elmwood Springs) in Missouri in the late 19th century. Nordstom goes through much of this on his own and the town looks to him as its leader, all the while helping him find a mail order bride, Katrina. While she isn’t under any obligation to stay, Katrina falls for Lordor and the two get married and start a family.
While most of the action comes from the town itself, plenty of the plot centers around Lordor’s family. And there’s a sizeable chunk of pages dedicated to the ex-residents of the town (living in the cemetery after death) and their thoughts on things like cars (instead of buggies), tv (instead of radio or cinema) and even crime.
This was definitely a Fanny Flag book, wherein I felt like I was home very quickly. But, it’s a bit different, too. I think there’s a bit of a preternatural element to this particular book. The characters felt like friends, and I feel they will stay with me for a long time.
Who might enjoy this novel: Fans of Flagg’s previous books, older generations (they can relate to the pacing of this novel), anyone looking for a book that will allow you to focus and destress for a while.
Final thoughts: Can this be a Netflix or Hulu limited series? Because I would totally read this.
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