Madeline Stone grew up poor with no family except Emmy, the woman who raised her, but at the beginning of South of Superior Madeline’s life is poised to make a 180 degree turn for the better. While her beloved Emmy has been dead a year, a loss that has been hard for Madeline to bear, Madeline is about to marry her wealthy fiancée, move into the beautiful house he’s buying for them and finally attend art school--put off earlier because of Emmy’s illness--with her fiancée paying tuition. The only problem with these wonderful plans is they feel like someone else’s life. So when Madeline has the chance to move from Chicago to McAllaster, a tiny town on the southern edge of Lake Superior which was the home of the family she never met, Madeline shocks her fiancée and almost everyone else in her life by calling off her wedding and leaving, making the long drive alone in her beat-up car.When enormous Lake Superior finally stretches out before her, its windy, iceberg-filled beauty captures Madeline immediately. Its mammoth size contrasts sharply with the small town life Madeline now has to get used to. But McAllaster is in the midst of change, brought about by wealthy out-of-towners who build huge homes and institute new regulations. Longtime residents can no longer buy groceries on credit while they wait for their incomes to improve with the change of seasons, and permits are now required before they can sell the fish they catch, the animals they hunt or the maple syrup they bottle. Those McAllaster residents, tough, independent and kind, are one of the many joys of this book. Another is that South of Superior keeps teetering toward then pulling back from the kind of wrap-it-all-up happy ending that wouldn’t feel right here. Instead it slowly and circuitously builds to a happy-for-now ending, with Madeline knowing that things will probably change, but also realizing that she will most likely be able to find her way back to happiness when they do.