Laurentian Divide

LAURENTIAN DIVIDE

Northern Trilogy Series - Book Two


Bitter winters are nothing new in Hatchet Inlet, hard up against the ridge of the Laurentian Divide, but the advent of spring can’t thaw the community’s collective grief, lingering since a senseless tragedy the previous fall. What is different this year is what’s missing: Rauri Paar, the last private landowner in the Reserve, whose annual emergence from his remote iced-in islands marks the beginning of spring and the promise of a kinder season.

In the second volume of her Northern Trilogy, Sarah Stonich reassembles characters that endeared Vacationland to so many readers: retired union miner and widower Alpo Lahti is about to wed his charming and lively bride,

more …

Bitter winters are nothing new in Hatchet Inlet, hard up against the ridge of the Laurentian Divide, but the advent of spring can’t thaw the community’s collective grief, lingering since a senseless tragedy the previous fall. What is different this year is what’s missing: Rauri Paar, the last private landowner in the Reserve, whose annual emergence from his remote iced-in islands marks the beginning of spring and the promise of a kinder season.

In the second volume of her Northern Trilogy, Sarah Stonich reassembles characters that endeared Vacationland to so many readers: retired union miner and widower Alpo Lahti is about to wed his charming and lively bride, Sissy Pavola, but, with Rauri unaccounted for, celebration seems premature. Alpo’s son Pete struggles to find his straight and narrow, then struggles to stay on it, and even Sissy might be having second thoughts.

less …
  • University of Minnesota Press
  • Hardcover
  • September 2018
  • 272 Pages
  • 9781517905620

Buy the Book

$22.95

indies Bookstore indies Bookstore

About Sarah Stonich

Sarah StonichSarah Stonich is the best-selling author of These Granite Islands (Minnesota, 2013), which has been translated into seven languages and shortlisted for France’s Grand Prix des Lectrices de Elle; the critically acclaimed novel The Ice Chorus; and a memoir, Shelter: Off the Grid in the Mostly Magnetic North (Minnesota, 2017). Her novel-in-stories, Vacationland (Minnesota, 2013), is the first volume in her Northern Trilogy, followed by Laurentian Divide. The founder of WordStalkers.com, she lives on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis.

Author Website

Praise

“Hilarious, smart, moving and kind, Laurentian Divide is good for the soul, or anyway, it was good for mine.”Richard Russo

“There aren’t many writers on the planet who can take a reader’s heart apart and put it back together again with the sureness of Sarah Stonich, who does exactly that over and over again in Laurentian Divide, her best yet. Funny and wise in equal measure, here’s a novel for everyone. What a treasure.”Peter Geye, author of Wintering

“With seamless grace, Sarah Stonich has again woven the towering majesty of Minnesota’s Arrowhead Country with the endearing miscellany of its denizens, creating a tapestry both elegant and earthy. Here, reader, are joy and artistry.”Faith Sullivan, author of Good Night, Mr. Wodehouse

Laurentian Divide is rich, funny, and overflowing with life—Sarah Stonich at the top of her powers.”Will Weaver, author of Sweet Land

“With a nimble hand and wry voice, Sarah Stonich pilots this generous tale—incisive, musical, and spiced with pungent observation so that Laurentian Divide becomes the best sort of trip.”Leif Enger, author of Peace Like a River and Virgil Wander

Discussion Questions

1. Fictional Hatchet Inlet is an isolated community. What about the place rang true (or false) for you? If you are city dweller, did the book change your perceptions of small-town dynamics?

2. The author touches on the daily concerns of dealing with aging parents, troublesome adult children, career decisions, and regrets. Have any been a personal concern for you?

3. The author uses the unknown circumstances of one character to propel thoughts and actions of others. Did you speculate over Rauri’s fate along with these characters?

4. The geological Laurentian Divide is used both geographically and metaphorically in this story. What would you identify as divisions or disagreements among these characters?

5. Did the cover of this book fit the story?

6. What was your favorite quote or scene from the book? Why was it meaningful?

7. If you were making a movie of this book, who would you cast in protagonists’ roles?

8. Weighty topics of grief, addiction, sex, and dementia are approached with humor in this book. Did the author also regard such topics with their due regard?

9. Though the abuse in Pete’s past is unearthed, it remains buried to his loved ones. Should he keep his history private? What if any outcomes might have shifted if he’d spoken up?

10. This novel is very place-based. How well do you think the author built the world in the book?

11. Each of main characters takes their turn chapter-by-chapter until nearly the end, when the three converge. What did you think of this structure?

12. Some authors address current social and environmental issues or politics in their work. Should fiction authors’ goals be to merely entertain, or is it okay to have a message?

13. If you were to host a dinner around this story, what would be on the menu?

14. Did this book feel like the beginning of a larger story, or an ending?

15. If you could hear this same story from one of the secondary characters point of view, which would you choose?

16. This book is the second in a trilogy. Have you read the first volume, Vacationland? If so, how do the books compare? Will you look forward to the third book?

17. Would you consider posting a brief review or simply rating the novel on a book site or online retailer? Did you know that posting improves a books chances of reaching a broader audience?