South of Superior

South of Superior

by Ellen Airgood
4.0 40


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South of Superior 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Gladys Hanson sends a sympathy card to Madeline Stone following the death of Emmy the woman who raised the latter. Madeline's biological mother Jackie abandoned her when she was two years old and her late maternal grandfather Joe refused to raise her. Gloria also invites Madeline to move from Chicago to McAllister, Michigan to help her with her arthritic ailing sister Arbitus "Butte". Although Gladys was Joe's paramour, Madeline accepts leaving her job and boyfriend behind. Gladys proves unfriendly, but Butte makes her feel at home. At the general store, Madeline meets pizza parlor owner Paul Garceau who also cooks at the nearby prison. The sisters argue over seeing the mothballed Hotel Leppinen they own as they have no money. Gladys sends Madeline to the hotel to get something. Madeline loves the hotel and thinks of possibilities. She goes to the pizza shop and asks for a waitressing job. Paul hires her. Gladys is upset but Butte is pleased with Madeline obtaining a job. Single mom Randi dumps Grey on Madeline at the pizza shop, but fails to return. Madeline takes Grey home with her. Later Madeline learns from Mary about her Great Uncle Walter who lives in a home for simple minded people; she visits him. As Madeline tries to renovate the hotel, she angers seemingly everyone except Butte; so considers leaving. The key ensemble cast especially the heroine, her "great-aunts" and to a lesser degree her beloved is all developed while a sense of being in Michigan is a key element that anchors the plot. The reason Paul becomes angry with Madeline seems weak though critical. Still readers will enjoy South of Superior, as Madeline and the audience learn what family means. Harriet Klausner
millstreetreader More than 1 year ago
If your mother had abandoned you in a soup kitchen at age three and your grandfather had refused to raise you, what kind of adult would you be? How would you react when years after your grandfather's death, a stranger asks if you'd be interested in relocating to the isolated village where your he had made his home? Would a deep hidden anger and yearning for answers prompt you to leave behind a sophisticated fiance and the bustle of Chicago for a life as uncertain as the weather on the greatest of all lakes? Author Airgood has created a town peopled with strong, but flawed characters, each one adding to Madeline's unfolding understanding of her heritage and her future. Ellen Airgood's small town has outlived the grandeur of the mining and logging days, just as the real small towns that dot the UP's shoreline. You won't find the opulence of earlier times, but you'll find that "sisu" (Finnish for courage) still abounds. This book will offer much for book clubs to discuss, and as someone for whom Lake Superior has an almost mystical pull, South of Superior has demanded that I make yet one more trip to its shores.
K Reeve More than 1 year ago
Remeniscent of the old TV show Northern Exposures, South of Superior is a tall drink of ice cold lemonade in an eccentric forgotten town where its inhabitants share a peculiar brand of small town love and devotion. Amazing read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have not finished this book yet, but wish I could sit down and do nothing else but read. Having spent time "south of Superior" growing up, I have some insight into the area and its history. That said, you do not need any prior knowledge to enjoy and appreciate this book. Well-written with multi-layered/faceted characters, I love how the storyline is evolving. Worth spending time with!
VirtuousWomanKF More than 1 year ago
Sit back, relax and enjoy a sweet story for a great summer read. This past week, my husband and I went to Grand Marais, Minnesota, along Lake Superior for a relaxing vacation. I had seen this novel and decided that it was a perfect time to read, South of Superior by Ellen Airgood. The setting for this novel is much like the atmosphere and countryside of where we were staying. It is a beautiful place with the back drop of Lake Superior. I was very surprised at the slow the pace of life and how few tourists invaded their local. Such is the story of "South of Superior." The novel is a little slow and off beat but very true to the area that it is written about. The locals are friendly, caring and reliable. Richness in friendships is the wealth they rely upon and one to be most treasured. Sit back, relax and enjoy a sweet story for a great summer read.
jessinvab More than 1 year ago
Fantastic summer read. The characters are perfect for their flaws and failures, and the cast of supporting quirky characters are loveable. I loved every second and was sad that the book had to end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i adore this book. Wonderful bonds between the characters. Great story about hardships and getting thru struggles. Waiting for the next book by this new author.
donnareads911 More than 1 year ago
Engaging. Set in Michigan, comes a story of Madeline, alone in the world and making her way back to this simple, very "old school" town, to care for an ailing friend. Yawn! Didn't think this would hold my attention,however the characters grow on you and reel you in. This is such a simple but warm and fullsome book. I didn't want the story to end. And for sure, I want more from this author!
AmeG More than 1 year ago
Ellen is the kid sister of my best friend from high school, and so I bought this book to be "supportive." I began reading and found that I could not put it down. It was a wonderful surprise that the characters were solid and the story was compelling. I got involved with the story and the characters and really ended up caring what happened. Ellen's style is light and respectful, and I can see how the experience she has as the owner of a diner has made it's mark on her writing. She didn't press her characters to do things but allowed them to make their own decisions. She didn't judge. Her characters and story developed and blossomed in their own time, and the story was not too short or too long. I would highly recommend reading!
mjmutch More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed getting to know all these characters and I am sorry the book is over. I am from the UP, so I had to read this. And I find it to be so true to the lives and interests and sheer difficulty of making a life in in the UP. Very well done.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a perfect summer read! An excellent book, and the author leaves us wanting a sequel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I lived in the UP for several years as a child and teenager, and my grandparents and their ancestors are from the UP, Swedes & Norwegians who came over to work as subsistence farmers and loggers in lumber camps, one of my own great-great-great grandmothers was a cook in a UP lumber camp, as Madeline's great-grandmother Ada Stone was. I enjoyed Madeline's detective work, in trying to learn more about her family. This book struck home to me on so many levels, I could picture people I knew acting like this, and I empathized with Madeline falling in love with Lake Superior. I brought this book with me on a recent camping trip, and could hardly put it down as I curled up in a chair by our campfire. If you grew up in small town America, you can appreciate this book. It was like a visit home to my beloved UP, for me . . . thank you to the author for a story that brings back so many memories. I kept trying to figure out where her fictitious towns would be, finally realized that McAllister was likely Grand Marais, and Crosscut with the prison was likely Newberry or Kinross, or both blended together. I liked the references to the Soo and other towns I knew. A lovely book that focuses on the wild north, and the meaning of family. Highly recommended.
MIJul More than 1 year ago
Just finished reading this on my Nook from my library and am now ordering it to have in hardcover. I live in Michigan where this story takes place which made it even more interesting. I could easily picture where the story was taking place. That said, it was a great story, totally kept my interest and I had some late nights reading "just one more chapter" to see what happened next, how a particular issue was resolved and to see who ended up where and with who. I'll be reading it again for sure.
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dto More than 1 year ago
Yes, I read the book start to finish, it is my habit to never quit, always hoping that it will get better. Sadly this one did not. I bought it because of the locale of the story line. Author did do well drawing the reader to the location and giving a great sense of reality to the location. But just not the book for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Decent story, okay characters....they weren't good enough to love or hate. It was honestly....just plain boring. I will neber buy another of this author's slow moving books. There's just no story there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a nice book to sit back and relax with. It makes you appreciate the little things. I look forward to her writing another book.
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Airgood provides an good sense of place and a generally interesting story. However, characters and plot are too often superficial and implausible.
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