This book reminded me of the novel The Blackbird Café with similar themes of small towns, and characters travelling back to them all the while trying to find out where they belong.
Famous in a Small Town mainly occurs in a town called Good Hart on the banks of Lake Michigan where it is known for its celebration of the festival of cherry season. The story focuses on 2 women: Becky and Mary, who find themselves in a conundrum about what their futures will hold. Becky is having trouble believing in herself and has forgotten about how to dream. She decides she wants to reclaim the experience she had as a little girl when her grandparents took her for summer vacation. While there, she meets Mary, the Cherry Spitting Champion.
Mary is in her 80s and has been thinking about her past and the future of her general store. Mary reminds Becky of her grandmother and both have experienced a similar vision, which brings them closer together. I was very close with my own grandmother and can understand why Becky is trying to recreate those feelings of closeness and of having the strength to be able to dream of things without having fear that they may or may not happen.
I enjoyed how the story was told with each chapter dedicated to the alternating main character’s points of view. Both tell of the struggle they have under the expectations of the older generations and their biases, such as the bias that women aren’t as good as men. The author describes this small town with enough vibrancy and imagination that it makes me want to visit and make the same connections that the main character Becky was able to make. Attending a cherry festival will be something that I will definitely put on my bucket list!
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