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Laurentian Divide

(Northern Trilogy #2)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  271 ratings  ·  101 reviews
Winner of the 2019 Minnesota Book Award for Novel & Short Story

Poignant portrayals of life on the edge in northern Minnesota border country, from the best-selling author of These Granite Islands and Vacationland 

Bitter winters are nothing new in Hatchet Inlet, hard up against the ridge of the Laurentian Divide, but the advent of spring cant thaw the communitys
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 18th 2018 by Univ Of Minnesota Press
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Bam cooks the books ;-)
Laurentian Divide is book two in Sarah Stonich's Northern Trilogy set in the far north resort town of Hatchet Inlet, Minnesota. I would highly recommend reading book one, Vacationland, first as it introduces many of these characters.

The book opens with a transcript of the polka service sermon from November. Pastor Dan is a rip and doesn't mind getting political, talking about welcoming immigrants and denigrating 'fools making noise about building walls. That is what we've come to,' he says. 'I
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bookish
When I read the opening pages of Sarah Stonich's novel Laurentian Divide was I quite taken by the people in Hatchet Inlet.

"The topic over at Pavola's was death," the novel begins, not the weekly sort occurring at the Senior Cedars or the tragic kind after two local girls were killed in a "drunken swerve", but the "theoretical"--Rauri Paar has not shown up in town since the spring ice break. The customers at Pavola's are concerned and postulating the various ways Rauri may have kicked the
Jan 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a story of a small, remote, isolated town, called Hatchet Inlet, in Northern Minnesota.

History: About 16,000 years ago, most of Minnesota was covered by a large sheet of ice called the Wisconsin Glacier. When the mountain range eroded as a result of the melting glacier, it left behind the curving range of hills called the Laurentian Divide.

The winters are brutally cold and long; the weather is harsh and unknowing, save for the spring and summertime when an influx of out of towners come
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I didnt realize this was the second of a Northern Trilogy when I requested it, but as soon as I realized it, I decided to read Vacationland, the first of the series. Vacationland consists of short stories about characters within the same community whose lives cross paths throughout the years. The characters I read about in Vacationland appear again in Laurentian Divide. Its probably not necessary to read the first of the trilogy, but it does provide some background information for the second ...more
Kate Vocke (bookapotamus)
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: winner-winner
I really enjoyed Laurentian Divide. I only wish I had known about Vacationland being the first in this series, or I would have read that first, but you don't need to. At least don't think you do. I definitely will be reading that ASAP.

So, there's this guy - he sort of signals the beginning of Spring every year when he lumbers into this cold sleepy MN town from the island he's been inhabiting. But this year, he doesn't show up and people start to worry. It's a small town so people talk, a lot.
Oct 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
First of all, I'd like to point out this is a second book in this series. The first one is called Vacationland which I plan on reading soon before the 3rd book comes out. With that being said, let's move on.

This book isn't any of the action, thriller, suspense, horror, or romance genre. I have no idea what to call this genre.

It is a novel of an ordinary small town located in Northern Minnesota of ordinary people. Laurentide Divide has a rich setting full of colors, quirkiness, and humor. The
Bonnye Reed
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
GNAB The community in far northern Minnesota of Hatchet Inlet, verging on the wilderness park of Laurentian Reserve, is very small but closer than most families. Most years they endure 7 months of winter, and celebrate summer and the joys of each other - but also they share the sorrow and sense of loss encountered in the lives of their kin and neighbors. All mourn the presence of early onset alzheimer's that has hit Louise Pavola so very hard. Now in Senor Cedars nursing home, she is rarely ...more
David Schwinghammer
Sarah Stonich is from Minnesota. Hence, the Laurentian Divide, the setting of this novel, must be The Boundary Waters Canoe Area, a wilderness area in northern Minnesota where motor vehicles are not allowed and Hatchet Inlet, the town featured in the story would probably be Ely, Minnesota, the Gateway to the Boundary Waters.

The novel is a frame story. Rauri Paar, the only remaining private owner in the Laurentian Divide, has not shown up after ice out on the lakes; he's usually a herald of
Nov 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: from-publisher, 2018
Thanks to BookishFirst and University of Minnesota Press for a free copy of this book for review.
Sarah Stonich has crafted a vivid small town in Hatchet Inlet, the rural Minnesota setting for this quiet, melancholy story. It's told from several perspectives from connected individuals who, while happy and approaching new personal joys- Pete is relatively newly sober, and his widowed father Alpo is about to marry Sissy- are still dealing with personal grieving, as well as some collective town
Sep 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Thanks to and University of Minnesota Press for this ARC.

I didn't realize this was the 2nd book in the series but obviously it can be read as a stand alone since I never read the first one.

This book started out slow and it wasn't until page 100 when it finally picked up for me. Once it did, I liked it a lot better.

Set in MN, in a small town, the characters were many and their lives centered around their family diner with many friends passing through.

One of the main characters
Angie Boyter
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was attracted to this book because of a blurb from Richard Russo, whose fiction about ordinary folks in ordinary towns I have enjoyed. Once again, Richard Russo has delivered a real reading pleasure for me, and this time he didnt even have to write a book!
Laurentian Divide is about the lives of the people of Hatchet Inlet, a small town in northern Minnesota. The characters and their stories are what drives the book, but it is held together by two plot threads, momentous events in the lives of
Lin Salisbury
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When I heard that Sarah Stonich was writing a trilogy to complete the story she began in Vacationland, my heart skipped, because I wasnt ready to leave Hatchet Inlet. Like every good vacation, you just dont want it to end.
Laurentian Divide is the second book in the planned trilogy. Its set for release in September 2018 from the University of Minnesota Press. Laurentian Divide takes up where Vacationland left off. Its the story of a community burdened by grief but bound by shared values; lives
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a fantastic continuation of Vacationland, which will go down as one of my top books of the decade. I think it is best read as a sequel, but it really functions as a standalone, in that you are given reminders of who's who and how they fit together. I read it in one day - which is not something I do more than once every five years or so! If that's not enough of a rec, read on -

Stonich does a masterful job with this ensemble cast. No one feels like they get short shrift. Whereas
Amy Gennaro
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Thank you to the Author Sarah Stonich, the publisher Minnesota Press, and NetGalley for giving me an ARC in I exchange for my candid review.

I believe that I received only the first chapter of this book as an ARC, but it was compelling enough that I purchased the book.

A very quirky, but real look into a small community located in the northern wilds of Minnesota on the edge of a wilderness reservation. The reserve is totally uninhabited with the exception of one man, Rauri, who is grandfathered
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I think Sarah Stonich succeeded in writing both a colorful, funny, sweet story firmly rooted in Northern MN culture, heritage and politics, but also a thoughtful family drama on grief, remorse, and our endless attempts and failures at being good people. Hurrah!
Sissy Pavola is a character Id like to become friends with.

Ill be able to sell this to visitors to Northern MN who want a book that takes place up here but also know that Im giving them a solid novel that stands on its own. The
Jan 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for my review.

Im so sorry but I just didnt enjoy this book. It is just not what I thought it was going to be and I could not finish it. I hate that it was not what I expected and I wish so bad I would not have asked for it. I hate to leave a review that is not rave but I in all good conscience cant with this one. I was highly disappointed.

Its only a 2 star for me and I would recommend it to anyone that likes this type of book. It was just
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Stonich's book recalled my winter trips to Bemidji, Minnesota. She really captures the personalities and the lives of the small town inhabitants who live at the edge of the US. When a local hermit doesn't turn up in the spring, the town is a buzz in speculation.
Dec 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Maybe 3.5. I have mixed feelings. There was a lot I liked about this book, especially the characters. But SO MUCH BACKSTORY. We'd have a tense scene in the present, and suddenly get dumped into a memory of years before. And the ending was just a little too neat.
Rach H
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
I won this book through a BookishFirst giveaway.

Not many books have such rich settings and well-fleshed characters to make their worlds feel so present and real, but I truly feel like I spent the past five days in Hatchet Inlet. It's not even a real place, but I've been there; I've felt the cold and seen the views and eaten the food, and I've gotten to know the people and all their lovable quirks. This book didn't quite turn out to be the book I was expecting, as I thought there would be more
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found this book to be vividly drawn and a good read. A longer review appears at
Jill Hamilton-Krawczyk
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
If youre looking for big-time action adventure this is not your book.
If you're looking for a plot twist with a cliffhanger ending this is not your book.
But... if you're looking for a well-written, quirky story with oddly unique characters then this IS your book!
Laurentian Divide by Sarah Stonich is the second book in the Northern Trilogy. I suppose you can read this book as a stand-alone, but I would highly recommend reading Vacationland, the first in the series, before diving into this
Julie Failla Earhart
Another bitter winter is loosening its grip on Hatchet Inlet, a small town against the ridge of the Laurentian Divide in northern Minnesota. The community has been awaiting the arrival of the last private landowner in the Reserve, Rauri Paar. His appearance marks the spring thaw. There is even a pool going on at the local restaurant, Pavolas, as to when Rauri will first appear. But this year, hes late. Very late. So late that many are beginning he died out there. And as they wait, they like to ...more
Nov 28, 2018 rated it liked it
In Hatchet Inlet, small northern Minnesota lake town, it is not officially spring until Rauri Paar arrives at the diner. When the lake melts and there is no sign of Rauri the townspeople start to worry. Is he dead and, if so, how did it happen?

I thought this book would be more about figuring out where Rauri is and what happened to him. I was wrong. Laurentian Divide focuses on the different people living in the town. Their everyday lives as they work to put tragedy behind them and move forward
K.S. Lewis
Sep 17, 2018 rated it liked it
I am seeing a pattern here, where most of the readers did not know it was the second book in a series - or trilogy, rather. I am so glad that I'm not alone! Usually, I catch these things right off the bat, but this time it totally went by me and I didn't even tell until I was already at the end.

That being said, that's a good thing! I think that this book would have had more of an impact on me if I had read the first book in the series. Silly me for not completely reading a description. What can
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I grew up near this make believe town or someplace like it. Sarah Stonich's stories about rural Minnesota cabin towns is spot on. The tension between townies and summer people is well depicted. I know these people, I just did not know their story. It is a lovely read about relationships. I laughed. I cried. It's a good story.
Sam Ehresman
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love this genre of books. I was sucked in by page 10! I look forward to reading the rest of it! The cover is beautiful and I wasnt sure what I would find when I started reading. There are covers where you can look at them a hundred times and never remember them. Then there are covers that will stick with you, but more than that they will compel you to look again and again. This book is the latter of the two. Every time I look at the cover of this book I see something different. One could argue ...more
Diana Rose
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Laurentian Divide
By Sarah Stonich Unniversity of Minnesota Press
Publication date 9/18/2018

Bitter winters are nothing new in Hatchet Inlet, hard up against the ridge of the Laurentian Divide, but the advent of spring cant thaw the communitys collective grief, lingering since a senseless tragedy the previous fall. What is different this year is whats missing: Rauri Paar, the last private landowner in the Reserve, whose annual emergence from his remote iced-in islands marks the beginning
Aimee Dars
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, netgalley
From the first page, Laurentian Divide was a delight to read. Immediately, I felt a connection to the town of Hatchet Inlet and the characters that weave in and out of each other's lives in the small Minnesota town near the Canadian border. In the book, Sissy and widower Alpo, twenty years her senior, prepare for their upcoming wedding. The town needs a celebration after a tragedy the fall before that rocked the community. Tragedy threatens the town again when Rauri Paar, the last private ...more
Loraine Oliver
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: reviewed-books
This book is amazing! It has everything, but especially is rich in wonderful characters who are just beginning to come out of winter. In the Minnesota town of Hatchet Inlet which has terrible winters, it is situated at end of the wilderness in a place known as Laurentian Divide.

As spring ensues, the town comes back to life with most everyone there having lived their whole lives.
At the restaurant known as Pavola's, everyone is talking about Rauri Parr who is the last landowner in the reserve and
Laurel Deloria
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book about northern Minnesota people by a Minnesota author. The characters are out of my life, as is the geography, the dialects, the especially my Finnish Heritage. I highly recommend you try it.

Winner of the 2019 Minnesota Book Award for Novel & Short Story

Poignant portrayals of life on the edge in northern Minnesota border country, from the best-selling author of These Granite Islands and Vacationland

Bitter winters are nothing new in Hatchet Inlet, hard up against the ridge
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The author of internationally acclaimed books,"Vacationland","These Granite Islands" and "The Ice Chorus", novels that have left their marks on readers around the world, having been translated into eight languages - most recently into Czech. Visit her web site for reviews and info. Sarah's new memoir, "Shelter" is now available in both ebook and hardcover.
Sarah writes and lives in Minnesota with

Other books in the series

Northern Trilogy (2 books)
  • Vacationland

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