Monday, October 3, 2011

South of Superior

I just finished reading South of Superior this weekend and now I miss it.  If you haven't already heard, it is the first novel from Ellen Airgood who runs the West Bay Diner with her husband in Grand Marais.  Not only is this story set in the U.P., it's the kind of story that is likely to have wide appeal.  I'm already creating a list of friends and relatives who live in far away places to whom I could give a copy for Christmas. 

The story revolves around two elderly sisters who have lived their entire lives in a small U.P. community, quite similar to Grand Marais.  One sister has had some serious health complications so the sisters have hired a younger, thirty-something woman from Chicago as a live-in caretaker.  This third woman has family ties to the area but has never before been to the U.P.  Though the novel stays closest to this younger woman's point of view, it is in many ways as much a story of the entire community as it is about her. 

One of the strengths is the sense of balance in this book.  The characters are all flawed, all make grievous mistakes.  Almost all have something likeable about them as well.  The pacing of events is just right.  The descriptions-- beautifully written.  The balance of story and character and setting--dead-on.

EM - Reference desk

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