Thursday, November 17, 2016

Review: North of Here by Laurel Saville

Title: North of Here
Author: Laurel Saville
Narrator: Pete Simonelli
Published: March 2016, Brilliance Audio
Length: 9 hours 29 minutes
Source: Publisher
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.

My thoughts: This was an odd and yet, strangely moving book. It's one of those books that starts off slow, meanders around and then hooks you in and you find yourself engaged and unable to walk away as you've become invested in the characters and even the storyline. I wouldn't say I loved it, but I didn't hate it either - I think it's one that ends up growing on you and gets a little under your skin, if that makes sense.

The characters, whether you like them or not, really do come to life in this book. Miranda is a little lost and after suffering a few tragedies in her life, needs to find peace and a purpose. She is bogged down with grief and hopelessness and doesn't quite know what to do.  And the other characters - Dix, Sally and Darius are equally fascinating in their own right. 

The whole idea of the commune  - The Source - just bothered me - these scenes were just disturbing on so many levels. This is such a layered, complex read and much more than I thought it would be - it really takes you on a roller-coaster of emotions and even the pace seems to match that - it's slow at times and then it ratchets up a notch or two, and then slows down again. So many thoughts run through your mind as you read this - how do people get convinced to live at places like The Source? This just boggles my mind.

This is definitely an interesting book - one that sticks with you after you finish because the both the characters and the storyline are so unique. I'm definitely intrigued enough to see what else this author has written and continues to write. 

Audio thoughts: I always wonder what goes into the decision of selecting a male voice for an audio book when the main character is female...I mean, yes, there are male characters in this book, but why  not select a female narrator? That being said, I think Pete Simonelli did a good job narrating this book. It was an enjoyable listen to a unique read.



  1. Excellent review, as always. I'm glad you enjoyed listening to this story. But it does seem odd to me as well to choose a male narrator.

  2. Thanks for the review on a book that sounds very unusual.

  3. This sounds interesting and unusual and not what I would have expected from the cover! I'm not sure it's on the top of the list but it is one I'll keep an eye out for.


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