A Spell on the Water

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University of Michigan Press, May 25, 2011 - Fiction - 240 pages
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"I couldn't put it down."
---Barbara Kingsolver

In 1955, Mary and Jim Leader have the American dream: careers in medicine; a young and healthy family; and even a vacation home---a shabby resort far from bustling Chicago. But one hot afternoon changes everything. Mary, now a widow, must find a path out of her grief into a future for herself and five small children.

In Michigan to sell the resort, Mary sees seven hawks riding the storm winds over the lake. This place, she thinks, can heal them with its wild beauty, so she moves her family to the northern lakeshore.

But Mary has forgotten what it's like to live in a tiny rural community, where almost everyone has a stake in maintaining the status quo. Secrets are kept at great cost as Mary's children often struggle to raise themselves. A coming-of-age story for each member of the family, this is a novel of quiet heroism and the power of personal freedom.

Praise for Marjorie Kowalski Cole and her previous novel, Correcting the Landscape:

". . . her writing is simple, vivid and gorgeous."
---Eugene Register-Guard

". . . a remarkable new talent. Critics have lined up to praise the book."
---Tucson Citizen

"Cole's style is subtle but engrossing . . . It is quite a debut."
---Booklist

Cover illustration: ŠiStockphoto.com/ImagineGolf

 

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Contents

Chapter 1
1
Chapter 2
11
Chapter 3
23
Chapter 4
30
Chapter 5
39
Chapter 6
47
Chapter 7
54
Chapter 8
62
Chapter 15
142
Chapter 16
152
Chapter 17
163
Chapter 18
173
Chapter 19
181
Chapter 20
191
Chapter 21
198
Chapter 22
208

Chapter 9
71
Chapter 10
82
Chapter 11
96
Chapter 12
110
Chapter 13
121
Chapter 14
133
Chapter 23
216
Chapter 24
220
Chapter 25
232
Acknowledgments
240
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Marjorie Kowalski Cole died in December 2009 at age 56. She was a prodigious writer, and her novel Correcting the Landscape won the 2004 Bellwether Prize, which honors socially and politically engaged fiction.

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