Somewhere in Mississippi is Robert Dalby's quirky little town of Second Creek. It's a treat to be invited back for the third book in the series, A Piggly Wiggly Wedding.
In Waltzing at the Piggly Wiggly, we met Hale "Mr. Choppy" Dunbar, owner of the Piggly Wiggly grocery store, on the verge of closing due to the new big box store in town. It took an innovative scheme by a group of wealthy widows, the Nitwits, to raise the town's awareness of this possible loss to the community. Kissing Babies at the Piggly Wiggly brought out secrets in Mr. Choppy's background, and a political campaign, run by the Nitwits. Now, it's up to that special group of women to smooth the way for Mr. Choppy to marry the woman he loves when her grown children object to the marriage between their wealthy mother and a small town southern grocer.
In the course of this charming series, the Nitwits have gracefully coped with issues such as Alzheimers and learning to understand gay children. Now, they deal with adult children afraid of their mother's remarriage. But, these books are also lighthearted, with eccentric characters in a town known for its eccentric weather. The weather is so hot that fireflies have totally disappeared from Second Creek, and Mr. Choppy and others have noticed their absence.
Despite the lack of fireflies, two new people blow into town, and light it up. Euterpe Simon, "Mistress of the Scales", hopes to rent a place to teach piano lessons. The mysterious woman captures the interest of all of the Nitwits, who vie to be Euterpe's best students. And, then there's Great Buddha Magruder, a giant of a man famous for his dancing. He's a "big" hit with the women.
If you like the books by Ann B. Ross, Joan Medlicott, and Louise Shaffer, authors who have blurbed Dalby's books, you'll appreciate the southern humor and small town life in these stories. The Piggly Wiggly stories are delightful, with eccentric, lively characters. There's a sense of comfort and contentment when reading the Piggly Wiggly books, and A Piggly Wiggly Wedding is no exception. It's another charming book, filled with friendship, laughter and a little of that Second Creek magic.
Oh, and may you always have fireflies.
A Piggly Wiggly Wedding by Robert Dalby. Penguin Group (USA), ©2009. ISBN 9780399155574 (hardcover), 320p.