Neighbors of Mitford

Caryl Porter
One spring day, a young mute boy appears in a small Nebraska town, He comes unexpectedly, but his arrival stirs the hearts of those who meet him causing them to look at their own lives and make dramatic changes.
T. R. Pearson

"In this introduction to Neely, North Carolina, the young narrator, Louis Benfield, recounts the tragic last days of Miss Myra Angelique Pettigrew, a local spinster and former town belle who, after years of total seclusion, returns flamboyantly to public view--with her pet monkey, Mr. Britches. Here is a teeming human comedy inhabited by some of the most eccentric and endearing characters ever encountered in literature."

Sherryl Woods

Trinity Harbor, Virginia, is in an uproar when spinster Daisy Spencer takes in a wild ten-year-old boy and starts to play "Mom." But Walker Ames, the boy's D.C. cop uncle, shows up, looking for a chance to play "Dad" for his nephew. Daisy and Walker are opposites in every way. If Daisy could only keep her thoughts about that man away from those of marriage and love.

James Herriot

An English veterinarian reminisces about his life, career, and animal patients in a small village.

L. M. Montgomery

As soon as Anne Shirley arrived at the snug, white farmhouse called Green Gables, she knew she wanted to stay forever. But would the Cuthberts send her back to the orphanage? The first book in a classic series for young readers that adults will enjoy, too.

Adriana Trigiani

It's 1978, and 35-year-old Ave Maria Mulligan is about to discover a skeleton in her own family's tidy closet that will blow the lid right off her quiet, uneventful life. This is the first of a trilogy about people in Big Stone Gap, Virginia.

K. C. McKinnon

The author of Dancing at the Harvest Moon returns to her roots in Maine with this atmospheric, heart wrenching story of love and loss. When the town flirt returns to her home town to start a candle-making business, the local veterinarian wonders why she looks so pale and what secret she's keeping from everyone who holds her dear.

Miss Read
Miss Read's 36th novel takes readers back to the village of Thrush Green, where special plans and celebrations are being made for the village school's 100th anniversary celebration. And although plans become complicated, events culminate in a very special celebration.
Olive Ann Burns

The one thing you can depend on in Cold Sassy, Georgia, is that word gets around - fast. When Grandpa E. Rucker Blakeslee announces one July morning in 1906 that he's aiming to marry the young and freckledy milliner, Miss Love Simpson - a bare three weeks after Granny Blakeslee has gone to her reward - the news is served up all over town with that afternoon's dinner. And young Will Tweedy suddenly finds himself eyewitness to a major scandal. Boggled by the sheer audacity of it all, and not a little jealous of his grandpa's new wife, Will nevertheless approves of this May-December match and follows its progress with just a smidgen of youthful prurience. As the newlyweds' chaperone, conspirator, and confidant, Will is privy to his one-armed, renegade grandfather's second adolescence; meanwhile, he does some growing up of his own.
Also on audio and video.

Angela Thirkell
"Through a choreographed round of fetes, parties, and other occasions, Thirkell introduces a series of intrigues - romantic, literary, and personal - as well as a few intriguing strangers to the country houses and village lanes of Barsetshire."
Fannie Flagg

"Folksy and fresh, endearing and affecting, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe is the now-classic novel of two women in the 1980s; of gray-headed Mrs. Threadgoode telling her life story to Evelyn, who is in the sad slump of middle age. The tale she tells is also of two women - of the irrepressibly daredevilish tomboy Idgie and her friend Ruth - who back in the '30s ran a little place in Whistle Stop, Alabama, a Southern kind of Cafe Wobegon offering good barbecue and good coffee and all kinds of love and laughter, even an occasional murder. And as the past unfolds, the present - for Evelyn and for us - will never be quite the same again...."
(Audiobook summary)

J. Lynne Hinton

This spirited debut novel forms the recipe for the celebration of women, faith, friendship, and delicious Southern food. "Friendship Cake" involves five women of the Hope Springs Community Church in North Carolina as they knead their sorrows and joys into loaves of bread nd their hopes and dreams into pecan pies.

Philip Gulley

"In the fictional small town of Harmony, Indiana, Sam Gardner becomes the pastor of his hometown church, Harmony Friends Meeting. In this delightful, first-person audio book, Sam describes in a warm, down-home style the moving and humorous adventures he encounters his first year home to Harmony. Bestselling author Philip Gulley tackles the sticky issues of grace, faith, and forgiveness through skillful storytelling-subtly introducing lessons on the power of relationship with each other and with God. Come to Harmony-where the characters are wise yet fallible, the mishaps familiar yet funny, and the moral of the story is always heartwarming and faith-inspiring."
First of a series.

Joseph F. Girzone

A first novel written by a retired priest, this parable tells of a simple carpenter whose warmth and loving acceptance transforms the lives of the local townspeople.

Garrison Keillor

Garrison Keillor tells about life in his fictional hometown of Lake Wobegon, Minnesota. Filled with down-home humor and entertaining characters.

Liz Curtis Higgs

Love Is on the Air.
Belle O'Brien, the woman behind the warmest voice in Virginia radio, has one problem: Her oldies show on WPER-FM is a solid-gold hit, but her love life, at thirty-two years and counting, is an off-the-charts disaster. The pickings are slim in small-town Abingdon. Will it be smooth-talking Patrick Reese, the man who launched her radio career a decade earlier? Moody but handsome David Cahill, the chief engineer with a mysterious past and a new life in Christ? Or Matthew the Methodist, her pastor across the street? Surrounded by an on-air cast of colorful characters, Belle's journey toward joy is filled with humor, heartache, and endless surprises. Norah Silver-Smyth, her friend and encourager, will join Belle in discovering that it's never too late to listen to your heart.

Richard Russo

In his slyly funny and moving new novel, the author of The Risk Pool follows the unexpected operation of grace in a deadbeat, upstate New York town--and in the lives of the unluckiest of its citizens.

Effie Leland Wilder

A semi-autobiographical first novel by an eighty-five-year-old retirement home resident, this charmer chronicles the lives of the retirees at Fair Acres Home. Told in journal form, the entries are touching, funny, and always entertaining.

Kent Haruf
Holt, Colorado, is one of those small towns where everyone knows everyone else. Tom Guthrie is a high school teacher who is basically a single father--his wife can’t (or won’t) get out of bed. Victoria is 17 and pregnant and has been thrown out of her home. The McPherons are bachelor brothers who don’t know much beyond farming. Maggie Jones, also a teacher, brings these lives together in this simple yet elegantly told story.
Michael Lee West

Vangie Nepper and her husband search for love outside the home and gossip about their neighbors in a sharp, humorous portrayal of life in a friendly but strait-laced Louisiana town in the fifties.

Fannie Flagg
"Good news! Fannie’s back in town--and the town is among the leading characters in her new novel.

"Along with Neighbor Dorothy, the lady with the smile in her voice, whose daily radio broadcasts keep us delightfully informed on all the local news, we also meet Bobby, her ten-year-old son, destined to live a thousand lives, most of them in his imagination; Norma and Macky Warren and their ninety-eight-year-old Aunt Elner; the oddly sexy and charismatic Hamm Sparks, who starts off in life as a tractor salesman and ends up selling himself to the whole state and almost the entire country; and the two women who love him as differently as night and day. Then there is Tot Whooten, the beautician whose luck is as bad as her hairdressing skills; Beatrice Woods, the Little Blind Songbird; Cecil Figgs, the Funeral King; and the fabulous Minnie Oatman, lead vocalist of the Oatman Family Gospel Singers.

"The time is 1946 until the present. The town is Elmwood Springs, Missouri, right in the middle of the country, in the midst of the mostly joyous transition from war to peace, aiming toward a dizzyingly bright future."

Penelope J. Stokes
In the wake of the depression of 1929, four friends gather in a cold, dusty attic on Christmas day to make a solemn pact. Our dreams for the future, they whisper, as they place tiny pieces of paper holding their life wishes into the blue, cabin-shaped bottle. Letitia dreams of marriage and children; Mary hopes to be a painter; Eleanor aspires to help those in need as a social worker; Adora longs to be a Broadway actress. Four girls, four dreams, and four futures sealed in a cobalt blue bottle. Sixty-five years later, local news reporter Brendan Delaney stumbles upon the bottle, discovering the most meaningful story of her career and possibly the meaning missing from her own life.
Katherine Hall Page

During her years spent in New York City. Faith Fairchild was convinced she had seen pretty much everything. But the transplanted caterer/minister's wife was unprepared for the surprises awaiting her in the sleepy Massachusetts village of Aleford. And she is especially taken aback by the dead body of a pretty young thing she discovers stashed in the church's belfry. The victim, Cindy Shepherd. was well-known locally for her acid tongue and her jilted beaux, which created a lot of bad blood and more than a few possible perpetrators -- including her luckless fiance, who had neither an alibi nor a better way to break off the engagement.

Faith thinks it's terribly unfair that the police have zeroed in on the hapless boyfriend, and so she sets out to uncover the truth. But digging too deeply into the sordid secrets of a small New England village tends to make the natives nervous. And an overly curious big city lady can become just another small town death statistic in very short order.

Faith Sullivan

In a small Minnesota town during the Depression, six-year-old Lark narrates the story of her life, and the adult events going on in the town around her.

Lois Battle

"'We've been screwed blued and tattooed,' quips Hilly Pruitt at hearing the news of the closing of Cherished Lady, the local lingerie factory. Hilly, along with many other women in Florabama, have been relying on the factory for their livelihood for years. As Hilly always says; 'Life is like a dog sled: If you ain't the lead dog, the scenery never changes.'

"The same day the plant closes, Bonnie Duke Cullman begins her drive through a Gulf Coast storm to the first real job of her life. Her country-club-and-charity-committee existence has come to an end as abruptly as her marriage. In short, she too has been downsized. But luckily for Bonnie, she does have a job to go to: she's been hired to run a "Displaced Homemakers Program" for a podunk community college where the ex-bra seamstresses of Cherished Lady await her wisdom.

"In an unlikely alliance, Bonnie and the Florabama women join together in a midlife survival course where the events of a single year forever alter the way they see the world and their places in it. Despite their very different lineages, they find common ground in the longings and dreams we all share: for community, identity, security, and for love."

Cathie Pelletier

Meet the residents of Mattagash, Maine, a dull backwater town rocked by scandal, seduction, mayhem, blackmail, and the only recorded case of beriberi on the entire North American continent!

Nani Power
"...a slyly addictive story that introduces a beguiling cross section of characters in a small Virginia village, all of whom are destined to collide in an unusual confluence of events in the days leading up to Christmas. Dr. C. R. Ash, a neonatologist and chronic bachelor, is a man in the winter of his soul, and last in the line of an old Southern family. During a snowy prelude to a much-anticipated hospital Christmas party, C.R. crosses paths with a world of local characters, living and dead: Betty, his fire-fearing secretary and her cohort; Dr. Pendleton Compton, C.R.'s lascivious best friend who mends the hearts of babies; Kirsten, a candy striper who teeters between the worlds of childhood and child rearing; a clutch of death-obsessed teenagers; and two amateur caterers striving to create a Dickensian world of magic for the overworked and bedraggled hospital staff.

"In a town adrift with housing developments, strip malls, and Civil War history, this motley assemblage of characters are all impelled by their search to solve the ancient human riddles of love, loss, and desolation."

Roy Shepard

As he delays opening a letter which might bring him promotion--or rejection--a Protestant minister looks back on a life full of temptation and doubt. A witty look at the ministry by a writer who himself is a minister.

Elizabeth Jane Howard

In 1937, the coming war is only a distant cloud on Britain's horizon. As the Cazalet households prepare for their summer pilgrimage to the family estate in Sussex, readers meet Edward, in love with but by no means faithful to his wife Villy; Hugh, wounded in the Great War; Rupert, who worships his lovely child-bride Zoe; and Rachel, the spinster sister.
Its sequel, Marking Time, is set during World War II.

Sandra Dallas

This magical, memorable novel explores the ties that unite women through good times and bad. It is the 1930s, and hard times have hit Harleyville, Kansas, where crops are burning up and there's not a job to be found. For one young farm wife, the highlight of each week is the gathering of the Persian Pickle Club, a group of locals dedicated to improving their minds, exchanging gossip, and putting their well-honed quilting skills to good use.

George MacDonald, edited by Michael Phillips

"He left the countryside the follower of restless ambition. He would return a different man."

George MacDonald (1824-1905), Scottish poet, preacher, novelist, and mystic, was one of the most original and influential writers of Victorian Britain. His books have sold in the millions of copies, and he was one of the most popular authors of the day on both sides of the Atlantic.

James Calvin Schaap

The narrator, a town pastor, brings to life the secret joys and concern of his parishioners at Barneveld Calvary in a colorful mosaic of grief and tragedy, mercy and reconciliation.

Susan Wittig Albert

The author of Peter Rabbit and other creature tales, Beatrix Potter is still, after a century, beloved by children and adults the world over. In this first Cottage Tale, Albert introduces Beatrix, an animal lover who has just bought a farm in England's beautiful Lake District. As Beatrix tries to win over the hearts of her fellow villagers, her animal friends set out to solve a mystery all their own.

Mignon F. Ballard

"Things in the town of Stone's Throw, South Carolina, rarely get much spicier than the extra red pepper Lucy Nan Pilgrim sprinkles into her homemade cheese straws. So when an elderly but surprisingly childlike woman calling herself Shirley shows up on Lucy's doorstep looking for her mama, Lucy thinks it must be another of her friend Ellis's pranks. But Ellis doesn't know a thing about it, and what's more, the two suspect the woman might be Ellis's cousin, Florence, who disappeared as a child more than fifty years earlier.

"When the mysterious woman vanishes from Lucy's house, she and Ellis don't know what to think. And considering that Calpernia Hemphill, the town's theater and music aficionado, has just been found dead of an apparent fall from the tower at Bertram's Folly, life in Stone's Throw suddenly seems less safe than sinister. Luckily, guardian angel Augusta Goodnight shows up to calm Lucy's nerves (with a basket of strawberry muffins, of course)."

Thomas Hardy

The arrival of two newcomers in the quiet village of Mellstock arouses a bitter feud and leaves a convoluted love affair in its wake. While the Reverend Maybold creates a furor among the village's musicians with his decision to abolish the church's traditional 'string choir' and replace it with a modern mechanical organ, the new schoolteacher, Fancy Day, causes an upheaval of a more romantic nature, winning the hearts of three very different men - a local farmer, a church musician and Maybold himself. "Under the Greenwood Tree" follows the ensuing maze of intrigue and passion with gentle humour and sympathy, deftly evoking the richness of village life, yet tinged with melancholy for a rural world that Hardy saw fast disappearing.

Clyde Edgerton

Mattie Rigsbee is seventy-eight. She lives by herself in Listre, North Carolina (near Bethel). She claims she's "slowing down," but she still cuts her own grass and runs the Lottie Moon missions fund drive at Listre Baptist Church. This is the scene into which Edgerton drops Wesley Benfield -- adolescent, illegitimate, and delinquent, with a mouth full of foul language and bad teeth and a craving for good food.

G.D. Gearino

Ten-year-old Sammy Ayers woke up one morning on a bus that had reached the end of its run after an overnight trip. The night before, his mother had been beside him. Now, she was gone and he was abandoned, a lost child in a small Georgia town of the 1940s. As the curious patrons of the Barrington Bus Depot bombarded him with questions, he just kept his mouth shut. He pretended not to hear. It was on that morning, in 1940, that Sammy Ayers became deaf and mute. Alone and lost in this strange new world, Sammy found safety behind a wall of silence, a barrier that sound could not penetrate from either side - at least that's what everyone thought.

Joyce Maynard
Claire is "pushing forty with a short stick." She's divorced and raising two teenagers in a small town where just about everybody else is married. Claire longs for companionship, romance, and passion. She's tried blind dates, answered the personals. She's still looking. When Claire meets Tim -- also divorced, struggling to raise his own daughter, Ursula -- she believes she's found the perfect partner and lover. But as Tim and Claire work toward joining their families and building an intimate life together, their families clash in a never-ending battle for attention and affection: Ursula resents Claire, and Claire's children hate Ursula. When Ursula wreaks a unique and deadly vengeance on everyone, her mother suddenly shows up after a two-year absence and both families spin out of control.
Kate Phillips

White Rabbit explores the last, fateful day of 88-year-old of Ruth Caster Hubble, written with understated elegance, warmth, and surprising depth.

Janet Oke

"Readers will laugh and cry as they follow the story of Josh Jones, an orphan growing up during the Great Depression. Eighteen-year-old Auntie Lou is the only mother Josh has ever known. When his grandfather and uncle start talking about finding a husband for his aunt, he knows something has to be done! As he grows to manhood through disappointment and tragedy, triumph and joy, Josh learns to trust God no matter what life brings."
Seasons of the Heart series, Book 3.

Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown

"Curiosity just might be the death of Mrs. Murphy--and her human companion, Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen. Small towns are like families. Everyone lives very close together. . .and everyone keeps secrets. Crozet, Virginia, is a typical small town--until its secrets explode into murder. Crozet's thirty-something post-mistress, Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen, has a tiger cat (Mrs. Murphy) and a Welsh Corgi (Tucker), a pending divorce, and a bad habit of reading postcards not addressed to her.

"When Crozet's citizens start turning up murdered, Harry remembers that each received a card with a tombstone on the front and the message 'Wish you were here' on the back. Intent on protecting their human friend, Mrs. Murphy and Tucker begin to scent out clues. Meanwhile, Harry is conducting her own investigation, unaware her pets are one step ahead of her. If only Mrs. Murphy could alert her somehow, Harry could uncover the culprit before the murder occurs--and before Harry finds herself on the killer's mailing list."

Karen Stolz

Follow the arc of a girl's life as she grows to womanhood. From crushes to surprise baby sisters to nail polish to a devastating death, Roxanne is our guide through a life that has moments of tenderness, poignancy, sorrow, and great humor, as well as some wonderful baking memories. A sumptuous novel -- though like the best pie, tart in all the right places.