A novel steeped in the air and water and people of the rural Midwest
Overcome with grief following the death of his youngest child, Cal Franklin uproots his wife and teenaged children to a ramshackle subsistence farm in far northern Wisconsin. Withdrawn and estranged from all they know, JJ and her stepbrother, John, struggle to adapt to life off the grid and to Cal’s increasingly erratic behavior. Without electricity or even running water, the family suffers a series of calamities until Cal feels a call to preach. He builds a small log church on the property, and his unconventional message soon attracts a following. When elderly locals profess to be healed by the touch of Cal’s hands, word spreads, and desperate people descend on the church from across the country. Though overwhelmed and doubtful of his powers, in a final act of love and faith, Cal seeks to raise his young son from the dead.
Narrated by Cal’s stepson, John—named for “the chronicler of Christ’s miracles”—Breathing Lake Superior is a poignant exploration of the mystic borderland where the mental strain of overwhelming grief becomes entangled with the promise and hope of ecstatic faith.
Praise for Ron Rindo
"Gloriously inventive work from a master of the form."
—Kirkus Reviews (Love in an Expanding Universe)
"Those who appreciate the work of Charles Baxter, Michael Chabon, or even John Cheever will find excellent companionship in Love in an Expanding Universe. In these eight remarkable stories, one encounters characters who struggle as we do, facing the awful uncertainty of love in a universe perpetually shifting, flying outward, forever spinning away."
—Blackbird Archive (Love in an Expanding Universe)
"Rindo has a knack for describing the absurd details that give lives meaning. Freakish, darkly comic, and utterly contemporary."
—Kirkus Reviews (For Secrets Men Keep)
“Despite its title, the men in Mr. Rindo’s book are not intentionally keeping secrets, nor are they at all unfeeling. Their emotions are simply beyond words.”
—New York Times Book Review (For Secrets Men Keep)
"A strong debut which more often than not takes a familiar suburban scenario and makes clear how mysterious and frightening 'everydayness' can be."
—Kirkus Reviews (Suburban Metaphysics and Other Stories)
About the Author
A native of Wisconsin, Ron Rindo is the author of three short story collections, including Love in an Expanding Universe, which won the Minnesota Voices Prize for short fiction. His short stories and essays have also appeared in many journals and anthologies, including The Best American Essays. He is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh, and he lives with his wife, Jenna, and an assortment of animals on five acres in the country, where they raised a blended family of five children. Breathing Lake Superior is his first novel.