Star Tribune on Vacationland by Sarah Stonich

By Andrea Hoag
Star Tribune

Stonich_Vacationland coverIt’s the dead of winter in northernmost Minnesota and Meg’s dog Ilsa has just dragged a human hand into the house from the frozen tundra. Drop your kids at the mall, silence your iPhone and cozy into a chair, because Minneapolis author Sarah Stonich has you by the lapels, and honey, you’re not going anywhere.

“Vacationland” is a brilliant collection of linked stories centered around Naledi, a fictive northern Minnesota fishing resort long past its housewives-on-holiday heyday.

Naledi inherits in Stonich (“These Granite Islands”) a chronicler with storytelling gifts reminiscent of our most holy mother of the frozen north, Alice Munro. She has a similar flair for ferrying readers back in time for several pages, deepening our regard for a character, then softly dropping us back into the present without a moment’s confusion or jostling. She’s gentle that way.

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