Beth cherished her family’s summers on an pristine northern Canadian lake, where she reveled in the sweet smell of dew on early morning hikes, the loons’ evening trills across the lake’s many bays, every brush stroke of her brother's paintings celebrating their cherished place, and their grandfather's laughter as he welcomed neighbors to their annual Welsh harvest celebration. Theirs was an unshakeable bond with family, friends and nature, renewed every summer on their island of granite and pines.
But that bond was threatened and then torn apart, first as rights to their island were questioned and then by nature itself, and the family is forced to leave. Beth creates a new life in urban Chicago, where she erects a solid barrier between the past and present, no matter how much it costs—until her grandfather asks her to return to the island to determine its fate. Will she choose to preserve who she has become or risk everything to discover if what was lost, still remains?
The Best Part of Us will immerse readers in a breathtaking natural world, a fresh perspective on loyalty, and an exquisite ode to the essential roles that family, nature and place hold in all of our lives.
PRAISE FOR THE BEST PART OF US:
“With exquisite descriptions of Canadian lake and forest country and the Ojibway life rooted there, Cole-Misch expertly weaves the elements of those differing cultures, fraught but tightly bound family relationships, young love, old love, and the wonder of coming of age - at every age - into a luminous novel. The Best Part of Us is a beautiful story that will keep you up reading, and then keep you company for a long time afterward.”
Barbara Stark-Nemon, award-winning author of Even in Darkness and Hard Cider
"The Best Part of Us is one of the most compelling novels I've read about the relationship between the human heart and the natural world. This is not just storytelling, it's a lived experience. At a time when we seem to have lost our way, Sally provides a true compass to help us find home."
Dave Dempsey, 2009 Michigan Author of the Year, author of ten books, and Great Lakes policy expert
“A story so evocative you can smell the lake and hear the loons.The Best Part of Us draws in lyrical strokes the many shades of grief and the healing magic of place.”
Jenni Ogden, bestselling author of A Drop in the Ocean
“Sally writes some of the most breathtaking descriptions of the natural world I’ve had the pleasure to read. It speaks to Sally’s fine fiction instincts that trouble comes in the form of the family’s attachment to this land and issues around who rightfully owns it—their Welsh ancestors or the Native peoples of earlier times—and the book raises and explores these important, contemporary questions with care and sensitivity. Their resolution is complicated—at once hopeful and messy, like all imperfect decisions. The Best Part of Us is a lovely, engrossing book about place, family, history, and cultural sensitivity.”
Angela Pneuman, award-winning author of Home Remedies and Lay It on My Heart
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