Star Tribune: Ice-Out

By Trisha Collopy
Star Tribune

Ice-Out (Mary Casanova)Owen Jensen has big dreams growing up in tiny Ranier, Minn., near the Canadian border. He wants to open the town’s first Studebaker dealership, support his mom and younger siblings and win the hand of his girlfriend, Sadie Rose.

But in the lawless 1920s, few paths are open to young men in his town, other than farming, fishing and bootlegging. When Owen is drawn into a deal with the local saloon owner, he finds himself in over his head, with debts too big to repay.

Mary Casanova has a sure touch when she describes the laconic exchanges between neighbors, the skin-burning cold of a Minnesota winter or the deadly consequences of misjudging an icy road. In one haunting passage, she describes a wolf pack: “A single melancholy voice threaded through the air. Then another wolf joined in, deep as a cello.”

Readers will be rooting for Owen to find a path forward at a time when the police were sometimes as dangerous as the criminals they chased down.

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