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Star Lake Saloon and Housekeeping Cottages: An Abridged Audiobook

3.27  ·  Rating Details ·  191 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
In this struggle to save the nostalgic landscape of northern Wisconsin, unlikely partnerships and new relationships lead to life-changing events for loveable Hannah Swann and all who surround her. Through this sometimes humorous, elegantly plotted adventure with its appealing characters and lyrical depictions of nature, Hannah encounters the inevitability of change—in hers ...more
Audio CD, Abridged, 0 pages
Published March 1st 2006 by University of Wisconsin Press (first published July 20th 2005)
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Feb 13, 2012 Erin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am giving this two stars because I loved the cover and the setting. I would love to stay in an old fashioned resort like this and enjoy the beauty of nature. I could not however believe the whiny bitch who was actually upset and annoyed to inherit this property from her uncle. She was also incredibly STUPID to believe the slick lawyer (who reminded her of her city type friends) who was gung-ho to relieve her of her dumpy (ahem multi-million dollar) property. Could anyone REALLY be that naive?? ...more
A Taste of the Northwoods

Star Lake Saloon and Housekeeping Cottages appealed to me for many reasons, not the least is that I happen to be the owner of a Northwoods Housekeeping resort and could relate to the main character, Hannah, on several levels. I enjoyed reading Sara Rath's descriptions of Star Lake, the broken down lodge and cabins, the look of the lake, the smell of the pines. She captures the essence of Northern Wisconsin beautifully. What troubled me about this story, however, is that
Aug 23, 2010 Ann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I first starting reading this book, I thought it would be a light summer read. However, this book was more than just a "chick lit" read--Sara Rath manages to tell the story of Hannah, who inherits her Uncle's resort in Northern Wisconsin and her struggle to decide to keep it running or sell it and continue with her life in Madison and also explores issues of the environment. If she sells, a mining company will likely take over and destroy the area her Uncle treasured. I enjoyed this story a ...more
Jobiska (Cindy)
I won't rate this book because I didn't get very far. Early elements (so it's not a spoiler) that are a turn-off for me are a focus on infidelity (I'm guessing she moves on pretty soon from her increasingly unsatisfactory affair with a married man, but still...for personal preference, I just can't enjoy a book with infidelity relating to the main character) and on her clothing. Her red cashmere suit, her red heels sinking into the mud...this is so far from my experience or areas of concern in my ...more
Apr 30, 2013 Sandy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audiobook: I listened to this whole book while gardening last Friday. A book sure does make the time go fast! Anyway, this book takes place in northern Wisconsin, and the main character is from Madison. So that made it interesting in itself, but the story was good, good characters, a little romance, some environmental subjects, and just an all around good book. I enjoyed it.
Sep 06, 2015 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3-3.5ish stars. This was a light and easy read for me. I have to disagree with several of the reviews I read and say that I enjoyed all of the characters, even Hannah. Although, at times I wanted to tell her to "get it together" the character worked with the story line and the mix of characters that went along with her. Predictable? yes, but not in a nauseating "oh of course" way (they saved what I was hoping for until the very end!) I enjoyed the Wisconsin aspect of the book. I always find it i ...more
Book Concierge
Oh, this is bad. But for some reason I couldn't just give up on it, and struggled through. Hannah is an idiot. The northwoods characters are stereotypes. The author cannot decide if this is a romance, an environmental soapbox, or a charming woman-comes-late-to-her-true-calling novel.
PacaLipstick Gramma
This was a "Reader's Choice" by a staff member at my local library. I was drawn in by the fact that it was in Wisconsin.

What a stupid book. Although the writer lives in Madison, I doubt she has spent any time "up north". Does she think that because people make a choice to live there, they are basically uneducated country bumpkins? And the weather? I have news. Wisconsin summers up north can be hot, humid, and miserable. (Yes, we do have air conditioning Ms Rath.) And reference to the Packers onl
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Donna Ives-kimpel
Nov 04, 2012 Donna Ives-kimpel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hate to see how many dislike Hannah because I'm a similar age, and found her entirely believable. I could relate to her struggle between life in Madison and away in the wilderness- she had created a life for herself that she was satisfied with and then is suddenly forced into making a life changing choice. Some women seem "unlikable" or "bitchy" when facing those decisions alone- especially decisions that will profoundly affect the rest of their lives. Everything rests on this choice that aros ...more
Kara Ripley
The main character started out entirely unlikable and she continued to be unlikable or much of the book. Then late in the game she makes a recovery and somehow people still like her. I don't think I would dedicate that much time to such an annoying person.

Also, I somewhat dislike the portrayal of Madison. Yeah, we are a bunch of hippies but the author describes Madison like it's a really big city with loud neighbors and everything. Hasn't really been my experience. I mean, or apartment living s
Courtney Bayer
I read this book because it's set in the WI Northwoods and I'm vacationing there now. I enjoyed it for that reason but otherwise probably would have skipped it. It was just an okay read for me.
Karen Kennedy
Jul 04, 2015 Karen Kennedy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun summer read. It had meaning for me because this is where I grew up vacationing to in the summers with my family.
May 22, 2014 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It appealed to me with the setting in northern Wisconsin, but it was rather predictable and left some loose ends.
Bev Sturgis
May 12, 2015 Bev Sturgis rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 05, 2015 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I read this after the second book, so it was kind of out of order. However I really enjoyed the book. I know the Northwoods of WI, and have vacationed at our primitive cabin almost every summer. it's nice to read a book with Wisconsin issues rather than issues in New York or LA.
one of several lovely novels by this author.
Feb 21, 2012 Leanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to give it 4 stars. I love the setting. I've spent a lot of time in northern WI and MN and absolutely love the mom and pop resorts. I've always thought I would love to run a resort. However, Hannah's constant whining and selfishness drove me crazy. I loved the rest of the characters, especially Ginger! I know so many firey women like her. I just couldn't bring myself to like Hannah at all. She was an idiot almost to the very end. Her relationship with Tyler, her stupidity with th ...more
Sherry (sethurner)
I had high hopes for this book because WPR chose to read it on their Chapter a Day radio program, and I knew the author is a Wisconsin native. Unfortunately I was underwhelmed. I enjoyed the local references very much, but that wasn't enough to overcome the sense I had that the characters were just too quirky and stereotyped to take seriously. The book could make a good "beach read" (or cabin read), but be aware that some sexual situations are surprisingly explicit. A quick read for passing the ...more
Aug 02, 2012 C rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Timely but one-sided "expose" of devious mining techniques in N. Wis. woods/lakes/cottage area: classical battle between old family resort/fishermen and mining company.

Insights into heroin Hannah suggest some snippets from author's own life, e.g. past marriages, poetry reviws, writing for NPR. Could do without some of the graphic, lurid almost-sex scenes and references to her married friend's Uncle Wiggily and Nurse Jane Fuzzy Wuzzy.

Sep 14, 2011 Gina rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction-romantic
2.5 stars
It would have been 3 stars...
I'm not a nature-person but ticks worse in DRY weather not "because of all the rain"? And, why would you fight to save a Star Lake and then, at the end, think about adding a 'sandy beach' for swimmers? I might be wrong but I don't think you're supposed to just change lake shoreline. There were other 'flags' and they pull me away from the story.
Jun 25, 2010 Elizabeth rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book because it was set in Wisconsin and I was familiar with the settings--Madison versus "Up North". It was the famous plot line--woman plucked from metropolitan area to obscurity and falls in love with the place and a man. I kept feeling like I was missing pieces--duh! I discovered I was listening to "abridged". I hate that mistake! A good read for summer--try the unabridged!
Jul 25, 2009 Megan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just read this on a camping trip up north last weekend. It is set in WI and tells the story of a woman from Madison who inherits a run down resort in the Northwoods. It was a simply written story, somewhat predictable and a fast read. Nothing too groundbreaking, but perfect for reading on a blanket in the sand on Lake Michigan.
Mom gave me this book before my wedding because she knows Star Lake, WI is a special place for my husband and I. Enjoyed it because I could escape to the Northwoods. Plus, the story is about discovering yourself and starting fresh. Really want to open my own place now...just without the frustrating fight with a mining corporation.
May 06, 2010 Christy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I love northern Wisconsin and was drawn to this book because I know the Minocqua area very well. I muddled through it for the references to an area that I love - but the writing is bad and the main character is inconsistent at best. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone.
Bonnie Helbach
Jul 27, 2014 Bonnie Helbach rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me awhile to get into the book. Didn't like the main character but she grew on me and her struggles and transformation. I love Upnorth Wisconsin and this is a great summer read. Loved the ending! On to "The Waters of Star Lake "
A Christmas gift from my brother who loves all things Wisconsin, this is an enjoyable quick read with lots of local (Madison and north) color. Sara Rath writes well enough that I could forgive her a formulaic plot.
Feb 02, 2009 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a interesting, easy read about spending time at a cottage in Northern WI. Though it was entertaining, I felt the story was way too predictable. You could see the story arc coming from a mile away...
Andy Ford
Fiction - Set in the northern Wisconsin woods, Hannah fights losing who she is, in the process of changing who she is. Romance, ecological issues, and battling our tendency to stay in a rut.
Pat Waterman
Need a mystery with a little romance and throw in on-going family guilt and you will enjoy this book. Setting is Wisconsin and I certainly can relate to the northern Wisconsin summer cabin resorts.
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