The Long-Shining Waters

The Long-Shining Waters

“The first great novel about Lake Superior.” —MINNESOTA MONTHLY
Select Format

Frigid, lethal, and wildly beautiful, Lake Superior is as alluring as it is dangerous. Featuring three women living on its shores in three different centuries, Danielle Sosin’s debut novel illuminates the mysterious powers of the greatest of the Great Lakes.

The Long-Shining Waters begins in 1622. Grey Rabbit—an Ojibwe woman, mother, and wife—struggles to understand a dream-life that takes on fearful dimensions. Berit and Gunnar, a Norwegian couple, fish the North Shore in 1902. Though the lake anchors Berit’s isolated life, those same waters ultimately test her endurance and spirit. And then in 2000, Nora, a seasoned bar owner, finds her life unraveling and is drawn into a journey around the lake. As these narratives unfold with the mesmerizing rhythm of waves, a fourth mysterious voice slowly manifests.

Haunting, rich in historical detail, and universal in its exploration of the human desire for meaning when faced with uncertainty and the indomitable power of place, this is an unforgettable work of fiction, by an author whose writing effortlessly “captures unexpected moments of beauty and clarity” (New York Times).

Publish Date
5.44 × 8.5 × 0.69 in
12.8 oz

Praise and Prizes

  • “We are plunged, fascinated and chilled, into one of three alternately narrated stories that make up this masterful ode to the sprawling, shape-shifting freshwater sea that is Lake Superior… . The construct is brilliant, the prose fine, the characters beautifully developed, the regional sense powerful… . This ode to the greatest of all lakes is nothing less than grand.”

    Minneapolis Star Tribune
  • “You don’t see writing like this often, so infused with an intimate relationship to nature… . Danielle Sosin writes about Lake Superior as if it were a character, a parent, a lover, an enemy.”

    Los Angeles Times
  • “Danielle Sosin has written the first great novel about Lake Superior—and its many ghosts.”

    Minnesota Monthly
  • “Remarkable … All three stories are amazingly textured, reflecting lightly worn research on topics including Ojibwe life, Superior geology and—especially—the tools and rituals of daily work. Parceled out in increments that rarely last longer than a few pages, these three stories are themselves interwoven with brief, lyric interludes that recount Superior’s own history and give voice to both the Great Lake itself and to the drowned entombed there.”

    Milwaukee Journal
  • “Danielle Sosin evokes the unforgettable pull of this watery expanse.”

    National Geographic Explorer
  • “Danielle Sosin’s beautiful, resonant prose is a joy, and her devotion to what compels us to gather on the shores of great waters distinguishes this novel that is, as well, a great story. The intimate portrait of three women bound by their times and coming unbound in the great tidal pull of history is deeply affecting, wise, and true. The Long-Shining Waters is an enchantment, a challenge, a tale to fall into and carry long after it’s done.”

    Patricia Weaver Francisco, author of Telling