Summer people, townies, migrant workers and an Indian jostle one another in newcomer Amick’s fond, wise and thoroughly enjoyable look at a gentrifying midwestern vacationland.
The increasingly upscale resort and farming village of Weneshkeen sits somewhere south of the Michigan Hamptons, occupying the land between little Lake Meenigeesis and nearby Lake Michigan. Most of the Ojaanimiziibii Indians who greeted the first European explorers and opportunists have long since been displaced, but Navy SEAL, Vietnam vet and indigenous Indian cynic Roger Drinkwater, comfortably self-employed with a financial cushion from the nearby casino, has hung onto his little piece of the increasingly valuable local property. An eligible but prickly bachelor, Roger spends the long hours away from his not very demanding jerky business waging a clandestine war on the immensely irritating and numerous jet skis that make his morning swim across Lake Meenigeesis more and more dangerous. Well-built Deputy Janey Struska has her eye on Roger both as a suspect in the jet-ski vandalisms and as a pretty good-looking middle-aged Indian, so she has mixed feelings about her non-native Sheriff’s dogged pursuit of Roger as a danger to civilization. The jet-ski war is just one of a dozen or so story lines to be worked out over the length of this one pleasant summer. Among the Weneshkeenites with woes to work out are the Reverend Eugene Reecher, a widowed, retired and devilishly horny Presbyterian minister; Mark Starkey, an aimless teenager whose cute ass has gotten him mixed up with a pretty but very screwed-up rich girl; Kurt Lasko, a divorced septic-tank cleaner and Kimberley, his clever daughter; and the vonBushbergers, long-time cherry farmers whose family life has suddenly gone global. And at the edge of the village, rattling around alone in his architectural landmark, in frantic search for new revenue streams, lurks ex-dot-com zillionaire Noah Yoder, the man whose possible connection to David Letterman could change everyone’s life.
Should be tucked into every Midwestern beach bag.