5 On My TBR is a weekly meme hosted by E. @ Local Bee Hunter’s Nook. Every monday, we get to rave about 5 books on our TBRs that fit the prompt, and this week’s prompt is…
I definitely struggled a bit with this prompt, because I don’t actually read many books set in small towns — clearly, this is something I need to rectify! Searching for stories that fit the prompt caused a few new books to tumble into my TBR pile (searching for books to fit a prompt is like going grocery shopping when you’re hungry; you end up with more than you planned on getting).
This Green and Pleasant Land by Ayisha Malik
A Muslim couple, Bilal and Mariam Hashem, live in a small village in the UK and have achieved a measure of peace for themselves by totally assimilating to British culture. Unfortunately, Bilal’s mother’s dying wish is for her son to build a mosque in the village. Everyone is horrified, most of all Bilal himself. In the words of the synopsis: “Battle lines are drawn and this traditional little community becomes the colorful canvas on which the most current and fundamental questions of identity, friendship, family and togetherness are played out.”
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
I mentioned this book in a previous 5 On My TBR post, which means that now I definitely need to read it. Sara, a girl from Sweden, travels all the way to Broken Wheel, Iowa, to meet her pen pal. Unfortunately, she arrives just in time for her friend’s funeral. Now stranded in a small, dying farm town, Sara decides to open a bookshop to convey her love of reading to the citizens of Broken Wheel.
Sodom Road Exit by Amber Dawn
Strange things are happening in the dying lakeside resort town of Crystal Beach, Canada, in the summer of 1990. Starla returns to Crystal Beach as a college dropout, and begins seeking out the source of the strangeness around her. Where others might run, Starla draws the horror nearer, and where others might feel dread, Starla feels “queer desire.”
The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Norway, 1617. After the menfolk of the small island town of Vardø are lost at sea, a Scottish pastor arrives to sniff out heresy and witchcraft. He brings with him his Norwegian wife, Ursa, who quickly forms a bond with a local woman named Maren. That bond is tested, however, as the witch trials begin and women of the community face life-threatening accusations.
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by Fannie Flagg
This is a classic small town novel. In the 1980s, an elderly Mrs. Threadgoode tells her middle-aged friend the story of two women in the 1930s, Idgie and Ruth, who open a café in their small town of Whistle Stop, Alabama that attracts all kinds of clients. I think I’ve seen the movie adaptation of this book, but it was a very long time ago and I don’t remember much of it. Unlike the movie, however, the book itself is explicitly a wlw love story between Ruth and Idgie. I’m really excited for this one!
And that’s all! Out of all of these books, I’m most excited for This Green and Pleasant Land and Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café. I can’t decide which one to read first!