O Little Town marks Don Reid’s (of the legendary Statler Brothers) first attempt at fiction. The story covers the comings and goings of the small town of Mt. Jefferson, based upon Reid’s own hometown of Staunton, Virginia. From murder and marriage troubles to friendship and forgiveness, this book hits upon them all.
Centered around Christmas 1958, O Little Town explores the daily lives of characters such as Milton Sandridge, manager of the local five-and-dime; Dove Franklin, wife of the ever-busy pastor; and Walter Selman, the aging father of two vastly different daughters, among many others. It seems as though everyone in this small town is harboring his or her own secret and only through faith can each one overcome his or her personal challenge.
I grew up watching The Statler Brothers with my family, and because of that, I must applaud Don Reid’s effort. However, that aside, this work of fiction was underwhelming at best. The book jumped from one person’s story to another person’s story making it difficult to keep up. Not even one of the characters encountered was likeable or believable. It has the appearance of being a Christmas story, but it actually has very little to do with the holidays. Years of trouble and secrets are all smoothed out within a matter of days by the end of the book. As much as I enjoyed a well-rounded, completed story, it was nearly impossible to buy into the fact that after years of pain, an entire town full of people could just reverse course overnight. I wish I had more good things to say about this book, but I really don’t. It was a valiant first attempt at fiction, but in my opinion, it fell far short of expectations.
♥♥ of 5