Psychologist Adam Knowles, the novel's main character, worked in a clinic in the American Soo. When his Native American wife drowned in Lake Superior her loss became so painful he moved out of Michigan. As the book opens he has begun having dreams of his wife's death. He also receives a call from a fellow psychologist who works in the Soo clinic who askes Adam to return to the Soo and help his friend handle the growing list of patients experiencing dreams of people who drowned. It almost appears as if Superior is giving up its dead. Marine scientists are also reporting the lake is undergoing strange changes.
No matter how unlikely all this seems readers, in a matter of a few pages, will find they have waded too far into the book and are caught in an undertow that drags them into deeper and deeper water. You won't be able to come up for air until the last page of this inventive and haunting novel of Lake Superior.
Dead of November: A Novel of Lake Superior by Craig A. Brockman. Curve of the Earth Publishing, 2020, $19.95.
A most unexpected and fascinating piece by Deborah K. Frontiera tells the story of the formation of U. P. sandstone, most of which is told from the stone's point of view. Over the course of a million years and tons of pressure, the deposited sand became sandstone. In the 1800s it was mined and shipped to Calumet where the stone was used to build St. Anne's church. The sandstone has seen the church sold and turned into an antique shop. A few years later the building was bought with donations and with a state grant was beautifully restored and became the Keweenaw Heritage Center. Other works describe shipwrecks and heroic rescues, a tribute to a father, the descent of a mother into dementia, and the story of a U.P. deer camp.
There is a lot to enjoy in this fine collection of short works by a surprising abundance of very good writers found north of the Straits of Mackinac.
U.P. Reader: Bringing Upper Michigan Literature to the World, 4th Volume, Mikel B Classen editor. Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association, 2020, $16.95 pb.
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