I really enjoyed this story about the last inhabitants of an early 1800's town in New England that is losing residents at at fast pace. Diamant appropriately introduces them all at the wake of one of the residents. There is a mystery associated with his death, but it is not the dominant theme of the book. The book is really character driven. There are orphans, prostitutes, free blacks, and drunkards and Diamant brings them all to life. She did it in such a way that I find myself still thinking about them long after I have moved onto other books. The people of Dogtown felt 100% real. I was going back and forth between a 4 and a 5 for this book. Usually all books I rate a 5 I would read again, and stay on my mind. I did not anticipate the staying power of this novel, but these characters were written so richly I can't help but think of them. It felt very Dickensian... especially the story of Oliver and Tammy. Yeah, might just have to bump this up. Highly recommend!