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Guest review: South of Superior

June 23, 2011

I’m so glad to welcome my sister, Karen, back with one of her fabulous reviews.  I hope she’ll lend me the book, because after this review, I really want to read it!

Madeline Stone is going through the motions of her daily life in Chicago. It’s been more than a year since her beloved Emmy passed away.  Yet she is having trouble getting over her grief.  Emmy had raised Madeline since the age of three when her mother abandoned her in a church basement.  One day she receives a letter in the mail from Gladys Hansen, one time paramour of her estranged grandfather.   It’s a letter of condolence and a request for help, asking her to come live with her and her sister Arbutus.  Arbutus is crippled with arthritis and needs some help.   After just one meeting with the crusty Gladys and the very sweet Butte, Madeline leaves her former life behind and moves five hundred miles north to McAllaster, Michigan.  McAllaster, a tiny town on Lake Superior, is also where Madeline was born.

Paul Garceau headed north nine years ago, after a failed marriage, seeking to leave his past behind.  He ended up in McAllaster where he bought a pizzeria and works a second job just to make ends meet.

Will Madeline and Paul survive the harsh winters and hardscrabble life of northern Michigan?  Will Madeline forgive her grandfather for turning his back on her so many years ago?

South of Superior by Ellen Airgood is a heartwarming tale with a delightful cast of characters.  Madeline is one tough cookie so full of grit and determination.  Endearing Arbutus and the ever so vexatious Gladys are just two of the splendid senior characters you’ll fall in love with.  Perhaps my favorite character is little Greyson Hopkins who fiercely loves his less than perfect mother.  This very satisfying story is another one of those books that you’ll be thinking about long after you’ve finished it.  Add this book to your summer reading list.  Just reading about the cold, cold, cold Michigan winter will help cool you off during the miserably hot days of summer.

Review copy provided by Penguin Books.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
41 Comments leave one →
  1. June 23, 2011 8:53 am

    Thanks for a great review! I started reading this book a week or so ago but then got sucked into Story of Beautiful Girl (another heartwarming read). I’ll be back into the chapters of South of Superior as soon as I’m done with my June book club book.

    • June 23, 2011 8:54 am

      Oh and really like your comment about the cold, cold winter helping keep us Floridians cool while we read:)

  2. June 23, 2011 8:55 am

    Your sister should start her own blog! Her reviews are great! The characters sound fascinating.

  3. June 23, 2011 9:19 am

    This book reminds me of the relationship between Twiss and Milly in The Bird Sisters!

  4. June 23, 2011 9:29 am

    I have this book on my TBR pile, (ever growing, aren’t we lucky to be able to keep adding to it.) Thanks for a great review.

  5. June 23, 2011 9:38 am

    I love curmudgeonly characters, and this one sounds like it has a few, and any book that wards off the humidity we are having right now is one I want to read 🙂

  6. June 23, 2011 9:39 am

    What a great review! I’ve wanted this one since I first saw it; I love that the secondary characters add so much to the story, too. Let me double-check my Goodreads list to make certain I have it on my to-buy list!

  7. June 23, 2011 9:41 am

    Sounds really appealing and the cold, cold, cold comment has me. It’s anything but cold in my part of the country. I seem to be craving books about the Arctic these days. 🙂

  8. June 23, 2011 9:46 am

    This does sound heartwarming! Thanks for the review!

  9. June 23, 2011 10:14 am

    I really like books that feature people against the elements, so this one sounds very good to me, and I am adding it to my list. Glad to see you around these parts again, Karen! I just love your reviews!

  10. June 23, 2011 10:18 am

    This sounds like a fun read. Thanks for the review.
    Ann

  11. June 23, 2011 10:42 am

    Nice interview. Sounds like a lovely book to read this summer

  12. June 23, 2011 11:09 am

    Great Review – this is on my must read/wish list/hold list. I’m a Yooper wanna-be so when I heard this was set in the UP I was very excited!! (I always visit in the late summer so I have yet to experience a true UP winter!)

  13. June 23, 2011 11:33 am

    Terrific review. I’ve wanted to read this since I first saw it, now even more so. I love when your sister joins in.

  14. June 23, 2011 12:41 pm

    Sounds fabulous. Nicely done!

  15. June 23, 2011 12:55 pm

    I liked the review of this book, must add to my tbr pile.

  16. June 23, 2011 1:13 pm

    Oooh! Me too! Thank your sister for adding another one to my wish-list.

  17. June 23, 2011 1:22 pm

    Great review, but I’m not sure this book is for me. I mean the summer has begun, but the weater is lacking. It’s cold…brrrr and to read about a cold, cold, cold Michigan winter would not be very smart of me. I need some books where the people live in warm places or go on vacation. 😉

  18. June 23, 2011 1:31 pm

    Great review! I have this in my summer tbr pile. I will be sure to pull it out the next time it is hot and humid outside! The cold winter scenes will be a refreshing break.

  19. June 23, 2011 1:57 pm

    Karen picks some great books to read! This one definitely needs to be added to the wish list.

  20. Beth Hoffman permalink
    June 23, 2011 3:14 pm

    Terrific review. This book is charming; I loved the elderly characters.

  21. June 23, 2011 4:02 pm

    Oh I so want to read this one. Great review!
    2 Kids and Tired Books

  22. June 23, 2011 4:27 pm

    Thanks Karen! Good review! Now I need to add this one to that shopping trip I am planning to B & N on Saturday 🙂

  23. June 23, 2011 5:18 pm

    Oh, this sounds so good!

    I’m the only reader in my family…that’s why I blog.

  24. June 23, 2011 5:49 pm

    I have been reading about this book…it does sound really good…

  25. June 23, 2011 6:12 pm

    Hi Karen! My book review partner Sandra is reading this one and now I’m curious to know what she thinks of it since you liked it so much.

  26. June 23, 2011 6:28 pm

    I have had my eye on this one especially because I live in Michigan but more so because I love the U.P. I will find a copy to read soon!

  27. June 23, 2011 7:11 pm

    I’m glad that your sister loved this one so much! It was a refreshing read, perfect for the summer!

  28. June 23, 2011 8:33 pm

    Oh, I would really like to read this one. Luv your ending.

  29. June 23, 2011 10:36 pm

    So glad to see you liked this one so much! I’ll need to move this one up my TBR pile!

  30. June 23, 2011 11:17 pm

    Thanks for a great review Karen! I will be adding this to my TBR list. I do not have to imagine the cold, cold winter of MI, I live there.

  31. June 24, 2011 12:01 am

    Thank you for having sister Karen by for a review. I keep seeing this book, love the cover and now I believe it sounds charming. That TBR list is just growing…..hubby says I need to just keep reading books and stop reading blogs that make me want more….books!!

  32. Veens permalink
    June 24, 2011 3:54 am

    Lovely review! Sounds like a great book and by the way it is rainy season here in Mumbai 🙂

  33. June 24, 2011 1:10 pm

    What a great review. I love these guest spots.

  34. stacybuckeye permalink
    June 24, 2011 9:37 pm

    I was just looking over my challenge list today and saw that I need a book set in Michigan. This looks like a perfect choice 🙂

  35. June 24, 2011 9:45 pm

    Yay! I must look into this more. A Michigan setting is a big draw!

  36. June 24, 2011 11:48 pm

    I’m so glad to see this review on your blog! I reviewed the same book a few weeks ago, and I love it when any Michigan author gets a much-needed shout out.

    Tell Karen I said well done, and to lend you her copy, for goodness sake!

  37. June 26, 2011 7:05 am

    Get the copy and keep it! Great review from Karen and adding it to Wish list now.

  38. June 27, 2011 11:17 pm

    Thanks for the review Karen! Since I live on Lake Superior I am drawn to this book….I’m thinking I should suggest it to the book club!

  39. June 28, 2011 4:22 pm

    I love your sister’s guest reviews. She is always providing me with new books to add to my TBR list (and this one sounds perfect for summer too!). This post also reminds me that I should continue my sister’s guest posts! Since it is summer time she has been reading a lot of great books!

  40. July 7, 2011 11:12 pm

    I like it when your sister reviews! I really want to read this one.
    2 Kids and Tired Books

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