NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The bestselling author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe is at her superb best in this fun-loving, moving novel about what it means to be truly alive.
WINNER OF THE SOUTHERN BOOK PRIZE
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.
Praise for The Whole Town’s Talking
“A witty multigenerational saga . . . [Fannie] Flagg’s down-home wisdom, her affable humor and her long view of life offer a pleasant respite in nerve-jangling times.”—People
“Fannie Flagg at her best.”—The Florida Times-Union
“If there’s one thing Fannie Flagg can do better than anybody else, it’s tell a story, and she outdoes herself in The Whole Town’s Talking. . . . Brilliant . . . equally on the level as her famous Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe.”—The Newport Plain Talk
“Delightful.”—The Washington Post
“A ringing affirmation of love, community and life itself.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch
Customer ReviewsSee All
Great read for genealogists. Wish I could write my family history this well. Easy to read.
Fannie Flagg's latest novel!
The Whole Town’s Talking is the latest book by Fannie Flagg. The Whole’s Town Talking takes us from the town’s inception in 1880 through 2021. We get to see Lordor Nordstrom arrive from Sweden and start his dairy farm. The various settlers that join him in Southern Missouri and slowly create a town called Swede Town (in the beginning). They are more than neighbors; they are a family. Lordor courts and marries Katrina Olsen, a housemaid from Chicago (with the help from the ladies of the town). Katrina is a mail order bride that answers Lordor’s advertisement. Lordor donates land for the town cemetery to be called Still Meadows. All the original settlers receive a lot. They take a picnic up the hill and everyone picks their burial plot. The town slowly grows over time as they add a general store, barber, bakery, and a school. Miss Lucille Beemer becomes the schoolteacher. We see the town change over time as new people come to their town and the children grow up, marry, and have their own kids. The town changes its name to Elmwood Springs and Lordor becomes the first mayor in 1901. Lordor is the first person to be interred in Still Meadows in 1911. It turns out that life is not over when you die in Elmwood Springs and are laid to rest in Still Meadows. To find out what happens in Still Meadows and the town of Elmwood Springs, you will need to read The Whole Town’s Talking.
The Whole Town’s Talking is the history of Elmwood Springs from its humble beginning and into the future. The Whole Town’s Talking is not quite what I expected (from reading the blurb). There are many (dozens) characters in the book, and it can be hard to keep them all straight. Some of them are quirky like Elner. Lordor and Katrina are the best developed characters in the book. Elner Shimfissle (what a name) is the most endearing (and unusual). The beginning of the story (the first hundred or so pages) is the best part. After that the story is not as engaging. I did not know that The Whole Town’s Talking was a part of a series (not until I went write the review and did a little research). The other three books are Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!, Standing in the Rainbow, and Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven. I give The Whole Town’s Talking 3.5 out of 5 stars. I did feel that Fannie Flagg could have pushed the afterlife section a little further (I am trying not to give away any spoilers). It was not as magical or special as it could have been. The epilogue was strange and the ending was a letdown. The Whole Town’s Talking seemed to be lacking Fannie Flagg’s usual sass (or spark) and humor (that can be found in her earlier works).
Imaginative and Captivating
A great read that captures the soul of several generations in a blossoming small town.