Publisher: She Writes Press (September 8, 2020)
Praise for THE BEST PART OF US
“Sally Cole-Misch’s novel is a lush and lovely homage to the natural places where her protagonist grew up. . . . The plot spanning past and present kept me enthralled and engaged throughout my reading of this exceptionally good book. The Best Part of Us is most highly recommended.” --Readers’ Favorite
“This is not just storytelling, it’s a lived experience. Sally’s description of the cold, crystal waters and magnificent landscape of the North Country is so vivid I feel as though I paid it a visit. The story’s depth and vivid characterization are unforgettable. At a time when we seem to have lost our way in navigating the human relationship with place, Sally has provided a true compass to help us find home. ” --Dave Dempsey, 2009 Michigan Author of the Year, author of ten books and renowned Great Lakes environmental policy expert
“With exquisite descriptions of Canadian lake and forest country and the Ojibway life rooted there, Cole-Misch expertly weaves the elements of those differing cultures, fraught but tightly bound family relationships, young love, old love, and the wonder of coming of age—at every age—into a luminous novel. The Best Part of Us is a beautiful story that will keep you up reading, and then keep you company for a long time afterward.” --Barbara Stark-Nemon, award-winning author of Even in Darkness and Hard Cider
“A story so evocative you can smell the lake and hear the loons. . . . The Best Part of Us draws in lyrical strokes the many shades of grief and the healing magic of place.” --Jenni Ogden, bestselling author of A Drop in the Ocean
“Place plays a key role in this novel, with an island in northern Ontario lovingly observed through the eyes of our protagonist, Beth. Troubles come in the form of her family’s attachment to the land and issues around who rightfully owns it—their Welsh ancestors or the Native peoples of earlier times—and the book raises and explores these important, contemporary questions with care and sensitivity. Their resolution is complicated—at once hopeful and messy, like all imperfect decisions. The Best Part of Us is a lovely, engrossing book about place, family, history, and cultural sensitivity.” --Angela Pneuman, award-winning author of Home Remedies and Lay It on My Heart
But that bond was threatened and then torn apart, first as rights to their island were questioned and then by nature itself, and the family was forced to leave. Fourteen years later, Beth has created a new life in urban Chicago. There, she’s erected a solid barrier between the past and present, no matter how much it costs—until her grandfather asks her to return to the island to determine its fate. Will she choose to preserve who she has become, or risk everything to discover if what was lost still remains?
The Best Part of Us will immerse readers in a breathtaking natural world, a fresh perspective on loyalty, and an exquisite ode to the essential roles that family, nature, and place hold in all of our lives.
My review: 4 stars The Best Part of Us took me back to my childhood in the best of ways. My family spent 2-3 weeks each year in Northern Wisconsin. While we didn't have our own cabin (we always rented), we did have a boat. To this day, some of my favorite memories are of being on a lake at night, looking up at the brilliant night sky full of bright stars, and listening to the cries of the loons and bullfrogs. This was a story full of heart, and both heartbreak and redemption. Beth was a likeable, exuberant young girl who didn't always seem to grasp the dynamics of her family. Her husband was supportive, and without giving too much away, I'll just say that I was very satisfied with the ending. I also liked the way the story wove from current day to Beth's childhood and back again. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves nature, family dynamics, and a strong female lead with a lot of heart. Thank you to Sally Cole-Misch and She Writes Press for the advanced reader copy and the opportunity to review this stunning book.
Photo Credit: Susan Adams Photography
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