The characters in this book are very believable,, they are not over-dramatic and they don't stumble over each other as can happen in a book with several characters. The connections are clear leaving the reader to enjoy the book and not constantly look back to remember who is who.This is a 'small' town story with some very big characters. Mt Jefferson is actually a big city but you can feel the small townness of it as you read. It is 1958 and a 15 year old girl is caught shoplifting in the five and dime managed by Milton. He came to Mt. Jefferson and liked it so much he refused other promotions so he could stay here. Milton is married to Coleen who's sister, Doris, is married to Doctor Campbell Sterrett. Their son, Louis, is secretly dating Shirley Ann, whos is the daughter of Lt. Buddy Briggs, of the Mt. Jefferson police department. His wife, Amanda, is best friends with Dove Franklin, wife of Rev. Paul Franklin of the local Methodist Church...who's 15 year old daughter has just been caught shoplifting at the local five and dime.Meanwhile, Walter, the father of Doris and Colleen is spending the days before Christmas in the hospital. The same hospital where he spent so much time in 1904, waiting for a bit of news and permission to see the stage actress who was accidently shot after a show. Walter, smitten with the woman, was 17 and witnessed the shooting. Now, so near the room where she lay so many years ago, Walter remembers the days leading up to the shooting and the days afterward.It all flows together smoothly and makes a great read. I was a little hesitant to read this book, wondering if a country singer could actually write a book that could hold my interest but I had no need to worry. I couldn't put the book down and finished it in one day. I would love it if there is a sequel.