The Whole Town’s Talking acts as a chatty companion to Flagg’s previous Elmwood Springs novels ... What drives The Whole Town’s Talking isn’t plot but nostalgia and Flagg’s gentle wit. It’s a pleasant, amusing bedtime story for grownups, with short chapters that propel you through the decades, almost all of them leaving you with a smile ... overall, The Whole Town’s Talking is warm and inviting. Flagg’s Elmwood Springs novels are comfort reads of the best kind, warm and engaging without flash or fuss.
...unfortunately Flagg doesn’t include a genealogy of the whole town. There’s a lot to keep track of when your characters include the living and the dead ... The patriarch is awake but firmly ensconced in his coffin. He isn’t alone there for long, as Katrina joins him in 1916 — and soon the conversation at Still Meadows cemetery starts percolating. Most of it is as cheerful and smooth-edged as the old-fashioned citizens ... Pull your afghan a little closer, and let’s hope this author’s energy doesn’t flag anytime soon.
a sweeping, cinematic approach that can feel almost disorienting by the end, as the names and years and relationships pile up. Flagg’s gentle storytelling makes the novel an easy, comfortable read that will leave a reader thinking about life, love and loss — but perhaps also wishing that the town’s many tales could be explored more deeply.