You probably know Fannie Flagg's style and characters from her other books about Elmwood Springs, Missouri. Here, thought, instead on focusing on just a few citizens of the town, Flagg takes the long view. She covers generations of residents, from the founding of Elmwood Springs by Swedish immigrants at the turn of the century up to the gradual shrinking of the small town in 2015.
Residents are hopeful, warm and neighborly, and all negative actions by characters end up with them getting what they deserve. While the action is not totally realistic, that is what made the book so attractive to me. It was fun to read something in which the ups and downs of history are reflected through the lives of ordinary people.
I'm not revealing a big secret when I tell that the "whole town talking" includes the residents who have passed away, spending comfortable time chatting with one another in Still Meadows Cemetery. You may know that I don't usually have much patience for fantasy, but here it seemed to work just fine.
One caveat is that the characters over the generations become more numerous, and it was a little harder to keep the families straight. It didn't matter! Just keep reading. You will enjoy the collective impact, whether or not you know exactly who is related to whom.