Saturday, June 1, 2024

Sloth Goes Places - Michigan


Sloth Goes Places is a feature where I share books I have tracked from previous Literary Escapes reading challenge hosted by Escape With Dollycas Into a Good Book.

Today we are looking at books set in ....


Michigan, the great lakes state, is one that I have no trouble finding as a book setting. I can usually rely on Emily Henry or Erin Hahn to set a book there, as well as Viola Shipman. Sloth has visited Michigan, but alas, I have no photos. 

Love, Naturally
 by Sophie Sulivan
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on January 16, 2024
Age/Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Presley Ayers is not the woman you bring on a camping trip. An accomplished concierge at an exclusive hotel in Great Falls, MI, she knows more about the top ten places for champagne and caviar than she does about the best hiking boots to go stomping around near Lake Michigan. But when she surprises her boyfriend of eight months with a vacation to the Get Lost Lodge and he dumps her instead, Presley decides to rough it solo and take the trip herself.

When Beckett Keller helps the gorgeous woman off the rickety boat and onto Lodge territory, it’s clear she’s made a mistake. She doesn’t like hiking, fishing, or nature in general, so why did she go on this trip?―but he’s got other things on his mind. A crumbling lodge, and his own plans and dreams that are forever deferred―so he doesn’t have time for Ms. Fish-Out-of-Water. But neither Beckett or Presley can help that inexplicable draw they feel towards each other. He’s all rough stubble and plaid shirts, while she’s all high heels and brand-name athleisurewear.

But you know what they say about opposites.

A charming opposites-attract romance, Love, Naturally is for anyone who ever stepped outside their comfort zone and found that all the best things can happen when you take a chance.

This book took place at a lake resort which ends up needing a lot of TLC. Despite the fact that the accomodations were subpar, the natural beauty shined through. There were lots of outdoor scenes which captured the beauty of Michigan and it also highlighted things to do at the lake. This was a fun one with a great cast who I adored.


Funny Story
 by Emily Henry
Published by Berkley on April 23, 2024
Age/Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

A shimmering, joyful new novel about a pair of opposites with the wrong thing in common.

Daphne always loved the way her fiancé Peter told their story. How they met (on a blustery day), fell in love (over an errant hat), and moved back to his lakeside hometown to begin their life together. He really was good at telling it…right up until the moment he realized he was actually in love with his childhood best friend Petra.

Which is how Daphne begins her new story: Stranded in beautiful Waning Bay, Michigan, without friends or family but with a dream job as a children’s librarian (that barely pays the bills), and proposing to be roommates with the only person who could possibly understand her predicament: Petra’s ex, Miles Nowak.

Scruffy and chaotic—with a penchant for taking solace in the sounds of heart break love ballads—Miles is exactly the opposite of practical, buttoned up Daphne, whose coworkers know so little about her they have a running bet that she’s either FBI or in witness protection. The roommates mainly avoid one another, until one day, while drowning their sorrows, they form a tenuous friendship and a plan. If said plan also involves posting deliberately misleading photos of their summer adventures together, well, who could blame them?

But it’s all just for show, of course, because there’s no way Daphne would actually start her new chapter by falling in love with her ex-fiancé’s new fiancée’s ex…right?

The town and its inhabitants actually had a big role in this story. It was a quaint, small town where the main character actually found her home. Funny Story was another solid book from Henry who continues to delight me with her entries in the romance genre. She is my queen of snappy banter and always seems to find the perfect balance of drama and humor while infusing her stories with so much heart and warmth.

Tom Lake
 by Ann Patchett
Published by Harper on August 1, 2023
Age/Genres: Adult, Fiction

In this beautiful and moving novel about family, love, and growing up, Ann Patchett once again proves herself one of America’s finest writers.

In the spring of 2020, Lara’s three daughters return to the family's orchard in Northern Michigan. While picking cherries, they beg their mother to tell them the story of Peter Duke, a famous actor with whom she shared both a stage and a romance years before at a theater company called Tom Lake. As Lara recalls the past, her daughters examine their own lives and relationship with their mother, and are forced to reconsider the world and everything they thought they knew.

Tom Lake is a meditation on youthful love, married love, and the lives parents have led before their children were born. Both hopeful and elegiac, it explores what it means to be happy even when the world is falling apart. As in all of her novels, Ann Patchett combines compelling narrative artistry with piercing insights into family dynamics. The result is a rich and luminous story, told with profound intelligence and emotional subtlety, that demonstrates once again why she is one of the most revered and acclaimed literary talents working today.

This book takes place then and now. The now portion is set in an orchard in Michigan. Before I read this book, I had no idea that cherries were such a big thing in Michigan. I read Famous in a Small Town by Viola Shipman around this time, too which also incorporated the cherry culture. I loved being in the orchard, and I also loved this book. For a story I considered to be on the "quiet" side, it packed quite an emotional punch. There were bursts of joy, but also moments that had me shedding tears, and others that made me rage. I found parts that pushed me towards thoughtful introspection and really moved me. Overall, this was a beautifully told story of life and family which captivated me from beginning to end.


Have you read any books set in Michigan?
Let us know in the comments!


  1. It's true that Emily Henry has nearly all her books set in Michigan!

    1. I guess she's from there? I never looked it up

  2. I am so behind on Emily Henry's books!