Tin Camp Road
by Airgood, Ellen

When they are evicted from their home on Lake Superior, and a dangerous incident threatens to separate them, Laurel Hill and her precocious daughter Skye, who have always been each other's everything, must decide whether or not to embrace the wildness and emptiness that has defined them.

Michigan's Upper Peninsula, viewed through the lens of lifetime Yooper Laurel and her bright young daughter Skye, is a place of natural wonder, family history, community ties, and the hardship that comes along with the constraints of small, weather-beaten towns that become heaven-on-earth for a few fleeting weeks a year. Laurel is raising Skye alone, having chosen to nurture family rather than stretching her own wings and flying downstate for better jobs and opportunity. It's a choice she is secure in until blow after blow-death, financial uncertainty, unstable housing-leave her questioning whether it's time to throw in the towel and relocate Skye to a place where her talents can really shine. Airgood's characters feel true and rich, outwardly simple-the hardworking, salt-of-the-earth types found in every community-but internally complex as they strive for happiness, connection, fulfillment, and comfort in each other, their surroundings, and themselves. A leisurely read with a strong sense of place that is ideal for pairing with the stony beaches of Lake Superior or the sharp crackle of a campfire, or for experiencing the shift in atmosphere reading fiction provides. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

On Michigan's Upper Peninsula, a hardworking single mom turns just-about-nothing into a rich life for her 10-year-old daughter. As Airgood's fourth novel opens, Laurel Hill has to work an extra shift at the motel where she cleans rooms, disrupting plans to watch the Perseid meteor shower with her young daughter, Skye, who is home alone waiting-an ongoing situation which will have grave consequences later in the story. Laurel is from a local family with deep roots in the fictional but archetypal small town of Gallion on Lake Superior, but her musician mother lost the homestead where Laurel grew up to the bank. Now that place is being run by another couple as a B&B, and the threadbare life Laurel has made for herself and her daughter cleaning toilets and living in a bleak one-room rental is about to give way. Perhaps Laurel's grit, optimism, and refusal to take help from others make her a bit of a cliche, and perhaps Skye is the most perfect 10-year-old that ever lived-none of that will stop most readers from falling in love with them. And they are hardly the only characters with problems. Laurel's lifelong best friend is in an abusive relationship, her ex-boyfriend is a veteran with PTSD, a new friend has lost both a daughter and a granddaughter, a wealthier woman's marriage falls apart after her husband has brain surgery. "Better times are just around the corner," Laurel brightly assures her daughter. "Have you ever noticed how you always say that," replies Skye, "but then the corner moves?" The corner will move many more times as their story unfolds. Late in the novel, a well-meaning schoolteacher tries to convince Laurel not to move yet again, telling her "you are her home." That's nice, thinks Laurel, but this woman "had no idea what it was like, being them." Fortunately, Airgood does. An affecting portrait of the region and its residents, filled with love and pride. Copyright Kirkus 2021 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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