REVIEW: NORTH OF HERE, BY LAUREL SAVILLE

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From the very beginning of North of Here, I was totally engaged with the story of Miranda, whose brother and father had both died, within a few short years of one another, and her elusive, emotionally unavailable mother is soon gone as well.

What is Miranda to do? Her life has not been one that taught her self-reliance, or even the practical day-to-day ways to navigate its obstacles. The handyman, Dix, is someone she feels she can count on, and when he offers her a cottage on his property, she accepts. Soon they are very close, and life looks good. Until…

Someone from the past with his own agenda appears, and starts a commune of young hopefuls who are searching for answers and a better life. But should they put their faith in Darius? Because her own life is still a void, Miranda is drawn to Darius and his teachings, leaving Dix behind.

In the midst of this commune, however, is a thirty-something social worker named Sally, who is a bystander of sorts. She holds the mortgage on the property, so she is standing by to protect what she owns…and to see what Darius is all about.

Set in the Adirondacks, we soon come to know this world through the vivid depiction of the author, and as the characters’ lives unfold for us, we can see their flaws, their strengths, and even their destinies.

Alternating narrators reveal much about the characters and how they came to the point in their lives where they intersected with one another. We learn more about Dix, who is not just a handyman, but someone wise and educated, with his own holdings in the forested area. We see how the supposedly philosophical Darius is nothing more than a con man and an entitled trust-fund brat. Miranda, who seems sympathetic in the beginning, is really hopelessly naïve and seriously flawed. Sally was the most intriguing character to me, as she appears brash and blustery on the surface, but underneath, she is kind and more aware than the others, despite being temporarily blinded by Darius’s charm. Then, an unexpected gift changes the lives of them all. A somewhat sad but enjoyable read, this one earned 4 stars.

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8 thoughts on “REVIEW: NORTH OF HERE, BY LAUREL SAVILLE

  1. I dearly loved Henry and Rachel and liked Unraveling. I love North of Here because of the complex characters, flawed, imperfect and real. Some lines in novel stay in your mind forever.

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