Character as setting

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carlymom Avatar


In what I feel is notable fiction, fully realized and relatable characters provide much of what we think of as setting. People make you feel at home in a place far faster than a landscape--either interior or exterior. In Laurentian Divide, the point-of-view characters (in the first two chapters, Pete and Sissy) put the reader directly in the middle of the North Woods in a way that flowery adjectives and long passages of physical descriptions never would. The personal tug of war between independence and interdependence in the harsh environment of Hatchet Inlet is as evocative of place as the counters, booths, and "the chrome of the sugar dispenser" at Pavola's Cafe or the swirling whirlpools of Majimanidoo Falls. Even absent characters--either dead, as the two teenagers killed in a car crash, or simply missing, like the sometimes hermit Rauri Paar--define the community in indelible fashion. Add quick and crisp writing to her fulsome character sketches , and Sarah Stonich has created an irresistible story that I can't wait to finish.