North of Here by Laurel Saville

North of Here by Laurel Saville
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (258 pgs)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Stephanotis

The sounds of unexpected tragedies—a roll of thunder, the crash of metal on metal—leave Miranda in shock amid the ruins of her broken family.

As she searches for new meaning in her life, Miranda finds quiet refuge with her family’s handyman, Dix, in his cabin in the dark forests of the Adirondack Mountains. Dix is kind, dependable, and good with an ax—the right man to help the sheltered Miranda heal—but ultimately, her sadness creates a void even Dix can’t fill.

When a man from her distant past turns up, the handsome idealist now known as Darius, he offers Miranda a chance to do meaningful work at The Source, a secluded property filled with his nature worshipers. Miranda feels this charismatic guru is the key to remaking her life, but her grief and desire for love also create an opportunity for his deception. And in her desperate quest to find herself after losing almost everything, Miranda and Dix could pay a higher price than they ever imagined.

Miranda was an interesting character in this book, and the main reason I kept on to the end.  While I liked the author’s voice and the flow of her prose, I have to say this book wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. I’ll admit I’m more of a genre fiction fan than a literary one and this book fit into the latter category and may be the reason I didn’t enjoy it as much as I’d hoped.

The reason I’m not typically a fan of literary novels is I feel authors spend too much time telling us what happened rather than showing us. It’s not so much the fault of the writer, but the style they choose to write in. I did feel this story could have been much stronger and more enjoyable, at least for me, told with more dialogue and more in the here and now than being told the story in narration form.

It’s a bittersweet story, very moving in parts, very sad in others. I did feel a connection with Miranda because of the situation she found herself in. It’s a dire one and none of which is her fault, so I began cheering her on. I hoped that things turn around for her, especially when Dix comes on the scene.

What dialogue there was in this book was excellent, very lifelike and one of the reasons I wished there would have been more. All the characters seemed believable even if some weren’t that likeable.

It does, as any book should, make you think about things, in this case, lose and healing and trying to move on with one’s life after a tragedy.

If you are a fan of literary fiction, I’d say give this one a read.

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