Tuesday, December 6, 2016
3 Stars - The Whole Town's Talking by Fannie Flagg
About the Book
From the beloved author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe comes another unforgettable, laugh-out-loud, and moving novel about what it means to be truly alive.
Elmwood Springs, Missouri, is a small town like any other, but something strange is happening out at the cemetery. “Still Meadows,” as it’s called, is anything but still. Funny and profound, this novel in the tradition of Flagg’s Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven and Thornton Wilder’s Our Town deals with universal themes of heaven and earth and everything in between, as Flagg tells a surprising story of life, afterlife, and the mysterious goings-on of ordinary people.
I wouldn't describe Fannie Flagg as a novelist; she's more of a storyteller who happens to write novel-length works. Many of her books appeared structured as collections of vignettes bound together by a common setting. That's how I've felt about her past Elmwood Springs books - they are stories about people who are nice to one another, give or take an antagonist who gets his/hers in a spectacularly suitable way in the end.
I read The Whole Town's Talking after having read the other Elmwood Springs books several years ago. My memory's fuzzy on the previous books, so I'm hesitant to comment on continuity, but if you've read her other books you'll find familiar characters here. Talking chronicles the town from settlement through the 21st century, complete with a roster of Scandinavian surnames and a fondness for nostalgia. It's not necessary to have read the other books in this universe first - this one seems written to stand on its own. It's a sweet story, historical mixed with a touch of magic realism.
Received from publisher via NetGalley.