Exploring Wisconsin’s Cities and Countryside
These two books take me to the capital – Madison – With The wrong sister and in its beautiful landscape with The story of Edgar Sawtelle. And even though I’m still in quarantine and isolation, I can still spot the many Things to do in wisconsin This weekend just from my comfortable armchair or the veranda seesaw.
TE Woods’ wrong sister
Tess Kincaid lived in Madison, Wisconsin, her whole life. Her life spins six square miles between her and her alcoholic father, and the day Tess sees her doppelganger, she and every other Madison resident are stuck in traffic trying to get down Regent Street.
Tess discovers her “twin” because she doesn’t fit: “Here in Madison you rarely see so much disguise. And you certainly won’t see it on a late workday afternoon when the temperatures are in the high 90s and there is enough humidity to make your car windows sweat. “
Tess eventually tracks down the woman named Mimi at HotelRED, where they discover their similarities while discussing whether their meeting was a coincidence or something else.
“Things got slower. Madison closes pretty early on a Thursday evening. Also in the summer. The people of the Midwest would never let a night of festivities affect their attitude towards sunrise. Tomorrow there was another working day. In these areas, you will hear middle-aged people who still refer to weekday evenings as “school evenings.” “
The two get to know each other and believe that they are twins who were separated after their parents separated. Mimi asks Tess what it was like to grow up in “America’s heartland” and wonders if it is magical as Bon Jovi and John Mellencamp imagine it to be.
Tess talks about ice skating in winter, hanging out by the lake in summer, families having coffee and chatting on the porch white picket fences Once the heat of the day subsided and the importance of being one University of Wisconsin Fan. Through Tess, we experience Madison, including Monroe Street, where coffee shops are filled with a multitude of people, making it the centerpiece of the action. State Street, a perfect street for people watching; Relaxing in front of Lake Wingra; and its beautiful network of paths.
“Three lakeside hiking trails in the heart of town were gems too beautiful to ignore on that hot August evening. Especially on a Saturday. From here there was a short walk west, the least popular of the trio. Another walked east, snaked through old trees, and followed the lake for over a mile. It culminated in the Student Union Building, where hundreds of people drank beer, ate brats and listened to music on a huge stone terrace by the lake. “
Tess and her father took the path in the middle that ends on a peninsula called Picnic Point. The land narrows along the way and the two of them see Lake Mendota. At this point there are places to sit where people can “contemplate the beauty of the lake and the city skyline and think great thoughts.”
The story of Edgar Sawtelle
In the story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski, Trudy and Gar Sawtelle, their son Edgar, who cannot speak, and the Sawtelle dogs they breed live on a farm traced back to the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in North Wisconsin
“What was called Chequamegon as if it were a single block of forest was in fact a Swiss cheese from state-owned forest and private property, especially around the dozen lakes.”
At the edge of their property runs a beautiful creek that is only two or three feet wide and so shallow. “You could snap a rock off the ground without getting your wrist wet.” In the spring, the brook is a sluggish, clay-colored river that always held a flood of treasure, which made Edgar all the more mysterious as there was nothing but forest upstream.
When Edgar is a teenager, his father dies and something disastrous happens, causing the boy and his dogs to rush into the woods. Through Edgar we discover the beauty of this national forest, including the ferns, which are so lush that they look like an “original, green, shadowy world of grass and violin heads”.
“They drifted from lake to lake like stepping stones across a stream that moved west through the Chequamegon. Sometimes Edgar learned the names of the lakes from leaflets in the cabins – Phoebus, Duckhead, Yellow – but usually it was just the lake. Without maps, they were surrounded by swamps and forced to withdraw. “
It sounds like a beautiful landscape (with the exception of the nasty, biting insects) and Edgar listens to the howls and moans of beavers and the screams of loons at daybreak, watching birds approach the lake and eat insects. Edgar sees his first snapping turtle the size of a dinner plate and spends a lot of time fishing in the lakes.
Edgar and a man named Henry, whom he meets on his travels, stop in Brule, Wisconsin, where Henry shows him a bay he has discovered.
They chase pines and maples, trees that “were covered with green moss. … The air was filled with the scent of the lake. Even before Edgar saw water, he heard the waves crash against the bank. They appeared near a secluded cove … At the back was a sheer rock wall, twenty-three feet high, forming an irregular curve, covered with gray ledges and studded with erosion holes, some of which were so large they looked like caves. A colony of waterfowl screeched and fluttered near the top where a patch of turf and tree roots hung over the rock. “
Edgar immediately understands why Henry likes the place. On a calm day, it would be a place to watch the flat horizon with no houses, streets, or boats on the water.