Posted tagged ‘Upper Michigan authors’
I was thrilled to receive my first book review for my new book The Best Place, and from one of my favorite U.P. authors, Jenifer Brady, author of the Abby’s Camp Days series. You can check out Jenifer’s books at her website: www.JeniferBrady.com
I can’t tell you how much it means to an author to receive a good book review, and they are harder and harder to get these days since newspapers and other publications have largely quit printing them. If you like a book, the best way you can say thank you to the author besides telling everyone you know about the book is to write a book review. It doesn’t need to be long. Just a few sentences at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or on your blog or Facebook page will do the job. I encourage you all to support U.P. authors and any other favorite authors you have by writing them honest reviews of their books.
With Jenifer Brady’s permission, I am reprinting the review she wrote for me at Amazon below:
I think I’ve read every one of Tyler Tichelaar’s books set in Marquette, MI, and this one was my favorite so far, in large part because of the narrator, Lyla Hopewell. The book is told through the viewpoint of this feisty, hilarious 77-year-old lady, and she’s just a riot–very entertaining to read. I found myself laughing quite a bit as I read, not because of the subjects this novel tackles (some were quite heart-wrenching like feelings of abandonment, orphanage life, and family strife) but because Lyla has this way of speaking her mind throughout the narration that draws you in and makes you chuckle no matter what topic she is talking about. She pretty much says what you’re thinking about certain subjects but are too polite to point out yourself.
I’m always impressed when an author can write a viewpoint that is vastly different from their own, and as I was reading, I had to keep reminding myself that this book wasn’t actually written by an elderly lady.
I also enjoyed seeing some of my favorite characters from previous books. I like when authors continue on with their characters because when I close a book, I always wonder what happens after “The End.” I liked getting to see John, the hero from the third Marquette Trilogy book, and his young family, as well as Sibyl from Spirit of the North. There are even a few surprises from old characters that I didn’t see coming.
I had read about Lyla in other Marquette books, but I didn’t really get to know her until this one. She might appear to be a bit gruff on the surface, but once you get to know her, you’ll see that she exemplifies the heart and Sisu of a true Yooper!
Categories: Tyler's Novels, Upper Michigan Books and Authors
Tags: Abby's Camp Days, book reviews, feelings of abandonment, jenifer brady, orphanage life, Spirit of the North, The Best Place, the marquette trilogy, Upper Michigan authors
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The following post is from My Marquette in the section on historical homes and the Carroll Watson Rankin home specifically. Carroll Watson Rankin was the first person to write books set in Marquette, although she changed the name to Lakeville. She is my predecessor who helped to form the beginnings of what is today a flourishing and vibrant UP literature.
From My Marquette (a photo of Carroll Watson Rankin is included in the printed version of the book):
219 E. Ridge ~ Rankin Home
Local author Carroll Watson Rankin wrote her many novels, beginning with Dandelion Cottage (1904), in this home. Born Caroline Watson in Marquette in 1864, she would later use the male spelling of her name, Carroll, to help her career as an author; she would alternately use other pen names to disguise her gender, but always retained the initials C.W.R.
The Rankin home was built in 1877 by Rankin’s mother, Emily Watson, following the death of her husband Jonas Watson. Carroll Watson Rankin would inherit the property and live there with her husband and children. Later, the home would be inherited by her daughter, Phyllis Rankin, long-time librarian at Peter White Public Library.
Born in 1864, Carroll Watson Rankin began writing in childhood and published her first short story at age eleven. At sixteen, she became a reporter for the Daily Mining Journal, a job she kept until her marriage in 1886 to Ernest Rankin. The Rankins would have four children, Imogene, Eleanor, Ernest Jr., and Phyllis. While raising her family, Rankin would continue to write and be published in major national magazines including Harpers, Ladies’ Home Journal, Gardening Magazine, Century, Youth’s Companion, and Mother’s Magazine. She was inspired to write her first children’s book, Dandelion Cottage, after her daughter Eleanor complained that she had read all the books ever written for children. The book would be based on a real cottage in Marquette and the antics of Rankin’s daughters and their friends. (More information about the book and cottage is under the section for 440 E. Arch Street).
Dandelion Cottage quickly found a publisher and was successful enough that Rankin went on to write many more children’s books. Altogether, three sequels to Dandelion Cottage would be written (The Adopting of Rosa Marie, The Castaways of Pete’s Patch, and The Girls of Highland Hall), as well as the boy’s book Wolf’s Rock and six other novels for children. Today the books are out of print except Dandelion Cottage (published by the Marquette County Historical Society) but copies can still be found at the Peter White Public Library.
Carroll Watson Rankin and her son Ernest Jr. also recorded their memories of early Marquette, which are available as an unpublished manuscript at Peter White Public Library. I am sure Rankin would appreciate that her own memory lives on in Marquette as does the small cottage she made famous. Copies of Dandelion Cottage continue to sell as generation after generation falls in love with the charming story.
Like their mother, the Rankin children would contribute a great deal to Marquette. Phyllis Rankin would be the head librarian at Peter White Public Library for over forty years and be well known for promoting reading in the community, especially to children. Ernest Rankin Jr., as a member of the Marquette County Historical Society, would do much to preserve the area’s history. Imogene would marry and move away but return later to Marquette. (For more information about Imogene, see the section on 209 E. Arch Street in My Marquette as well as more information on the real Dandelion Cottage and the book it inspired).
Categories: Marquette History, Upper Michigan Books and Authors, Upper Michigan History
Tags: carroll watson rankin, Dandelion Cottage, Ernest Rankin, Imogene Miller, Marquette authors, Marquette County Historical Society, Mining Journal, my marquette, Peter White Public Library, Phyllis Rankin, ridge street, The Adopting of Rosa Marie, The Castaways of Pete's Patch, The Girls of Highland Hall, Upper Michigan authors
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