My rating: 4 of 5 stars
For those of us who know and love Mackinac Island, revisiting through this book brings all those memories to life again. The fudge shops. The porch of the Grand Hotel. The rock formations. The booming cannon. And, of course, the poor guy shoveling up the inevitable horse droppings. And for those who have never been to Mackinac, the tale revives those days of young abandon, of friends and foes, pranks and hangovers and warm, sweet love. The book is written as a story within a story. Big city photographer Jack McGuinn is returning to the island after a 10-year absence, for a reunion with his dockporter buddies who, as young men, met the ferries to the island and ported baggage to the hotels on their bikes. On the slow freight ferry to the reunion Jack tells a fellow passenger the tale of his final summer on the island, which becomes the bulk of the book. It is an awkward arrangement sometimes when the passenger interrupts the storyteller to remind the reader of the story-within-a-story format but it pays off in the end when the exciting finale of Jack’s last summer on the island melds into a surprising denouement at the reunion.