Knute, a single mother and her young daughter move from Winnipeg back home to Algren to help her mother and father in the aftermath of his heart attack. So we are put on a journey with the eccentric inhabitants of this town over the course of a few months.
Among others, there’s Knute, her young daughter Summer Feelin’, Knutes parents, Dory and Tom, Combine Jo, the local drunk uber eccentric and Hosea Funk, the towns mayor. His goal is to keep the towns distinction of “Canada’s Smallest Town”, which must be 1500 souls exactly. That means each day he must make his rounds and see who is giving birth (triplets? Yikes!), who is moving away, moving in or on the verge of death. Due to some questionable lineage and a supposed death bed confession, he believes he is the illegitimate son of the Prime Minister of Canada and dreams that when the Prime Minister comes to bestow the crown of Smallest Town he will be meeting his long lost father. We see the comings and going of one and all through different points of view and the narrative moves along at a nice little clip.
…and she wondered is it better to try to understand life or is it better not to? Which makes you happier?
There were times when Toews got right to the very edge of my patience with all the whimsy (think Northern Exposure in Manitoba) but over all I found the characters to be good hearted and the read a pleasant one. Pour a glass of lemonade, get comfortable in the hammock and let go.