Synopses & Reviews
Welcome to the resort town of Weneshkeen, nestled along Michigan’s Gold Coast, where the sapphire-blue Lake Meenigeesis and the winding Oh-John-Ninny River lie within spitting distance of Lake Michigan. This once-quaint village–home of the yearly Sumac Days festival; a legendary bootlegger’s mansion; and excellent locally made sausage, cherry pie, and fudge–has become a complex melting pot. There are townies and old-timers who still inhabit the simpler cottages along the shore; ritzy summer folk who’ve bought up the best lakefront and built view-blocking estates; migrant cherry pickers and wily river guides; there are even a few Ojibwe Indians still around.
It is the summer of 2001, and one of these “original people,” Roger Drinkwater, a ’Nam vet and lifelong resident, is plotting extra-legal revenge against the “idiot boy” jet-skiers polluting his beloved lake, even as he’s pursuing Janey Struska, the take-no-guff deputy sheriff. Mean-while, Mark Starkey, a summer kid from downstate, stumbles into a danger-laced romance with the sexiest rich girl in town; the old-guard cherry farmer “Von” vonBushberger struggles with the legacy of his rapidly changing family; and the town’s retired reverend discovers the Internet in the aftermath of his wife’s death and finds a new friend in his computer tutor, Kimmy, a teenager who is having a challenging summer of her own. These lives intertwine in surprising ways as the summer blooms, becoming a season of crises both actual and averted, and of rewarding human connection. Finally, The Lake, the River & the Other Lake is a moving testament to the homegrown Midwestern view that most people, when really pressed, will do the right thing.
Steve Amick himself is a delightful discovery; his big heart and gift for social comedy are everywhere evident in this novel of good people trying to find their way.
From the Hardcover edition.
The resort town of Weneshkeen, nestled along Michigans Gold Coast, has become a complex melting pot: townies and old timers mix with ritzy summer folk, migrant cherry pickers, wily river guides, and a few Ojibwe Indians. As the summer blooms, these lives mingle in surprising ways-a lifelong resident and Vietnam Vet pursues the take-no-guff deputy sheriff, while plotting revenge against the jet-skiers polluting his beloved lake; a summer kid from downstate stumbles into a romance with the sexiest rich girl in town; the towns retired reverend discovers the Internet and a new friend in his computer tutor. A resonant social comedy with richly-drawn characters and quirky charm, The Lake, the River & the Other Lake welcomes you into a world that you may never want to leave.
About the Author
Steve Amicks short fiction has appeared in McSweeneys, The Southern Review, The New England Review, Playboy, Story, the anthology The Sound of Writing, and on National Public Radio. He has an MFA from George Mason University and has been a college instructor, playwright, copywriter, songwriter, and musician. He lives in Michigan, dividing his time between his hometown, Ann Arbor, and a family cottage on a famously clear lake along the northern edge of the Lower Peninsula.