Our protagonist, the younger son of a farmer in Michigan, near the shore of Lake Michigan, hates the farm, and isn’t all that crazy about his stern, father, who expects him to work hard on the farm and eventually take it over. He leaves the farm and gets a job driving a trash truck.
One day, due to his carelessness, he drives the trash truck and another car off the road over a cliff. His best friend in the truck with him is not badly injured, but he himself suffers a badly broken leg. An eight year old girl in the car was drowned in the car when it went into the lake.
It is about the native Odawa people of the area, and about nature. It has been called magic realism, and a ghost story. Eh. Maybe. Maybe not so much. He hears a voice, the voice of the girl, telling him that it is all lake. He must learn what that means.
It involves a visit to a Native American medicine man, or shaman, who tells him he must spend some time alone at the lake to find redemption.
It is a difficult story to tell, one of a rejection of his parent’s lifestyle, one of unforgiveness of himself for the death of the little girl, one of grieving.
For me, with such a deep subject matter, I felt it wrapped up too quickly and too easily. You know, everything will be all right for those who mean well and have a good heart. Well, OK. Sometimes.