There are books that make you want to delve deeper into a subject and those that wrap you in a big hug and prove to be an utter delight. This book is one of the latter.
The novel is the story of a town and it’s many inhabitants over almost 100 years and zips along.
The town of Elmwood Springs, Missouri, is the creation of Lordor Nordstrom, a Swedish immigrant who came to America in the search for land to buy. He settled on an area in Southern Missouri with good rich land and plenty of natural springs. Once cleared he set up a dairy farm then advertised for other farmers to join him and so the town began.
In 1889 Nordstrom stood at the top of a small hill and looked down on the communtity and decided that this would be the ideal spot for a final resting place for the town’s inhabitants and called it Still Meadows.
Nordstrom then, at the insistence of some of the women of the town, advertised for a Swedish wife and so the story really gets going and what a ride it is.
As we learn of the town’s inhabitants and the stories that bind each and every one, you are swept away in whimsy. There are missed opportunities, scandals and murder and as Lordor becomes the first inhabitant of Still Meadows, the story veers off in another delightful direction.
I found I could not put this novel down. Fannie Flagg (and what a glorious name that is) is a master story teller and on many occasions I felt she was in the room with me sitting down on the sofa and delighting me with endless engrossing stories.
The folksey nature of this novel and the morals subtley portrayed by Flagg add to it’s charm. I found myself laughing, crying and affirming the words written all within a few paragraphs.
A perfect novel for these anxious days and another triumph from the writer of “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe”. I will certainly be seeking out more of Fannie Flagg’s works.
Reviewed by Loraine Punch
Murder on a Monday Book Club