The story is primarily centered in Mapleton, a small American town, where lives intertwine. Cults have emerged, drawing in a variety of people--a mother who lost her daughter, her best friend who leaves behind a family intact. A self-proclaimed religious leader draws followers until his own ego and desires bring about his downfall. A woman whose whole family disappeared becomes something of a martyr--until her husband's infidelity emerges.
A reviewer for Chicago Sun-Times compared the story to "Our Town" and someone in Entertainment Weekly called it the "best book about The Rapture since the New Testament." I kept thinking of Karen Thompson Walker's young adult novel Age of Miracles, a story of an inexplicable "slowing" of the world's turning, affecting all human life.
Since the series is still running, I don't want to reveal any spoilers, but this book is an interesting treatment of an idea that keeps making the literary rounds--maybe even all literature: Something happens. Now what do we do?