The book opens in the past: Jenny Hallesby of Fawn Creek is about to lose the title of Buttercup Queen at the Minnesota State Fair, and then have her head carved in butter by a renowned sculptor, Steve Jaax, who's on the run from the police for purportedly stealing his own statue from his ex-wife. Fast-forward to the present, and Jenn has just been hired by a notoriously conservative cable network to do a homemaking show as the "Midwest Martha." She and Steve Jaax are invited to be grand marshalls of a parade in honor of Fawn Creek's sesquicentennial--along with the butter head which, it turns out, has been in her parents' freezer all these years. Jenn is not thrilled.
I had to read this book slowly, to enjoy the clever dialogue and commentary on life in a small, isolated Minnesota town. I was sharing bits of it aloud with my traveling companion as I read on the train over the weekend. I wasn't, however, swept along by the romance, which is secondary to the many secondary characters; am still deciding what I think of that, since though I was expecting something else, there's nothing wrong with what I got, I enjoyed it, and I'm pleased Brockway went in a new direction.