Posted by / 03 November 2018 /

Stuck in Manistique #ourgoodlifebooklist

I was given this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Stuck in Manistique by Dennis Cuesta was a fun, first-time novel set in the Upper Peninsula (called the UP by locals) town of Manistique. I learned that the author and his wife were actually stuck in Manistique and this story was loosely based on that experience. I love to know what inspires an author!


From the Publisher:  

Near the midpoint of the Upper Peninsula, along a Lake Michigan bend of shore, is the town of Manistique, Michigan. Mark had never heard of Manistique before the death of his estranged aunt, but as the sole beneficiary of Vivian's estate, he travels there to settle her affairs. As Mark tours his aunt's house for the first time, the doorbell rings.

Days after graduating from medical school, Dr. Emily Davis drives north, struggling with her illicit rendezvous on Mackinac Island. She never makes it—on the highway near Manistique, her car collides with a deer, shattering the car's windshield. Stranded for the night, Emily is directed to a nearby bed and breakfast.

Maybe it's a heady reaction, the revelation that his aunt, an international aid doctor, ran a bed and breakfast in retirement. Or perhaps he plainly feels pity for the young, helpless doctor. Regardless, Mark decides to play host for one night, telling Emily that he's merely stepping in temporarily while his aunt is away.

As a one-night stay turns into another and more guests arrive, the ersatz innkeeper steadily loses control of his story. And though Emily opens up to Mark, she has trouble explaining the middle-aged man who unexpectedly arrives at the doorstep looking for her. 
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Will these two strangers, holding on to unraveling secrets, remain in town long enough to discover the connection between them?

I thought the author did a credible job creating the lives and personalities of the characters. The town locals are a lot like the folks where I grew up and I felt that the author knew some small town people himself.  There was some local history, plot twists and heavy description (which I love.)  

The novel seemed slow at times, but so does living in a small town, which I felt the book reflected. I felt the characters had depth, especially Bear Foot and George.  Mark, the main character along with Emily, had some growing up to do.  Both were a bit shallow minded (Mark and his determination to remain single and Emily, having an affair with a married doctor) but I felt they "grew" during the span of the novel.

The editor may have let this book release a bit too early.  I felt like I was reading a strong third draft and that the book was "getting there" but still needed to tweak some word choices and bring the characters into focus. I loved the humor. I actually could have read even more of it.

I would recommend this as a good read, and, as a Hallmark movie!

If you are interested in purchasing this book, use the link below. I will make a small commission which helps keep this blog going!  Thank you!

Stuck in Manistique
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