South of Superior by Ellen Airgood – can I just start out by saying how sad I am that I’m finished reading it. Amazingly, this is the debut novel by this author and what a debut it is! It is a perfectly charming story that drew me into the lives of some special people living in a small town and living life. This novel really grabbed my heart and left me feeling warm and fuzzy. Who wouldn’t love a novel like that!
Madeline Stone is still reeling from the death of Emmy, the woman who had cared for her since she was a young girl. Even though she has been gone for more than a year Madeline is still at odds with her life. Emmy has cared for Madeline ever since Madeline had been left by her mother at three years old. She is lost without her. So when Gladys, who was once the girlfriend of Madeline’s grandfather whom she’s never met, writes to her and asks her to come out and care for her ailing sister Arbutus, Madeline thinks why not and packs up and heads out there. Sure she has some trepidations but her life in Chicago isn’t making her happy either so maybe a change will. Then there is the enticement of maybe finding out more about herself since this little town is where Madeline was born and where her real family comes from.
The people of the small town of McAllaster, located at the edge of Lake Superior have always been used to the hardships of life. They live each day and take life as it comes and they make due. Madeline is not used to this way of life but the longer she spends in McAllaster, the more involved she finds herself becoming in the town and the people who live in it and have lived in it for many generations. Then there is Arbutus who Madeline adores. Arbutus is such a sweet soul but then there is Gladys who is pretty much the opposite and there are many times that Madeline wonders why she had even wanted her there but she perseveres and eventually Madeline comes to see that there is more to Gladys than meets the eye.
As Madeline grows to love the town and it’s people and starts to learn more about her family she finds that she wants to stay. The longer she is there the more she finds that she is able to move forward with her life. She finds her heart captured by an old hotel, a young boy, and even a man. This town and it’s people have opened up Madeline’s heart again and she realizes she can live and love again. They have shown Madeline that being happy means more than just having money in your pocket or material things. Being happy can mean sitting out on the porch with a friend, eating a fresh peach, or simply being loved.
Obviously I loved this book. I found it so fresh and the people so real. Madeline was a wonderful character and so many of the others were so quirky and charming you couldn’t help but love them. I love how Madeline found herself and realized her dreams in this novel – it just felt so hopeful This is one of those novels that you don’t forget when you turn that last page. It’s still bringing a smile to my face to think of living in that sleepy little town myself and renovating an old hotel. This book will appeal to those who love a good story, one that will capture your heart and keep it throughout all the pages.
I read South of Superior by Ellen Airgood for her book tour with TLC Book Tours. Make sure to check out all the other tour stops here. You can find Ellen on her website and Facebook! As well you can purchase your very own copy of this wonderful book here in the US and here in Canada.
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My copy of South of Superior by Ellen Airgood was received for review from TLC Book Tours and the Publisher