Happy July! Happy Independence Day!!
I love summer and July is one of my favorite months as the weather heats up and I get to be lazy and read on the patio swing with my dog. My ankles are healing and my son (who just broke his ankle) does not have to have surgery so we just plan to chill and relax this month. Phew! This month's Minnesota Author in the Spotlight is Sarah Stonich and she has written the perfect book for summer. I can't wait to delve into the pages of Vacationland.
Sarah Stonich has written the four books highlighted below, each with a synopsis from Goodreads.
On a lake in northernmost Minnesota, you might find Naledi Lodge—only two cabins still standing, its pathways now trodden mostly by memories. And there you might meet Meg, or the ghost of the girl she was, growing up under her grandfather’s care in a world apart and a lifetime ago. Now an artist, Meg paints images “reflected across the mirrors of memory and water,” much as the linked stories of Vacationland cast shimmering spells across distance and time.
Those whose paths have crossed at Naledi inhabit Vacationland: a man from nearby Hatchet Inlet who knew Meg back when, a Sarajevo refugee sponsored by two parishes who can’t afford “their own refugee,” aged sisters traveling to fulfill a fateful pact once made at the resort, a philandering ad man, a lonely Ojibwe stonemason, and a haiku-spouting girl rescued from a bog.
Sarah Stonich, whose work has been described as “unexpected and moving” by the Chicago Tribune and “a well-paced feast” by the Los Angeles Times, weaves these tales of love and loss, heartbreak and redemption into a rich novel of interconnected and disjointed lives. Vacationland is a moving portrait of a place—at once timeless and of the moment, composed of conflicting dreams and shared experience—and of the woman bound to it by legacy and sometimes longing, but not necessarily by choice.
"One midnight when I was about sixteen and watching the late movie with Dad, I started to nod off.
He rocked my shoulder. “Listenup,” he said, pointing to the screen. I propped up to peer past the bowl of old maids to see Mr. O’Hara, redder than usual, lecturing Scarlett.
“'. . . land is the only thing in the world worth workin’ for, worth fi ghtin’ for, worth dying for, because land is the only thing that lasts!'"
Sarah Stonich’s family had once owned land—an island in Lake Vermilion that was lost after the Depression—and while her father still managed to give his daughters the quintessential Minnesota cabin experience, it was on a patch of leased land.
Long after her father passed away, a newly divorced Stonich fi nds herself yearning for a piece of land to call her own, that perfect spot on a lake, tall pines, a sense of permanence, a legacy for her son, and a connection to her paternal heritage.
“Perfect” turns out to be roadless, raw wilderness near where her immigrant grandparents settled a century before and where the family name is now a postscript. Stonich recalls stories of her relatives, meets admirable and remarkable characters in the community, considers another go at love, and, finally, builds a small cabin. But when “progress” threatens to slice her precious patch of land in half, she must come to terms with the fact that a family legacy is no less valuable with or without a piece of earth.
The Ice Chorus:
Falling in love unexpectedly during an archaeological dig in Mexico, Lisanne enters into a brief extramarital affair and subsequently travels to Ireland, where she explores devastating secrets that she has discovered about her beloved late father.
These Granite Islands:
Now in paperback: one of the most highly acclaimed literary debuts of recent seasons -- a tale of love, loss, and friendship that magically recalls one fateful Midwestern summer in 1936.
This month you can expect a book review of Vacationland, a contest, a author interview and a guest post by Sarah. You can find more information about Sarah Stonich and her books, including some pretty cool book trailers at her website: http://www.sarahstonich.com/
Have a great month and enjoy your summer reading. Stop by soon.