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Guess the Escape: A Literary Adventure Game

If you’re reading this in the print version of the Frankenmuth News, then chances are you’re here in Frankenmuth and you did not get away for Spring Break. You are likely staring at snow and snow covered pine trees instead of snowy white beaches and sun-drenched palm trees (or has it melted already?!). Well, I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to board a plane or drive south on I-75 to get away. Exploring a new world and adventuring to a new place is possible every time you open a book.


This week, we’re going to play a guessing game. I’m going to describe a handful of the literary worlds I’ve explored throughout the first few months of 2024, and you’re going to guess what book I am describing. Chances are, you’ll know at least a few of them. All these books are available at our local library or through the VLC and answers are at the bottom of the column. (No peeking!)


Here we go:


1.     Set in the fictional town of Sowell Bay, Washington, an elderly woman forms a special and unlikely friendship with a mischievous giant Pacific octopus named Marcellus. While working the night shift at the local aquarium, mopping floors and polishing glass, Tova, with the help of Marcellus, discovers the truth about her son’s disappearance thirty years ago. For fans of a heartwarming Fredrik Backman novel, this one’s for you. I give this novel 5 stars.

a.      Gravity Is the Thing by Jaclyn Moriarty

b.      Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

c.       Octopus, Seahorse, Jellyfish by David Liittschwager

2.     Sunshine Falls, North Carolina is the opposite of the big city. It’s cold creeks, fresh mountain air, breathtaking sunsets, and twinkling lightning bug skies, are the perfect start to a month-long summer getaway for cutthroat literary agent, Nora Stephens. Everything is going surprisingly well until Nora bumps into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from the city. Despite their glaring differences, each accidental run in proves the pair might actually have a few things in common. I give this contemporary romance 4.5 stars.

a.      Book Lovers by Emily Henry

b.      Meet Me in the Margins by Melissa Ferguson

c.       Nora Goes Off Script by Annabel Monaghan

3.     Set in a not-so-distant future where industrial-agricultural experiments carried out in America’s heartland have blanketed the globe in an intractable, crop-smothering smog killing most of Earth's plant and animal species, a chef escapes her career in London to join an elite community for the superrich in the Italian Alps, one of the last places on Earth where crops still grow. This sensuous and surprising novel is a story about the intricacies of desire and longing. I give this dystopian novel 4.75 stars.

a.      Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

b.      Harrow by Joy Williams

c.       Land of Milk and Honey by C Pam Zhang

4.     Set partially at a New England elephant sanctuary and in the savannas of Africa, 13-year-old Jenna Metcalf decides to search for her mother, Alice, a scientist who studied grief in elephants and disappeared 10 years earlier in the wake of a tragic accident at the sanctuary. Unsure of where to begin her search, Jenna solicits the help of disgraced medium Serenity Jones, and whiskey-prone private detective Virgil Stanhope. I give this book 4.5 stars.

a.      Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

b.      Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano

c.       Hang the Moon by Jeannette Walls

5.     A dystopian novel set in the near future where roughly two hundred mothers are separated from their children and sent away to a year-long court-mandated reeducation school on an abandoned college campus to become “good” mothers. This book is a commentary on the outrageous and often unobtainable social expectations of mothers. I give this book 3.5 stars.

a.      The Long Answer by Anna Hogeland

b.      Elsewhere by Alexis Schaitkin

c.       The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan


While there’s nothing like escaping the snow for sun-drenched skies and blistering warm beaches, it’s no secret that books have always held the power of escape. Books are the doorways to an endless array of diverse worlds, allowing us to transcend our surroundings and embark on adventures without ever leaving the comfort of home. Whether you’re home or away-from-home this week, we wish you many literary escapes. Thanks for playing!



1.      (b) Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

2.      (a) Book Lovers by Emily Henry

3.      (c) Land of Milk and Honey by C Pam Zhang

4.      (a) Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

5.      (c) The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan

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