Russell Dean, a wealthy, self-centered, intolerant Chicago executive whose life is unraveling is drawn by unknown forces to the tiny wilderness resort town of Kamini, Ontario. There he meets a wildly disparate collection of characters including three skilled, ferocious women and Gribber, a mirthful Ojibwe fishing guide. Russell glimpses the Ojibwe view of the world and the mystical power of wilderness to heal and transform. He embarks on a bumper-boat journey of self-discovery, but will his atonement come in time to mend all he has destroyed?
Welcome to Kamini introduces Ojibwe fishing guide John Dogrib, along with bits of Ojibwe lore, language and humor. Readers who haven’t met an Ojibwe guide in the Northwoods will learn about the land, the language and the diversity within the culture. Those who know the culture well will appreciate the humor and individuality of Gribber, who goes through a few changes of his own as he teaches others about life and laughter. It was a pleasure helping Don get the details right and to know an author who took the time to ensure cultural accuracy while giving readers a window into a world beyond their own. Ingikendaan wii-minwendaman gaa-ozhibiiged. (I know you will like what he wrote.) — Margaret Noodin, Anishinaabe poet, Professor of English and American Indian Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Who wouldn’t want to visit Kamini? In this delightful debut novel, Don Engebretson evokes the quiet peace of the sunrise over water or a musky trailing a lure with the best of them. Come for the engaging people and plot, stay for some of the best nature writing you’ll read this year. — Carter Meland, author of Stories for a Lost Child
Don has penned a jewel of the north. His debut novel is utterly charming, with a pitch-perfect ear for the brisk wit and easy rhythms of a northern Ontario resort community. The entertaining characters are warm and welcoming, even while they’re poking fun at you. This book—this place—is the soul-renewing vacation you need right now. Take it. — Stephanie Wilbur Ash, author of The Annie Year