I had first seen this book being reviewed by Sheila at One Person's Journey Through a World of Books and after reading her review I knew I wanted to read this book. I figured I would have to order it through Barnes & Noble like I normally do with books that aren't mass produced so I was pleasantly surprised when I received an email from the author asking me if I would like to review it. Needless to say I jumped at the chance and a few weeks later I'm sitting at my computer writing up a review.
Synopsis From The Back Cover:
Northeastern Minnesota - home to what may well be America's most unique national park - the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Over one million acres of unparalleled, primitive beauty, that to this day, remains unspoiled. A great roadless area where, hundreds of years ago, Native People and French voyageur alike, navigated over the innumerable lake and rivers, using the sky-blue waters as their free-spirited highways.
It is this remarkable place where Ray Maki has lived his entire life. For thirty-three years, Ray has been surrounded by old friend, strong family ties, and uncommon natural beauty. Ray feels blessed, and his life is a happy one... until one spring morning when Ray's easy-going existence is jeopardized by a series of unexpected events...events that will eventually test the limits of his character, and possibly bring an end to his rare way of life.
The one thing that struck me about this book was how much this area of Minnesota was one of the main characters in the book. I'm not from as far north as the setting of this book but I'm pretty darn close. My home town of Two Harbors sits right on the shore of Lake Superior and is only a hop, skip and a jump away from Superior National Forest (about 20 miles) and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area which is further north (about 75-85 miles). Reading this I felt like I was back home, sitting on my great-grandmother's porch enjoying being outside among the trees and lakes of Minnesota. There is no other spot on Earth that can compare to this area of the state and I miss it everyday. Reading this book brought me back there and I have been left with the feeling that I really, really want to go back home. The author captured the sights and sounds of the land perfectly and his genuine love for it comes through with every word he wrote.
This story at it's simplest is about a family and the land they love. It's about how one family through hard work and love built a life for themselves in some of the grandest scenery around.