When I entered the raffle for this book I didn't realize it was the second in a trilogy, but it definitely reads as a standalone and I didn't feel I'd missed anything by not reading the first book first.
I thought the book was going to more about Rauri Paar being missing and the townsfolk trying to find him or find out what happened to him. But the focus is actually on three other characters: Alpo, a widower about to marry a woman twenty years younger than him; Sissy, his bride to be; and his son, Pete, a divorced alcoholic in recovery. Rauri is mentioned pretty often, as the locals speculate about him, and Pete even borrows his dad's boat to make the treacherous journy to Rauri's island to look for him.
But this isn't Rauri's story. This is a wonderful character study of Alpo, Sissy, and Pete. The author completely immerses us into each of their lives. The writing is very evocative, especially the descriptions of the weather and geography. When Pete makes that journey to Rauri's island, I was completely mesmerized. I didn't want the book to end.
Some fiction books are novels, and some are literature, and in my mind the two terms are not always interchangeable. LAURENTIAN DIVIDE is what I consider literature.