South of Superior
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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.
A heartwarming novel, South of Superior explores the deep reward in caring for others, and shows how one who is poor in pocket can be rich in so many other ways, and how little it often takes to make someone happy.
am relaxed,” Paul said, drumming his fingers on the table, then jumping up to fiddle with the doohickey that controlled the blinds. It seemed sticky to him, maybe he could fix that. “Paul. Sit down.” Paul frowned but he did sit because even all these years later he was conditioned to obey when his mother spoke in a certain tone of voice. “What are your plans?” “What do you mean?” “You’re welcome here anytime, but—” “You’re not throwing me out, are you?” She put her hand over his to stop
of changing it. “I do wish I knew what to take to the potluck at church tomorrow night,” she said, pretending a fretfulness that Gladys knew perfectly well she did not feel. “I’d like to do something different. Something—fun!” Madeline visibly set aside her pique and focused on Arbutus. Gladys smiled to herself and went back to the paper. 18 The morning of the hearing dawned hazy and humid. “So today’s the day,” Madeline said glumly. “Yes,” Gladys said. Arbutus sighed. “This is no fun. I
Hill, I don’t believe you.” Arbutus shrugged. “Business is business.” Gladys stabbed a chunk of broccoli and ate it. Then she said, “It’ll never happen anyway. She’ll think better of it. It doesn’t make any more sense now than it ever did. She probably just forgot to withdraw that offer. She’s forgotten everything else—bills, candles, asking for permission to make herself at home in the hotel. You watch, next time you talk to Nathan it’ll be different.” “I don’t think so.” Arbutus applied
and sat down by her bed. When she woke up and saw him, she frowned. “You don’t have to come all the time, you know. You were just here, like, day before yesterday.” “It’s nice to see you, too. How are you doing?” “I’m great.” “You look good,” he said, but she just gazed at him as if he was an idiot. “I hope you can come home soon,” he tried, but that was wrong too because she wasn’t getting out anytime soon and they both knew it. “Yeah, I’ll bet.” “Don’t be stupid, of course I do.”
she drove south along the same route she’d traveled in April. They stopped at gas stations and fast-food places together, his sedan easing off the highway right behind her every time she pulled in somewhere. Madeline loved it. She’d accidentally acquired something like a father. It was evening when she pulled across the hose that made a bell clang at the service station. She climbed out, gazed at the red-winged Pegasus, the old Coke machine. Funny to think that in a way her journey had started