'Laurentian Divide'

“Laurentian Divide” is a novel by Sarah Stonich. The book is published by the University of Minnesota Press, has a retail price of $22.95 for hardcover and ISBN of 978-1-5179-0562-0. “Laurentian Divide” was released last month.

“Laurentian Divide” is regional fiction, written by a Minnesota author of a fictional Iron Range town. Stonich’s family is from northern Minnesota and this novel shows the depth of her knowledge and understanding of the region.

“Laurentian Divide” is the second in the Northern Trilogy. The first book, “Vacationland,” was published in April 2013. This book was also published by the University of Minnesota Press, available in paperback for $16.95 and ISBN 978-0-8166-8766-4.

The third book, with the working title “Watershed,” is just beginning to be written and the publication date is yet undecided.

“Laurentian Divide” picks up where “Vacationland” left off in Hatchet Inlet, a fictional Iron Range community. With the winter turning to spring, the community waits for the appearance of Rauri Paar.

Paar lives on a set of islands he owns in a protected area, the Reserve, much like our Boundary Waters. Caught for decades in the middle of legal disputes, it has been decided that Paar owns the property until his death when it will complete the Reserve’s protected status.

The residents of Hatchet Inlet know it is officially the end of another long winter when Paar finds his way into town. But now, days after ice out, Paar is still not seen and residents begin to worry for his safety.

This is the mystery which weaves itself in and out of the lives of the people of Hatchet Inlet.

Each chapter focuses on the life of one resident. They come in and out of each other’s stories as you are introduced to each as an individual. The reader is pulled into the mind of each and show glimpses of their past while they navigate their present.

“Laurentian Divide” is set in our modern-day world and could be a picture of any of our area communities. While reading the book, you will recognize your neighbor, uncle and mother. You will also find remarks concerning the current state of affairs in Northern Minnesota and the United States.

“Laurentian Divide” is a very readable book. It is not overly exciting but more so, soothing. It is well written as the images jump off the page and remind us of our daily lives.

Stonich will be making an author presentation of “Laurentian Divide” Thursday, at noon, at the Virginia Public Library. The event is free, open to the public and will be held in the library’s basement auditorium.

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