REVIEW: NORTH OF HERE BY LAUREL SAVILLE

north-of-here-book

  • PUBLISHED: MARCH 1ST, 2016
  • PUBLISHING HOUSE: LAKE UNION PUBLISHING
  • GENRE: FICTION (GENERAL), SUSPENSE, ROMANTIC TRAGEDY
  • NOTABLE WORKS BY THE AUTHOR:
    • UNRAVELLING ANNE
    • HENRY & RACHEL
  • FORMAT AVAILABLE: PAPERBACK, HARDBACK, KINDLE EDITION, MP3 CD, AUDIO DOWNLOAD
  • ISBN: 9781503949980 OR 1503949982
  • RATING: 4/5 STARS

SYNOPSIS:

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 he 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.

I was given this book by NetGalley in exchange of my honest review.

All I can say is, wow! This book grips you like no other. Each character is so deeply wounded in someway; some more obvious than others but, as a reader it becomes a living breathing reality. Almost like you’re actually living their story.

The book is about a young twenty-something woman named Miranda who struggles to ‘find her self’ after tragically losing her entire family (brother in a car accident, father to a freak accident during a storm, and her mother to multiple strokes). Miranda is young, not strikingly pretty yet, attractive in her own right and comes from old money. Both her parents are WASPS. Her older brother Scott is shown to be overly stereotypical in his mannerisms – good looking, charming, witty, smart and of course the prodigal son. Miranda when first introduced to the reader comes of bland, wishy-washy and really, really annoying.

The second main pivotal character is Dix. He is native to the Adirondack Park which, is in New York State. He is perceived because of who Miranda is, and has been raised, to be good at one thing, and one thing only and that is, fixing stuff. Dix is good with his hands. He’s a problem solver and he secretly comes from middle-class parents – both who went to architect school; one in building architecture the other in landscaping. Dix sets out to help Miranda only to be rebuked by him both physically and emotionally when she abandons the life he’s given her to live in a commune cult house known only as “The Source”.

“The Source” is an old-fashioned dilapitated farm house off the beaten track that is habited by a troubled rich-kid called Darius. Darius was first introduced to us as David. Darius is an enigma and dangerous. His intentions and vision is aspirational at best but quickly turn to dust in his hands.

Lastly. we have Sally. She is a no-nonsense, hard-working, independent woman who works for the state as a social worker. It was Sally who gave Darius the house as it once belonged to her grandmother.


Sorry for the spoilers!!!!

My first thoughts of this book were ‘this is going to be a drag’. I found Miranda and continue seeing her as annoying wall-flower who needs to be bullied in all aspects of her life in order to actually, live. Her relationship with Dix doesn’t reflect this, mainly because he does what needs to be done rather than forcing himself into situations, unlike Miranda’s father and later on Darius.

I love. love, love Dix. He is this gentle, kind, warm soul. He’s like that first cup of coffee in the morning, and fresh sheets at night. He’s loving, dependable and reliable without even trying. Gah! I just want him as my new book boyfriend!!!! Miranda uses him as a safety net/blanket to hide from the world, and all the crap her father did to get by, without seeing him for who he is.

As much as I love Dix, I did find him irritating at times. He is not in tune with his wants and feelings, and so he leaves things that need emotionally fixing, to rot and fester like a scab that won’t heal. He gives up on Miranda too easily once she starts her life up at the commune, and as a result loses her completely.

The way the book is split into four fluidly flowing parts, each expressing a different story or character but ultimately coming back to Miranda. I must admit, I was rooting for The Source at first, hoping it would help heal Miranda like she so desperately wanted, but the result was so unexpected.

Sally is the one who helps give the book some grit, with her use of profanity, fondness of cigarettes and love of casual sex. I prefer her to Miranda because of her spunk. I also love how she helps heal Dix…how they become the family, he so badly wanted with Miranda.

This book is worth the read. It’s not overly long, and is definitely not what you expect what-so-ever.

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