Read local: A new flavor of locavore-ism

You already eat, drink, and shop local, right? Today, I invite you to expand your locavore-ism to a new realm: Reading local. Specifically, reading The Orphan Daughter, the story of how two fragile souls – 11-year-old orphan Lucy Ortiz and her aunt, prickly empty- nester Jane McArdle — forge a family in the aftermath of tragedy. Set on Traverse City’s Old Mission Peninsula, it touches on themes of motherhood, finding home, resilience and forgiveness. Here’s why:

It’s just good

How good? The Orphan Daughter was the No. 3 paperback fiction bestseller for 2018 at Horizon Books, Traverse City’s oldest bookstore. Plus, it received more than 300 five-star ratings on Goodreads & Amazon. A few favorites:

– “I inhaled The Orphan Daughter, completely fascinated by both the relationships between the characters and by all the farming details. This would make a good book discussion selection.”

– “I loved Lucy’s spunk and Jane’s determination. The farm life and CSA information was really interesting as well.”


Protagonist Jane McArdle, proprietress of a CSA on Old Mission, was drawn from interviews with real-life Peak Season CSA owner Barb Wunsch (pictured in green). From pulling the mulch off her garlic in April to the precise week of August when tomatoes finally ripen, Barb authenticated key aspects of the story. After initially subscribing as research, I’ve re-subscribed this year.

Warning: CSA fever is contagious. A reader who attended a talk I gave last summer in Marquette wrote me this note in February: “I wanted you to know that that book was the catalyst for me signing up for a CSA for this season :)” (She picked Dukes Farm in Skandia.)

Celebrate a birthday

I’m giving away 3 copies among those who sign up for my e- mail newsletter by May 8, 2019, the official 1-year birthday.

Sign up here

Ready to read? You can pick up the paperback copy at Horizon, Bookbrokers and Brilliant Books in Traverse City. If they don’t carry it already, most Michigan bookstores will order it. Amazon carries Audible, Kindle and paperback editions.

Author Cari Noga, a Michigan native, has called Traverse City home for 21 years. The Orphan Daughter is her second novel. Subscribe to her author newsletter or find out more at

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