Carlisle’s affinity for this iconic body of water shines through on every page. However, The Lake Effect plunges darker depths, too. Carlisle addresses the unpredictability and capricious whims of Mother Nature, even in a lake “compromised and ‘controlled’” by humanity, particularly the fatal sinking of the SS Carl D. Bradley in 1958. Aquatic Armageddon is also explored thoroughly, with Carlisle examining in fascinating depth invasive species like lampreys, zebra mussels, Quagga mussels, Asian carp, and goby fish and their catastrophic effects on the Great Lakes. Lately, changes in climate have eroded dunes, intensified weather, and ushered in a “new normal” in changes of water level, with some disastrous results, like houses crashing into the lake.
Meticulous research, source notations, and first-hand accounts of travels around the massive lake back up his opinions and musings, and black-and-white illustrations and photos provide welcome visuals ranging from a lamprey’s maw to “the most beautiful day” Carlisle and family ever spent at the lake. Evocative prose and a willingness to face the complex and ambiguous will engage readers fascinated by America’s waterways while enriching their understanding, appreciation, and concern for the future.
Takeaway: This in-depth love letter to Lake Michigan will captivate readers with a passion for the Great Lakes.
Great for fans of: Jerry Dennis’s The Living Great Lakes, Dana Thomas Bowen’s Memories of the Lakes.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A