The first volume in The Last Hundred Years Trilogy (which seems to truly be one long novel, but more on that as I actually read the trio of books), by Jane Smiley, is Some Luck. Each of the three books follows the Langdon family, year by year (each chapter represents a single year) and the tale begins with 1920.
In year number four, we learn a bit more about the town the Langdon farm is nearby as Rosanna likes to take Jake, the horse, and their buggy regularly. Her various types of trips are described--weekedays vs. Saturdays (dressed nice, but not overly so) vs. Sundays (dressed in her finest and reminding her of how her mother appears). The main reason she has for visiting town is to sell her butter and eggs to Dan Crest for his general store. Her butter is renowned as the best in town, earning her more than other women from Crest for her wares. We learn of the three different churches (with the reminder that Walter and Rosanna have different religious backgrounds) as well as the names of some the other townspeople.
We also learn more about Frank--an oddity, that he likes to lie down underneath Walter and Rosanna's bed (which Walter does not like and he's punished Frank over) as well as the fact that he's quite headstrong. A bit of Smiley's work to explain this:
It was beyond Frank to understand why he sometimes did the very thing he was told not to do. It seemed like once they told him not to do it--once they said it and put it in his mind--then what else was there to do? It was like smacking Joey. "Don't hit your brother. Don't ever hit your brother, do you understand? If I catch you hitting your brother, then I will whip you, do you understand?"
But what was hitting? Sometimes, when Joey was walking along, all you had to do was touch him and he fell down and cried. Other times, a good wallop had no effect. If there was anything Frank liked, it was trying things out. Joey was the most interesting person to try things out on, especially considering that the cat always ran away, even when Mama was not saying that the cat was dirty and shooing him out of the house. It was obvious to Frank that if you had something in your hand, no matter what it was, you had to employ it. If it was a rock, then you had to scrape it on the ground or on a wall.
And this continued on, this dip into Frank's mind to understand what was leading him to be so headstrong. He ends up getting caught lying under the bed after getting all dressed to go to Granny's for Sunday dinner and Walter whipped him, pants down, using his belt. Again we dip into Frank's mind to learn of his desire to show as little emotion or need to react to the whipping as possible.
Another excellent chapter and continuation how Smiley has used each chapter for different means of getting we readers a wide range of information about the Langdon family.