The Whole Town's Talking
New York Times Bestseller - Southern Book Prize Winner
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 bu ...more
It's around 1880 when a big, tall and blonde 28 year old Lordor Nordstrom arrives in southern Missouri and places his 1st advertisement in a Swedish-American newspaper for young farmers to join him in starting a new community, but it's his 2'nd ad as a 37 year old bachelor requesting a mail-order bride (with the assistance of the town's married ladies) that...more
We journey through the decades in Elmwood Springs, Missouri starting in 1899 with founding father Lordor Nordstrom and his mail order bride Katrina who build a successful dairy farm and donate land for the Still Meadows cemetery. Lordor is the first soul to be buried in the cemetery and strange occurrences begin to develop.
If you want a book that will make you nostalgic and reme ...more
Fannie Flagg tells a whimsical and fantastical yarn centered around Elmwood, Missouri. The story begins with the town’s humble beginnings way back in 1889, and carries the reader all the way through its history, ending in 2021.
Lordor Nordstrom is more or less responsible for building the community that will eventually become Elmwood. He marries a mail order bride, Swedish, like himself, starts a family, and so it begins ...more
The whole town started talking in 1889, with the arrival of Lordor Nordstrom, from Sweden, to what became the village of Elmwood Springs, Missouri and the conversations seemed to go on interminably until the novel, "The Whole Town's Talking" concluded in 2021. Decade upon decade, the small town's population and its folksy stories multiplied. As its members died, they moved on to the next stage of "being", resting aware and peacefully interacting with each other in the town cemetery, add ...more
It all starts with a Swedish farmer in 1889 who buys some land in Missouri and starts a small farming community that ...more
I wanted to spend much longer with the original Scandinavian settlers and their immediate family, but by the time the next generation came along we had moved to hearsay and just snippets. One person’s report of World War I was a single dismissive sentence. Whereas the period after has some really well-researched nuggets event to the sh ...more
"The Whole Town's Talking" is the story of a Missouri farm town and its quirky, loving, loyal, sometimes shiftless - or even greedy and amoral - inhabitants. The book spans the years from 1889 to 2021, during which the world changes dramatically.
I'll provide some vignettes, to give you a feel for the story:
In 1889, Lordor Nordstrom leaves Sweden for the United States. During his travels, Lordor finds a large tract of good, rich land in Missouri, and starts a dairy farm. An ad in Swedish-America ...more
The story follows the town from the founding to the present with residents continuing to watch the rest of the town from the town cemetery after they die. The novel had the quirky characters you expect from Flagg's books, but the plot was non-exi ...more
As the story continues on we meet many residents of Elmwood Springs throughout the years as the story continues from the beginnings o ...more
This is the fourth book about the residents of Elmwood Springs (though it is not listed as part of the series). In this volume, Flagg tells the history of Elmwood Springs, beginning with the 1889 founding of the settlement by Swedish immigrant Lorder Nordstrom, who recognized the perfect environment for a dairy, and encouraged fellow Swedes (plus a Norwegian and a German) to join him in Missouri. Several favorite characters from previous books make an appearan ...more
What a sweet and entirely thought-provoking book. This is written in very short chapters by many different points of view and spans the time from the founding of this town in the 1880's to 2021 and the generations that come from the (Swedish and German)founding fathers. If you have read the other three books in this series, you will be very familiar ...more
I really enjoyed all of the folksy and funny stories about the members of this small town. The town patriarch ended up marrying the mail order bride, and so the stories began...
“Two hundred and three people just waking up answered, ‘Morning’.”
Fannie Flagg is legendary, and rightly so. In fact, at one point in my reading of this DRC, I reflected that someone with her power to move people has power indeed; how fortunate that she uses her gift to benefit the rest of us. I don’t know about you, but I am ready to read something that provides a level of reassurance that all has not gone sour in this world, and ...more
This story takes place in Elmwood Springs, Missouri from 1889 to 2021. Our protagonist is Swede Loudor Nordstrom. He has a mail order bride and eventually becomes the Mayor of Elmwood Springs. Then he dies and Lordor wakes up in the cemetery. Turns out after people die they remain for a while as spirits in the cemetery. The story winds its way through generations of Elmwood citizens. Flagg goes back and ...more
The history of Elmwood Springs Missouri is told from the unusual dual perspective of both the living residents and the deceased who now reside at Still Meadows cemetery. The author's signature gentle humor is to be found throughout but instead of the sadness you might expect reading about the passing of so many beloved characters, you find yourself smiling at their new situation.
I could ...more
A new Fannie Flagg book is always a treat, and I enjoyed this visit with the folks of Elmwood Springs, even if it did take a rather unusual form. I especially loved the “back story” of the town. It’s part of Fannie Flagg’s gift that she can make you feel homesick for a place you never lived.
This was a quirky, pleasant book that took me several weeks to read.
The first quarter of it or so involved me deeply in the nineteenth-century origins of the small town of Elmwood Springs. We are introduced to the settlers who established a village there, and eventually named it, everything centering around Swedish immigrant Lordor Nordstrom and his slow, steady search for a wife.
Once he’s married and established on his farm, and the town takes on a name and a slowly growing population, the book ...more
100 pages of wonderful and 300 pages of so-so. It started off strongly but fizzled when the story started to rollercoaster through the years. (view spoiler)[And I thought the ending was dumb. (hide spoiler)]
NOTE: On page 431 it is written "For Cluny Brown, who can fix anything". I adored Cluny Brown, and it reminded me to look for some novels by Margery Sharp. ...more