This is really a collection of short stories, all set in Green Town, Illinois, during the summer of 1928. Much of it set around twelve-year-old Douglas and his first steps into adulthood (he realizes, for the first time, that he's alive and mortal). But there's a lot happening in Green Town. The stories are both small in scope (Douglas getting new sneakers) and surprisingly big (the Happiness Machine). There's also a chilling interlude with a small town serial killer called The Lonely One. It is abundantly nostalgic, and beautifully, beautifully written.