Kaitlyn Yates




Northwood by Maryse Meijer explores the ebb and flow of a violent affair effervescing from a cabin in the woods. Written in nonlinear verse, various sections capture the intimate process of the delusions, realizations, and recovery that typically tracks destructive love. The novel follows a relationship that culminates after the summer solstice and the protagonist returns to normalcy by marrying a different man. Notable for its emotional intensity and apt descriptions of attachment, this novella follows on the heels of Meijer’s Heartbreaker, a collection of stories striking for similar weight: the balanced expression of hard-to-handle truths on a blurred line of prosetry. In Northwood, readers are pulled into a tumultuous relationship with phrases that probe a contained emotional history, to evoke a pathos that lasts the length of the novella. “How wealthy I was, how fragile, how strong like the strange / skin of a bubble that can resist so much and then / nothing at all.” The vulnerability, slicing for its exposition and lyricism, sweeps us in; we cannot refuse reading, returning, and reflecting.


— Review by Kaitlyn Yates