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North Manitou Island: Between Sunrise and Sunset Paperback – May 31, 2014

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2 edition (May 31, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 149379261X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1493792610
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,968,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Whistlers Mom TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 6, 2015
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I read this book about six months ago and looked through it again today. It's a unique story, but the book needs pruning.

The author and her husband moved to North Manitou Island during WWII when a chance encounter with the wealthy businessman-owner resulted in a job offer. They lived on the island full time for a decade, then moved to the mainland, but continued to spend summers there. The island inhabitants were a motley crew. Some were the remnants of the original farm families. Some moved in when the island was turned into a hunting preserve and stocked with deer. Life revolved around the isolation of an island frequently cut off from the mainland for days by bad weather. Such circumstances bring out the best and the worst in people and remaining aloof from your neighbors isn't an option.

The author was the island's historian and includes sections of history of the founding families that should be removed and made into a second book or pamphlet. It is of no interest except to their descendants. Some other cutting would be helpful, but there's some really good stuff in here. While most of us wouldn't care to live on an isolated island, it's fun to read about. The owner who set up the hunting preserve intended for the island's herd to be cared for, but after his death financial considerations were all that mattered to the new owners. The deer (who had been fed hay during the winter months) were allowed to starve.

Bottom line: if you enjoy a slice of American social history and have the patience to do a little skimming, it's worth your time.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book started off like the biblical books of Chronicles: in the beginning it is mostly a roster of founding families, their homes, their jobs, and occasionally a little more about them. I would not have given that four stars. But gradually the stories about people take over and the statistics grow less. The author includes more of her own experiences as it goes along. Then there are some longer stories that really show the hardships of winter survival in a bowl of ice. Those people really stuck it out through trying times.

The book covers the gamut from initial settlement to final abandonment as a place for community life when the park service took ownership. You really feel the author's great love for the island and share some of her sadness as she is the last one to leave. It makes me want to go there and walk through the trails while the author points of the sites of the old homes, the deer-feeding areas, the names of the wildflowers, and more.
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