Stuck in Manistique

By Dennis Cuesta

*** Publication date 29 October 2018 ***

What a gem. I can’t begin to describe how much I enjoyed this novel. Dennis Cuesta has written a story that I couldn’t put down. I completely fell in love with the location and the characters (and what characters they are!) This is a charming novel. I rarely give anything five stars, but this one deserves it.

Mark has suddenly become responsible for his late aunt’s estate. Vivian was his mother’s sister, though somewhat estranged. He finds himself in the UP, otherwise knows as Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. He knows very little about this aunt, as she was always traveling the world as a humanitarian doctor in war-torn countries. He had never met her, and her annual letters to him stopped appearing after his thirteenth birthday. 

While working to clean out Vivian’s Bed and Breakfast, Emily appears on his doorstep. Emily has had an unfortunate encounter with a deer and needs a place to stay until her car is repaired. Mark opens the door to her, even though the bed and breakfast isn’t open. He doesn’t inform her that his aunt has passed, he merely says that she’s not there.

The relationship between Mark and Emily is entertaining, and it isn’t long before yet another guest appears on the doorstep. George, is the next guest. An octogenarian thrown out of the nearby hotel where his casino tour group was staying. Even though Mark attempts to cut off any further guests before they arrive, here come Peter & Yvonne with their electric car to be charged.

It is the cast of characters staying at the B&B that is such fun. There are stories within the story, some of them touching. Each character has a specific place in the story. Mark and Emily both have revelations about their lives that are touching and amazing. Cuesta has created characters that are real, not without fault, and believable. Manistique is a charming, quirky little town. I’ve never visited the UP, but it sounds like a fun place to spend some time in a B&B.

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