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Friday, September 28, 2018

Hundred Miles to Nowhere


Author/singer Elisa Korenne   tells a wonderful story in her memoir Hundred Miles To Nowhere. It’s the story of the New York City girl who meets a small town Minnesota guy. Being of the later type, I was naturally enthralled.  Elisa gets accepted to an artist residency in New York Mills, MN, and sees it as an opportunity to broaden her songwriting horizons. Looking for true to life Minnesota (fly over country Hicksville) experiences she starts by scheduling a wilderness canoe camping trip with  a local outdoorsy insurance man.  The fun part,   reading about their romance, is the contrasts of their two very different  worlds, how their relationship developed and was challenged by such different communities.

After her one month residency was up Elisa and Chris carried on with a mutual  cross-country romance and finally it was  Elisa who gave up subways, theater, City Bakery cookies, and her Brooklyn apartment to become the 1,153rd resident of New York Mills, a rural town ninety miles from the nearest metropolitan area, Fargo, North Dakota.  A few highlight/lowlights were the gossips who knew her weekend plans before she did. The postmaster who set up gigs for her behind her back. Chris expected her to eat roadkill for dinner. The the uproar when the Finnish Lutherans in town learned she was Jewish.  And the furnace dying at twenty-six below.  Regardless, Elisa moved to Minnesota and married Chris anyway.

I loved this book. It’s insightful, funny and draws you right into the predicament of being a transplant in different world.   My own experience growing up in the Twin Cities and spending my adult working life in rural Minnesota was not quite as dramatic but still I could relate. The old and new blend into  an evolving you.  Unafraid  you can meet the challenges and I believe see both the past and present circumstance of you, your life and surroundings much more clearly… I highly recommend this book…..

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@Barrie Summy