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“Elmwood Springs, Missouri, is a small town like any other, but something strange is happening at the cemetery. Still Meadows, as it’s called, is anything but still. Original, profound, The Whole Town’s Talking, a novel in the tradition of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town and Flagg’s own Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven, tells the story of Lordor Nordstrom, his Swedish mail-order bride, Katrina, and their neighbors and descendants as they live, love, die, and carry on in mysterious and surprising ways.

Lordor Nordstrom created, in his wisdom, not only a lively town and a prosperous legacy for himself but also a beautiful final resting place for his family, friends, and neighbors yet to come. “Resting place” turns out to be a bit of a misnomer, however. Odd things begin to happen, and it starts the whole town talking.

With her wild imagination, great storytelling, and deep understanding of folly and the human heart, the beloved Fannie Flagg tells an unforgettable story of life, afterlife, and the remarkable goings-on of ordinary people. In The Whole Town’s Talking, she reminds us that community is vital, life is a gift, and love never dies.”

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I have not forgotten my love of all things Fannie Flagg. I had been looking forward to reading it since it came out, but had some issues remembering to grab it. I finally remembered on a trip to the library.

The book ties together pretty much every book that Fannie Flagg has written. It is the fourth book in the Elmwood Springs series. Though it ties together other novels as well such as The All Girls Filling Station’s Last Reunion.  I was pretty happy with that because that has to be one of my favorite books by Fannie Flagg. Despite all the references, the book could easily be read as a standalone.

The plot follows the founders of the town of Elmwod Springs from the start of the town to 2021. The ending dragged a bit. Once the story hit the 2000s I was getting a bit antsy. It was wrapping up for so long. Then the last few pages were perfect. One of my favorite characters revealed so much that I was in heaven. Fannie Flagg never disappoints with her characters. They are always so full of life, even when they are dead.

I explained the basic plot that people in the town were dying, but sort of coming back to life in the cemetery to a coworker. She said it sounded morbid. I realized that Fannie Flagg’s books can have a morbid plot (remember the one where the character set out to kill herself on the first page of the book?), but they always leave you feeling like you left a good friend’s house or left your grandmother’s house full of good food and love. The feel of all of her books, this one included, left me nostalgic for a southern life that I have never had. If the world was more like a Fannie Flagg novel, my life would be pretty amazing.

If you are looking for a book that will make you feel calm, laugh out loud, and just appreciate the older women in your life a bit more then this is the book you need to read. Hell, read any or all of her books. I love this author.

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4 out of 5 stars. I would recommend this book.

You can buy this book here.

~Isaiah

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