small towns -- fiction

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

“It was June and long past time for buying the special shoes that were quiet as summer rain falling on the walks. June and the earth full of raw power and everything everywhere in motion.  The grass was still pouring in from the country, surrounding the sides, stranding the houses.  Any moment the town would capsize, go down and leave not a stir in the clover and weeds.  And here Douglas stood, trapped on dead cement and red-brick streets, hardly able to move.”

The opening piece in Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine finds Doug Spaulding at the start of his twelfth summer, yearning for a pair of running shoes that will let him be a part of the glorious season. Like the dandelion wine bottled and stored in his grandparents’ cellar, the memories of that long-ago summer are preserved to be savored by his readers.

A Season of Gifts

By Richard Peck

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Relates the surprising gifts bestowed on Bob Barnhart and his family, who have recently moved to a small Illinois town in 1958, by their larger-than-life neighbor, Mrs. Dowdel.
A companion novel to A Long Way From Chicago and A Year Down Yonder.

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The Coffins of Little Hope by Timothy Schaffert

The Coffins of Little Hope by Timothy Schaffert

Do you like to read about small towns and quirky characters--places where everyone knows everyone else? If so, The Coffins of Little Hope by Timothy Schaffert is the book for you. It has lots of odd characters and follows several simple storylines, one concerning a missing child. Well, perhaps that story is not so simple after all. You see, the missing child may never have existed in the first place. This may give you a hint about Mr. Schaffert's style of writing. He has written a multi-level novel with a complicated plot and subplots.

The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard

The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard

When Jodi Linder was three, the unbearable happened.  As told in Nancy Pickard's The Scent of Rain and Lightning, one Saturday night, her father was murdered and her mother disappeared.  Jodi grew up in the small town of Rose, Kansas, wrapped in the fierce protective circle of her three uncles, safe and cherished, but distrustful of happiness.

When Jodi Linder was 26, the unthinkable happened. Billy Crosby, the man convicted of killing her father, has been released from prison and returns to Rose, loudly protesting his innocence of the murder.  In a small town, it’s hard to keep your distance from anyone, and Jodi finds that she starts to run into Billy’s son Collin just about everywhere.  Collin is a lawyer who wants to live peacefully in Rose and wants to prove his father’s innocence.

Dance with Me

By Luanne Rice

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"Jane Porter left the apple orchards of rural Twin Rivers, Rhode Island, years ago, fleeing memories that could tear two families apart. Now she has been unexpectedly drawn home to her mother and only sister. Dylan Chadwick has come back, too, shedding the steely exterior he wore as a federal agent in order to follow in the footsteps of his apple-farming father and forget the life he once lived. Amid this landscape of loss and renewal, a haunting story of converging lives, small-town secrets—-and the magical sway of unexpected miracles—-unfolds."
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True Confessions of a Heartless Girl

By Martha Brooks

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A confused seventeen-year-old girl, a single mother and her young son, two elderly women, and a sad and lonely man, with their own individual tragedies to bear, come together in a small Manitoba town and find a way to a better future.

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Peyton Place

By Grace Metalious

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Peyton Place, published in 1956, has sold over 10,000,000 copies world-wide and remains one of the biggest selling novels of all time. Its sequel, Return to Peyton Place, published in 1959, was a national best-seller for many, many months. It was considered absolutely scandalous when it was published. Peyton Place stirred controversy with its explicit—for the time—depictions of sex and sins in a small New England town. Today, the once shocking novel and its sequel seem tame, and are taught in college English courses as classics of their time, well-written and honest in the evocation of the passions, jealousies, and secrets of small-town America. In 1957, it was made into an award-winning movie starring Lana Turner.

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Standing in the Rainbow

By Fannie Flagg

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"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."

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Home to Harmony

By Philip Gulley

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"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.

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A Child Among Us

By Caryl Porter

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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.
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