cover image The Long-Shining Waters

The Long-Shining Waters

Danielle Sosin, Milkweed (PGW, dist.), $24 (288p) ISBN 978-1-57131-083-5

Lake Superior proves to be more than a bucolic backdrop for Sosin's debut novel. It swallows fishing nets, boats, and even men, and shapes the lives of three women from different eras: Grey Rabbit, an Ojibwe woman following seasonal routes with her family in 1622 and struggling to feed her children; Berit Kleiven, who lives in a lonely cove with her husband, Gunnar, in 1902; and Nora Truneau, a Duluth bar owner who explores the lake in 2000 after a crisis. Grey Rabbit is troubled by dreams of her youngest son. After a harsh winter, even a full belly in the spring can't assuage her fears, and the arrival of goods from white civilization—the first her tribe has seen—feels ominous. Almost three centuries later, Berit and Gunnar enjoy a sexual reawakening after a miscarriage, and 100 years after that, the fire that destroys Nora's bar sends her to Superior's shores for solace. Like Grey Rabbit, she too is haunted by dreams and hopes that her journey will give her direction. Sosin writes sensuously detailed prose and distills the emotions of her characters into a profound and universal need for acceptance and love. (May)