Because I’m not currently a Michigan resident, nor near the Great Lake State, I find myself noticing all things Michigan. License plates. People at the gym wearing Michigan State gear. This book title caught my eye too as I hoped it would be about Michigan: South of Superior. It’s one of my favorite lakes and also the setting for this fictional tale set in a tiny community in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The locals are all folks that would quickly become dear to your heart. Old and fiesty. Young and courageous. Fighting for their small town way of life and the hardships of local businesses. Respecting the magnificent lake that borders their community and the harsh winters of up north living. Looking out for each other and becoming stronger for it.
This is the first novel by Ellen Airgood, who runs a diner in Grand Marais, Michigan. You can feel her devotion for Michigan, its beauty and its residents. Her characters may be fictional, but many of them contain pieces of real Michiganders. I’m guessing that includes herself as she and her husband work countless hours together waiting tables and keeping up with broken equipment, a lot like Paul Garceau in the story. I can only imagine the number of tourists that she’s served and the stories she has served. Even in our fast-paced world, there is satisfaction in a job well done.
I’m a writer, a baker, and a diner owner. Also a voracious reader. I like winter and the color red. I love to walk, sled, and snowshoe. I love big skies. I like almost every kind of food I’ve ever run into, and I LOVE: apple pie, fried eggs, spinach, salmon, lemon anything, broccoli, butter, whole milk, Snickers bars, and Irish oatmeal.
Sounds like she’d be a great friend. Reading books about hard-working Michigan folks, fiction or otherwise, makes you proud of your heritage. Perhaps you’ll find this good read at your local library or bookstore. (I hope you’ll especially love the attic room with great views of Lake Superior.)
I’m on the lookout for other Michigan literature. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.