Thursday, July 21, 2011
South of Superior, Ellen Airgood ~ Book Review
South of Superior was not a fluffy nor easy read. It was a bit of a heavy story of a woman, her family and extended family members, and an upheaval of her life - the second she experiences in a short window of time.
I truly enjoyed finishing this book. I also enjoyed reading it.
There were some sections that frustrated me, and I found myself wanting to skim. So I will start off by saying that I found it a little bit longer than it needed to be. And yet, at the same time, I'm not really sure what I would have cut out of it. I just know that it took me some time to get through certain parts as I felt like I was repeating parts of her journey.
That out of the way, it was a really enjoyable read. Our primary character, Madeline, is finding her way without the one woman who meant the most to her. Her mother figure gone, and her relationship feeling stagnant, Madeline gets the perfect opportunity to bail on life. On her day-to-day life, at least. But she relocates to help "family," and finds herself creating a new life of her own. No apartment, no job, no fiance' to depend on.
Madeline (sometimes I want to call her Maddie, but nobody does) takes on the role of assisting with care of Butte (Arbutus), an elderly woman who is like family to her extended family. That is going to make no sense, but between Butte and Gladys, Madeline is learning much about the ways of small town life. And while doing so she is learning much about herself, as well.
She learns about her tendency to jump to judgment. Her inability to truly grasp what sort of a world her ancestors grew up in. And yet she's trying. And we like her when she tries. We like her a lot. We're frustrated with her sometimes. But we're supposed to be. We're frustrated with Gladys, too. We just don't get it. We don't understand why Gladys keeps such secrets from Madeline. A woman who is there to help her, and seems to deserve much more than she is permitted. We question. We trust. We lose trust. We watch Madeline develop into someone who belongs. And that is what she, above all else, longs for. Longs to belong.
It sounds a little bit cheesy, doesn't it? But the book is not. Some of it may seem predictable (love interest - anyone?) but we can enjoy that just the same.
I'm glad I had the opportunity to read and review this book. Madeline's story was one that took me way beyond a setting I am familiar with, and I think that Ms. Airgood did well in describing and detailing the environment, and bringing us straight to it.
** I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review from TLC Book Tours. All opinions expressed are completely my own. There is an affiliate link in this post. **