Set against the wide open beauty of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, a wise, big hearted novel in which a young single mother and her ten-year-old daughter stand up to the trials of rural poverty and find the community they need in order to survive.
Laurel Hill and her precocious daughter Skye have always been each other's everything. The pair live on Lake Superior, where the local school has classes of just four children, and the nearest hospital is a helicopter ride away. Though they live frugally, eking out a living with Laurel's patchwork of jobs, their deep love for each other feels like it can warm them even on the coldest of nights. What more do they need?
One otherwise normal afternoon, their landlord decides to evict them in favor of a more profitable summer rental, and, without any warning, they are pushed farther to the margins. Suddenly it feels like the independence that has defined them is a liability. And when a dangerous incident threatens to separate them, Laurel and Skye must forever choose--will they leave the place they love and the hardscrabble life they've built to move closer to civilization, or risk everything to embrace the emptiness and wildness that has defined them?
What follows is an uplifting, profoundly moving story about a mother and daughter fighting for each other, against all odds, as they learn to build community and foster the resilience that will keep them alive.
About the Author
Ellen Airgood runs a diner in Grand Marais, Michigan. She is the author of the novel South of Superior, as well as two works of young adult fiction.
"Moving and brave."—People
"Airgood is an ideal guide to these fictionalized U.P. towns, having lived and worked in Grand Marais (Michigan's version, not Minnesota's) for 30 years, running a local restaurant in addition to writing. If you've been to the U.P., you will recognize it in this loving portrayal; if you haven't, you will immediately want to visit." —Star Tribune
“Heartfelt…Airgood offers an impactful look at the ineffable bond between a mother and daughter and the tenuous grip they have on their sense of home. Readers will fall in love with this story’s rich characters and scenery.”—STARRED REVIEW, Publishers Weekly “An affecting portrait of the region and its residents, filled with love and pride.” —Kirkus
"Airgood's characters feel true and rich...internally complex as they strive for happiness, connection, fulfillment, and comfort in each other, their surroundings, and themselves. A leisurely read with a strong sense of place that is ideal for pairing with the stony beaches of Lake Superior or the sharp crackle of a campfire."—Booklist
“An elegant and poetic exploration of hardship and hope, of maternal love, and of what really matters.” —Katherine Center, New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away
“The characters in Tin Camp Road are so vulnerable it hurts. So much is at stake for Laurel, a young single mother struggling to make ends meet, that this novel reads with the emotional momentum of a thriller. Caring for her precocious daughter is further complicated when the path out of poverty presents new and terrible compromises. This achingly beautiful novel considers the pursuit of happiness in all its complexity.” –Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of Once Upon a River
"Tin Camp Road taught me that a life truly blooms once it reaches its breaking point. Fierce and tender, this story tests the wilds of one woman's heart as she fights to claim a home for her daughter. In it, Ellen Airgood reminds us what it means to live off the land not only in body, but in spirit. This novel made me ache, hold my breath, and ultimately rejoice in its final moments. Every word holds the echo of a hallelujah." – Amy Jo Burns, author of Shiner
“At a moment when America needs most to heal from its divisions, along comes Ellen Airgood’s remarkable novel Tin Camp Road. A joyful, fortifying book that shows us perhaps city and country aren’t so far apart after all...Tin Camp Road is a restorative balm for these troubled times.” – Michael Zadoorian, author of The Leisure Seeker