Stuck in Manistique by Dennis Cuesta
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Disclaimer: As a member of NetGalley, I received this galley in exchange for an honest review.
Part 1: From The Book Cover
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 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 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.
Will these two strangers, holding on to unraveling secrets, remain in town long enough to discover the connection between them?
Part 2: Recommendation
I love reading stories set in small towns for a number of reasons and this book delivers: slower pace of the locals vs the hurried pace of visitors, there's only one place to get pies, everybody knows everybody, quaint houses, quiet neighborhoods and the list goes on.
I'm not exactly sure how I feel about this book in it's entirety but I gave it 4 stars for the simple fact that I felt as overwhelmed and disorganized as Mark was upon first arriving at the Manistique Victorian and all these people arriving at his doorstep looking for a room to stay the night. That was quite funny to read as the story unfolds, at least until he got his bearings. Mark, Emily and George are easy to connect to but as for Bear Foot, Yvonne, Peter, Dr. Bulcher, and Dr. Olsen were okay as their presence in the book is required to move the story forward.
I like seeing Emily's character grow some back bone as well as seeing Mark try and work through his phobia and seeing a glimpse of Dr. Olsen in one of the last few chapters of the book. Too bad, that conversation wasn't included.
With the way things ended with Laura (George's niece), Dr. Currant, Mark and Emily, I feel like there's going to be a sequel (maybe?). I sure hope so as I would love to come back to Manistique and catch up with Mark, Emily, Laura and Dr. Currant. Definitely worth reading if you enjoy small towns.
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