A freebie for the Kindle, Talk of the Town by Lisa Wingate was worth just that: zero dollars. Now that might sound like I didn’t enjoy the book but hear me out. It was cute and entertaining but not worth paying hard earned dollars for. Translation: order it from your local library and let your tax money go to some good use.
Talk of the Town takes place in Daily, Texas where hometown sweetheart Amber Anderson is one of the Final Five on American Megastar. (A fictional American Idol show.) The novel centers around one of the show’s producers, Mandalay Florentino, who is there to set up Amber’s hometown segment, and an elderly Daily resident, Imagene Doll. The chapters rotate between these two perspectives throughout the book. Once I got over the southern accents and the fact that one of the character’s names is Mandalay, I found it to be a fun read with some real messages. Both main characters face different personal and work difficulties that lead to big life changes. Most enjoyable were the wacky Texans that you meet throughout the book and the struggles Imagene faces settling in to the latter years of her life. What was really interesting to me were the different ways the author portrayed both the stereotypes and realities of small town southerners while also making them lovable and easy to relate to.
Being the northern snob that I am, I thought I wouldn’t enjoy this book but I surprised myself. Put it on the beach read list!