This was our bookclubs pick this month and we had quite the discussion after finishing it. As always I like to share our review with you.
About the Author
Rebecca Skloot is an award-winning science writer whose articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, O, The Oprah Magazine and Discover. She has worked as a correspondent for NPR’s Radiolab and PBS’s NOVA scienceNOW and is a contributing editor at Popular Science magazine. She is a former Vice President of the National Book Critics and has taught creative nonfiction and science journalism at the University of Memphis, the University of Pittsburg and New York University. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was her debut novel and became an instant New York Times bestseller. It won the Chicago Tribune Heartland and the Wellcome Trust Book Prize. It was named best book of 2010 by Amazon.com. and the best book of the year by Entertainment Weekly, O Magazine, The New York Times, Washington Post, US News, and World Report.
Our book club just finished reading THE WHOLE TOWN’S TALKING by FANNIE FLAGG and as always I like to share our thoughts and review with you.
About the author
Fannie Flagg began writing and producing television specials at age nineteen and went on to distinguish herself as an actress and writer in television, films and the theater. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling Daisy Fay and The Miracle Man, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (which was produced by Universal Pictures as Fried Green Tomatoes). Welcome to the World, Baby Girl, and Standing in the Rainbow. Flagg’s script for Fried Green Tomatoes was nominated for both the Academy and Writer’s Guild of America Awards and won the highly regarded Scripters Award. Flagg lives in California and in Alabama.
The Synopsis of THE WHOLE TOWN’S TALKING
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. The Whole Town’s Talking, 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.
This is the first time any of us had read anything by this author. No one knew what to expect. We had decided to pick a light-hearted book because the last two were somewhat depressing. This book certainly fit the bill. It’s a quick read and would make a perfect book to take to the beach. We all agreed that it was a cute story and was probably how most people hoped life would be after death.
At times the story was humorous and took us on a trip down memory lane, pointing out certain nostalgic events. The book began well with the founding fathers and we felt like we were getting to know them but as soon as we did, they passed away and the book moved on to the next generation. After that, the book began to go downhill. There was just too much crammed into the story. As soon as we began to get to know a new character, Poof, they died. It was really hard to keep track of them and because of that, we had a hard time connecting with the story. We also felt what happened to the town, in the end, was depressing and quite unexpected. Overall we were somewhat disappointed with this book.
Our Overall Rating
COVER DESIGN – 5 STARS – We all agreed the cover was great with eye-catching colors and a theme that was fitting for the storyline.
CHARACTERIZATION – 3 STARS – Too many characters to keep track of and were short-lived in the book, prevented us from connecting with the characters or story.
STORY & PLOT 3 STARS– It was a cute idea for a story but fell short to engage us or get us excited.
OVERALL RATING – 3 STARS – After having high hopes for this book, we left feeling somewhat disappointed. It was just okay.
Questions to ask at your book club
1- Lordor met his wife Katrina by placing an ad for a mail-order bride. Did this surprise you and does it remind you of online dating?
2 – Why do you think Lordor and Katrina’s marriage was so successful? What did they do that many couples overlook?
3 – The book chronicles the history of one small town in America, beginning in 1889 and ending in 2021. Do you see any similarities between Elmwood Springs and the town you or your parents grew up in? If so, what are they?
4 – Do you know of any towns that have simply turned into ghost towns? Why do you think the towns didn’t make it. Did you live in any of the towns you mentioned?
5 – Do you believe in life after death? How do you vision it?
6 – Were there any particular characters you could relate to? If yes, explain why.
7 – The book spans over many decades. Which is your favorite era and why is it? What do you remember the most about that time?
Buy the Book From Amazon
BUY RECKLESS BEGINNINGS HERE
RECKLESS BEGINNINGS is currently available in paperback only. The Kindle/ebook edition will be available in about six weeks.
Ordering the book is easy from any of these fine online retailers.