Stuck in Manistique by Dennis Cuesta

Stuck in Manistique is a funny and heartwarming look at how seemingly simple decisions can lead to big consequences.
When Mark, an only child without any family, receives word that his only aunt has passed away heads to northern Michigan to handle the details of her estate. Mark's childhood was filled with stories of his adventurous and world traveling aunt who worked with Doctors Without Borders and lived in war zones. But what his life was not filled with was actual interactions and memories of his aunt. Without any contact for decades, Mark has no idea what he's getting himself in to.
Emily, a recent medical school graduate is getting ready to start her residency at a prestigious Chicago hospital and is planning on a romantic getaway with her boyfriend when a deer derails her plans. Stuck without a car and seriously considering her future, Emily ends up at the Manistique Victorian, a bed and breakfast formerly owned by Mark's Aunt Vivian. While Mark thinks he's only helping out a stranded woman for one night, he instead sets off a series of events that leads to friendships, break-ups, humor and sadness.
There was something about the beginning of this book that kept nagging at me and it took a while to figure out what it was-the dialogue is completely real and believable. There are no flowery speeches or quick come-backs. The characters have very real conversations with misunderstandings and jokes that fall completely flat.
Stuck in Manistique is full of quirkly characters. Mark meets Bear Foot, a local handyman who was both a friend to Aunt Vivian and her go-to guy to get things done. After learning of her death, he builds a fire to help guide her spirit and borrows a boat to take Mark out on the lake to spread Vivian's ashes. But of course, the fire doesn't go as planned and the boat doesn't start. There's George, an elderly man who has a fight with is wife and leaves his casino tour for a night of peace. But of course, George's wife died years ago and his struggles with dementia leave Mark and Emily constantly worrying about his safety. There's the couple who are trying to be the first to circle the lake in an electric car-but are they a couple?
Stuck in Manistique is a series of "what-else-can-go-wrong" that is equal parts humorous and heartbreaking. I really enjoyed this book and I'd definitely recommend it for when you're in the need of some great, light reading.
Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book. All opinions are my own.

Stuck in Manistique by Dennis Cuesta is available October 29, 2018 from Celestial Eyes Press.

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