Monday, May 16, 2011

South of Superior by Ellen Airgood

South of Superior
Author: Ellen Airgood
Publisher: Riverhead
Expected Publication Date: June 9, 2011
Hardcover: 384 pages
Source: won from

My Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis (from 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. 

My Thoughts: With the start of summer just around the corner, this was a great book to set my mind to summer mode. This story follows Madeline from her life in Chicago to the Upper Penninsula of Michigan. She leaves a big city for a small town, where the nearest movie theater is 100 miles away and the busiest season is summer, when the town is flooded with tourists. Madeline moves here to learn more about her family history with a woman who was in a relationship with her grandfather and that woman's sister. Madeline helps to take care of them while learning about her family, the town, and herself.

I found the story to be interesting, just lacking in some places. I felt there were parts of the story that were missing or weren't fully explained, and while it didn't detract from the reading at all, I did feel like I was missing something. I also felt like there were a few too many characters introduced. I occasionally got characters mixed up or thought that I had never met certain characters, when they were introduced much earlier in the story. Other than that, I really enjoyed Ellen Airgood's story and would recommend to anyone looking for a summer read.


  1. Fab review! I love hearing your honest thoughts. I like the cover. I'll give it a try if I come across it but won't seek it out.

  2. Thanks for the review. When I saw the cover, I became hungry. Something about the tablecloth made me yearn for a picnic. I dislike it when a novel has too many characters, I really don't like having to backtrack to keep up with who's who. Thanks for your honest review.