At last! After our deep freeze winter, the weekend. 40, 50 degrees. Tee shirt weather. People were out on the still frozen lakes. Minnesotans emerged, pale and dazzled, from their caves, and walked their dogs or conversed euphorically as they walked the paths and sidewalks and ice free trails. It was lovely to see the action in the streets. The bookstore was packed. I thought of us all emerging from The Winter Vault. The Winter Vault is actually the title of Ann Michael's new novel (Fugitive Pieces, her last book). My daughter gave it to me, and I read it right through. The first half especially is extraordinary. This is a love story, a river story, a story about how all we do changes what and whom we love. It is exquisitely written. The wrenching and lovely book of a poet with great narrative skills.