DiscoverMagical Realism

North to Home


Loved it! 😍

I didn't expect this book. I was caught completely unawares. In the best possible way(s).

This is a love story, so wonderfully unlikely and yet, so absolutely true. This is a slow burning, highly engrossing, borderline addictive romance novel and yet, complex in its simplicity, discreet in its spot-on allegories, imaginative in its genre-hopping and fearless in its paradoxes, it is also so much more.

Nolee and Keet are not teenagers, rich or extraordinarily beautiful people. Instead, they break the surface of the pages as achingly familiar humans, each seemingly, comfortably fitting to the old, much used adage "the woman / man next door". Well into their middle age, carrying the wounds, mistakes, lessons learned, small wins and surviving hope of the first half of their life, they slowly, oh so carefully, fall in love. In and awake to Nature around them that lets them be without judgment or prejudice.

As their love grows deeper, their secrets demand sharing. Surprisingly, subversively, his is of the body, hers of the mind. In a way, he is of the sea, she, of the air. Can they coexist and remain together, against all odds, on the tiny piece of earth they call home on this planet that they share with so many other creatures, friends, or foes?

I don't wish to reveal too much and break this book's spell, so thoughtfully and gently weaved by Crissi McDonald. Who splits the narration into first person (for Nolee) and third person (for Keet) to keep each one's mystery alive for longer (so even if you guess the "what", you are still missing the intriguing "how" or "why"), while also offering more, unexpected points of (world)view. Who respectfully draws inspiration from Native American folklore and effectively borrows tropes from different genres to create an exceptionally mature, down to earth fantasy romance, grafted with fertile traces of a character drama, a suspense thriller, and an environmentally conscious disaster movie. All in all, a love story that can be irresistible to everyone from most of the fans of the above genres to environmentalists, naturalists, animal advocates and pet owners of every age.

Because Nolee and Keet are anything but ordinary after all. Yet, there they still are, flesh and blood, body and soul, two of us.

P.S. The only reason this is a 4 and not a 5 star review, is because their story doesn't conclude in North to Home. It continues in the sequel The Clock in the Water. Can't wait!

Reviewed by

I watch, I read, I write. Not necessarily in that order. I am a motion pictures fanatic, an avid book reader, an unabashed amateur photographer, an ever curious globe-trotter, an occasionally addicted video-gamer, a (pop) culture aficionado and socially conscious political animal.

Chapter One

About the author

Crissi McDonald has loved the ocean and the art of writing since childhood. She is the author of two books on horsemanship and the human/equine bond. "North to Home" is her first work of fiction. view profile

Published on May 13, 2022

110000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Magical Realism

Reviewed by