10 Best Books About Small Towns Update 05/2022

Books About Small Towns

Two types of people who come from small towns: those who want to stay where they grew up, and those who want to move as far away as possible. Coming from a small town in Massachusetts, I was in the second group. I had been counting down the days until I could leave high school since the first day. A place where everyone knew your name and no one knew how to stay out of your business made me want to leave right away. When I was desperate to get out of the house, my favorite thing to do was to stay inside. Books that took me somewhere else, of course.

To get out of my own town, I’d open a book and go somewhere else. There were times when I didn’t want to read about faraway adventures, bright lights, and big cities. I just wanted to walk the streets of someone else’s quaint village, and that was enough for me. Plus, not everything about small-town life was bad, so the details made for fun stories: neighbors yelling over white picket fences, kids riding their bikes down Main Street, coffee shops and sandwich shops that know your “usual.” What more could you want in a place to call home?

These  books will help you get away from your own town:

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Crosby, Maine, where Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “Olive Kitteridge” is set, has a lot of heartbreak as well as happiness. The town is home to Olive Kitteridge and the other charming, real residents in stories. Olive and her neighbors’ lives are linked together in a way that shows the desires, disappointments, and beauty of everyday life in the most simple places in the United States.

The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling

People in the small English town of Pagford aren’t sure what to do after one of their own died. Barry Fairbrother was one of their own. There is a big gap between the rich and poor residents of a town that on the surface looks like an ideal place to live. The election for Fairbrother’s new parish council spot could push it over the edge. Pagford isn’t full of magic and butterbeer like Hogsmead, but it shows the truth about small politics and the battle between good and bad, right and wrong, over and over again.

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

When you live in a small town, it’s not unusual for things to be a little outdated. In the end, it doesn’t matter that Anne was sent there by mistake. She and the small Canadian farming village were meant to be together. In Avonlea, which is both beautiful and peaceful, the community is full of love and kindness, and you want to live there.

Standing in the Rainbow by Fannie Flagg

Standing in the Rainbow by Fannie Flagg

As a feel-good story, this book is about the Smith family and the town where they live for many years. Family and friends love each other and neighbors work together to make sure everyone has a good ending in Elmwood Springs in Missouri. Standing in the Rainbow might make you think twice about living in a small town.

Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson

Winesburg, Ohio is another book that tells stories that are linked together. It shows the flaws of living in a small town. The lives of the people in Winesburg are told through the eyes of a young man who wants to be a newspaper reporter. George Willard, who grew up in Winesburg, eventually leaves the town for something bigger. Because in a place like Winesburg, even the town doctor isn’t happy with the way things are.

Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts

Sequoyah, Oklahoma, is an example of a small town that doesn’t turn away people from outside the area. Novalee was 17 when she found out she was pregnant, alone, broke, and stranded in the town’s Wal-Mart parking lot. She thought her life was over, but then she met someone else. Novalee, on the other hand, is surprised to find love, support, and a chance for a new start in the eccentric but real people of the small town in the southwest. All of them love Wal-Mart.

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

Marilynne Robinson is the best person to write about small towns that are haunted, and no one else can do that. Reverend John Ames wrote a letter to his son when he was sick. Gilead is a book about his 77 years on Earth, most of which were spent in the small town of Gilead, Iowa. It’s also a collection of stories about the town and the people who lived there. When you read Gilead, you can see the wonder and tragedy of small town life in America.

Under the Dome by Stephen King

If you think Chester Mill looks like a nice place, you’d be wrong. It had a long list of problems even before a mysterious invisible force field cut Chester Mill off from the outside world. It’s a group of people who don’t fit together, but they work together to save the town from the dark forces that have always held it hostage. An exciting fight between good and evil, Under the Dome will make you feel like you’re back home again.

Our Town: A Play in Three Acts by Thorton Wilder

For people who want to marry their childhood sweetheart and raise their kids near where they grew up, Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire, is a good place. Thornton Wilder’s Our Town is a play inside a play. It’s a true picture of life in small towns in the United States at the turn of the 20th century.

The Key to You and Me by Jaye Robin Brown

Piper Kitts is spending the summer living with her grandmother, training at the barn of a former Olympic horseback rider, and trying to get over her ex-girlfriend. A little girl in town is teaching Piper how to drive. Piper isn’t happy about it.

Kat Pearson has always thought that she likes girls, but she doesn’t want to color outside the lines in her small town in North Carolina. But when Piper’s grandmother hires Kat to give her driving lessons, everything changes.

Piper isn’t sure if she’s ready to let go of her ex. Kat is in a new relationship with a new person, and she’s not used to it. With the summer coming to an end, will they be able to find a way to move forward together?

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