Ellen Airgood’s debut novel South of Superior introduces us to Madeline Stone, a nondescript heroine whose struggles range from the everyday to the tragic. It is her universality that makes this book appeal to so many. She could be any one of us, which makes this book the perfect pick for women’s book clubs. Some of the plot elements seem a little forced but the emotion, that of a woman feeling overwhelmed by life’s obstacles, is very real. Set against the harsh yet majestic wilderness surrounding Lake Superior, the town of McAllaster breeds residents that are tough, enduring, and a real community. Through enduring struggles with these remarkable people, Madeline comes to realize the real value of hard work and how to be truly rich.
For the ladies’ book clubs out there:
– How do Madeline’s priorities change through the book? Why do you think this happens?
– Madeline is initially critical of Randi as a mother. What do you think?
– Madeline moves to McAllaster to find out more about her family. Do you think she is happy with what she finds? How does it impact her own journey?
– What do you think of Gladys and Arbutus’ relationship?
– What does the hotel represent for the various characters in the book? Is it the same for each of them?
– There are a lot of strong, albeit flawed, female characters in South of Superior. Who did you relate to most?
Find out about the real-life inspiration for McAllaster and its cast of characters at Ellen Airgood’s website.