This collection of stories charts the emotional lives of characters in the midst of private sorrows and triumphs. Each story, set in the cities and towns around the Great Lakes, reveals the author's fierce love for a landscape merciless and opulent, yet speaks with eloquence about its inhabitants. The humanitarian crisis in Thunder Bay is seen from the perspective of a police officer whose stepson is missing; fearing he will be found, like so many others, in the McIntyre River, his mother's grief causes an insurmountable rift. Crumbling buildings, high rent and condo developments in Toronto are playfully satirized. A young mother waits inside a Chicago-area prison to find out if funding for the Prison-Mother Baby program will continue. A man drives from Traverse City, Michigan in the midst of a lake effect storm to transport his Iranian-Canadian girlfriend across the border illegally. A Canadian mother befriends an American woman, employed at Target, whose desperation for a baby leads her to seek the advice of spiritualists in Lily Dale, New York. Topical and arresting, these tales showcase an author who writes with insight and sensitivity.