Vacationland by Sarah Stonich

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On a lake in northernmost Minnesota, you might find Naledi Lodge—only two cabins still standing, its pathways now trodden mostly by memories. And there you might meet Meg, or the ghost of the girl she was, growing up under her grandfather’s care in a world apart and a lifetime ago. Now an artist, Meg paints images “reflected across the mirrors of memory and water,” much as the linked stories of Vacationland cast shimmering spells across distance and time.

Those whose paths have crossed at Naledi inhabit Vacationland: a man from nearby Hatchet Inlet who knew Meg back when, a Sarajevo refugee sponsored by two parishes who can’t afford “their own refugee,” aged sisters traveling to fulfill a fateful pact once made at the resort, a philandering ad man, a lonely Ojibwe stonemason, and a haiku-spouting girl rescued from a bog.

Sarah Stonich, whose work has been described as “unexpected and moving” by the Chicago Tribune and “a well-paced feast” by the Los Angeles Times, weaves these tales of love and loss, heartbreak and redemption into a rich novel of interconnected and disjointed lives. Vacationland is a moving portrait of a place—at once timeless and of the moment, composed of conflicting dreams and shared experience—and of the woman bound to it by legacy and sometimes longing, but not necessarily by choice.


About Sarah Stonich

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Sarah Stonich is the author of the critically acclaimed novels These Granite Islands and The Ice Chorus, as well as a memoir, Shelter. The founder of, she lives in Minneapolis and spends summers in northeastern Minnesota.
Published March 25, 2013 by Univ Of Minnesota Press. 288 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Vacationland

Kirkus Reviews

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Minnesota author Stonich (The Ice Chorus, 2005, etc.) draws a novel from 15 linked north-country stories.

Feb 03 2013 | Read Full Review of Vacationland

Publishers Weekly

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A deluge of exposition drowns the many admirable moments in Stonich’s novel-in-stories. Each piece is connected by Naledi Lodge, a ruined fishing resort in the north of Minnesota, and the diverse char

Mar 11 2013 | Read Full Review of Vacationland

Star Tribune

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At once funny and serious, the stories of “Vacationland” are razor sharp and populated with a cast of distinct personalities.

Mar 30 2013 | Read Full Review of Vacationland

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