South of Superior - Ellen Airgood
When Madeline Stone walks away from Chicago and moves five hundred miles north to the coast of Lake Superior, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, she isn’t prepared for how much her life will change.
Charged with caring for an aging family friend, Madeline finds herself in the middle of beautiful nowhere with Gladys and Arbutus, two octogenarian sisters-one sharp and stubborn, the other sweeter than sunshine. As Madeline begins to experience the ways of the small, tight-knit town, she is drawn into the lives and dramas of its residents. It’s a place where times are tough and debts run deep, but friendship, community, and compassion run deeper. As the story hurtles along-featuring a lost child, a dashed love, a car accident, a wedding, a fire, and a romantic reunion-Gladys, Arbutus, and the rest of the town teach Madeline more about life, love, and goodwill than she’s learned in a lifetime.
I have to say right off the bat, this author did an amazing job at pegging people's personalities. Not just those who are from a large city (which is easy) but those who are from smaller towns and rural communities. Not every author can really get them all to be so different and accurate to what real life is like so for that reason alone, this is a fascinating read.
But the story is just really great. I really liked Madeline's character because she's very much like someone I know and love because of her really irritating quality of seeing everything in one perspective. She wants to hold a grudge against her grandfather, who in her eyes, abandoned her when she was a child. What she doesn't know or see is that he had a lot of other commitments and challenges that took precedent over a child who would likely have a better life somewhere else. So in his eyes, he made the right decision even if he doubted himself. To Madeline though, it was an unforgivable act. I think lots of people are like that though, aren't they? They don't always take in all of the different reasoning's a person did what they did, they only look at how it affected them.
What I also really liked was how this author really showed the importance of community. I think, especially now, we've moved far away from the mentality that we're a community and we help each other out, regardless of how someone got to be less fortunate. Whether they are just down on their luck or a town drunk, they still need to eat and feel a sense of belonging. And think about your own life- when was the last time you brought a dinner to a neighbor just because? Probably never. Why not? Because they would be suspicious and think you've lost it? That's sad. It's sad that society has moved from that when it really seems we'd all be better off to go backwards in some sense.
So I have to say- I really enjoyed this book. A lot. It was really a good story that made me think about changing a few things in my own life and just being more selfless towards others. I like to think I am already but there is always room for improvement. I might not have a lot but I have more than some and I could (and should) be doing more for others. So I'm making it a priority. But nonetheless, I highly recommend this book and I don't think you'll regret it.
Check out what other tour stops had to say HERE, check out the author's webpage (which is pretty interesting) HERE, and her Facebook HERE.