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House for all Seasons
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House for all Seasons

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  135 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Small towns can keep big secrets.

Bequeathed a century-old house, four estranged friends return to their home town, Calingarry Crossing, where each must stay for a season at The Dandelion House to fulfil the wishes of their benefactor, Gypsy.

But coming home to the country stirs shameful memories of the past, including the tragic end-of-school muck up day accident twenty ye...more
Paperback, 474 pages
Published March 1st 2013 by Simon and Schuster Australia
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Community Reviews

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It's been twenty years since former friends Sara, Poppy, Amber and Caitlin have seen each other. After the tragic event at a school muck up day the friends drifted apart and so did their friendships.

The women have inherited an old house named The Dandelion House in a small town of Calingarry Crossing from an old friend, Gypsy. Each of them are required to spend one season of the year in the house before the final decision is made on what to do with the house. With each season we journey through...more
Helene Young
Jenn J McLeod’s debut novel, House for all Seasons, is a rich tapestry of small town life. It interweaves the lives of Sara, Poppy, Amber and Caitlin as they deal with painful memories and confronting secrets.

The themes are strong and wide-ranging, moving from the issues of illness and disability, to teenager pregnancy, domestic violence, alcoholism, and post-traumatic stress disorder. That may sound like a truckload to pack into one book, but Ms McLeod doesn’t dwell on the issues or preach. Rat...more
When Sara, Poppy, Amber and Caitlin were to stay at The Dandelion House, a season each, they hadn’t seen each other for twenty years. They had all drifted apart after the Year 12 muck-up day, in which they were all a part of, went terribly wrong, and guilt kept them apart while they forged ahead with careers and marriage, life and living.

Owner of the house, Gypsy, had left it to the four of them, but they had to come back to the country, to their origins in Calingarry Crossing, and stay for a se...more
MarciaB - Book Muster Down Under
Four women! And a tale that lays bare the dark secret of a NSW country town!!

Former friends Sara, Amber, Poppy and Caitlin, are introduced to us as they sit in a solicitor’s office, having just received news of an unexpected inheritance. Gypsy, an old friend, has bequeathed The Dandelion House to them in four equal shares, her terms – to each spend one season at the house! After the tragic events which took place twenty years before, they find it curious that they have inherited the house and do...more
(Book was gifted by The Reading Room in return for review)

Calingarry Crossing is a place that Sara, Poppy, Amber and Caitlin had put behind them a long time ago. A tragic accident left them all scarred and running from their past, but Gypsy a woman who had taken them all into her life and home when their homes were places that they did not want to be, is about to change all of that. Gypsy left her home to all of them on the condition that they spend a season there. They all agree, some not willi...more

5 / 5 stars


Twenty years have passed since high school friends Sara Fraser, Poppy Hamilton, Amber Bailey and Caitlin Wynter have seen one another.

They are bought together by an inheritance - a house near Calingarry Crossing which was owned by a woman who befriended them all, Gypsy.

The terms of the will are that each of the four women must spend a season at the house before coming to an agreement about what to do with the inheritance.

My Thoughts

Told from the alternating perspective of each...more
Dale Harcombe
Four and a half stars. Four women are left a house known as The Dandelion House in a will. The condition set by the owner is that each of the four women spends a season at the house in Calingarry Crossing before they decide what to do with it. These four women had grown up in Calingarry Crossing and been friends of sorts during their school year but had drifted apart afterward and gone their separate ways. Why they wonder has Gypsy left this house been left to the four of them? None of them is k...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

Jenn J McLeod's lovely debut novel, House For All Seasons, is the story of four women, once childhood friends, now strangers, drawn back to their hometown by the unusual terms of a surprising inheritance. Sara, Poppy, Amber and Caitlin must each must spend a season at Dandelion House in Calingarry Crossing to honor Gypsy's last wishes and face the memories they left behind.

The women in The House For All Seasons are at a crossroads in their lives when they receive word of the bequest. Sara is phy...more
Greg Barron
I just finished House for all Seasons, and I know it won't be easy to summarise in a few words. In many ways, despite the minutiae of its northern New South Wales location, and some unmistakeably Aussie characters, it reminded me of the work of UK authors like Marian Keyes. House for all Seasons is big in scope, with likeable characters galore, but always damaged by life in some way, if not positively ravaged.

It's all about the characters, and for me there were several "goosebump" moments. I was...more
Rachael Johns
A fabulous debut - the heart-warming story of four women finding their way (and the truth) after tragedy. Love Jenn's quirky characters and lol moments amidst real emotion!! Can't wait to read the next Seasons book!!
Kerrie Paterson
I started reading this debut release at lunch time today. 5 hours (and numerous cups of tea!) later, I finished it and sat there, savouring the stories. It's one of those books you want to keep going so instead you sit with a smile and imagine what happens next.

I was teary in places, I snorted, sniggered and smiled in many places! Above all, I kept turning the pages! Told by each of four women, childhood friends torn apart by a muck-up day incident twenty years prior, now forced to return home....more

This enchanting story is told from the point of view from each of the friends. After twenty years four childhood friends, Sara, Amber, Poppy & Caitlan receive news that they have inherited a house in their home town of Callingarry Crossing from their old friend Gypsy. The will states that all of the friends have to each spend one season at the house before they decide the outcome of their inheritance.

Starting with Sara in spring, each of the girls form new friendships, relive childhood memor...more
Andrea Grigg
I love the fact there are so many Australian authors these days who use the country as their setting. Jenn J McLeod has done this so well. I thoroughly enjoyed her descriptions, her characters, and especially the minor characters, people whose occupations are so different from those of us who live in suburbia. House for all Seasons is a cleverly-woven tale of the complex ties between four women, with an ending I didn't see coming. I'll be on the lookout for Jenn's next novel.
Helen McKenna
An old house, a small town, several different stories that weave together...what a great idea! LOL. This charming book has many similar elements to my own novel, so naturally I was very eager to read it. And I definitely wasn't disappointed.

Sara, Poppy, Amber and Caitlin were once good friends when they all lived in the small NSW town of Calingarry Crossing. Central to their friendship was their association with The Dandelion House - a place they all spent time at under the wise and watchful eye...more
Rowena Holloway
House for All Seasons is the engaging debut from novelist Jenn J McLeod. Told with a distinctly Australian voice, this ensemble tale is fragrant with the best of Australian country life.

When an old friend dies, four former school friends are bequeathed a house in their home town, Callingary Crossing, in country New South Wales. The only caveat is that each must spend one season in Dandelion House – a house that holds ghosts for each of them. As each woman returns to Callingary Crossing, the scen...more
Rachel Amphlett
With Jenn J. McLeod’s “Shimmering Season” only just released, I’d read some comments on other blogs that although "Simmering Season" was a standalone novel, it would be worth my while reading “House for all Seasons” first. I’m so glad I did.

The introduction of the fictional setting of Calingary Crossing in this first novel by Jenn J. McLeod is charming, insightful, and addictive reading.

When four estranged friends find out they’ve inherited a house back in their home town, their emotions range f...more
I love Australian books that are set in the country, but because I read a lot of YA, I don’t get to read that much of them. I just loved Calingarry Crossing where this book was set. It was so vividly described that I pictured it effortlessly and quickly felt at home in this small town.

House Of All Seasons is told from the point of view of four women – Sara, Poppy, Amber and Caitlin – who were friends back in high school but haven’t spoken to each other in 20 years. Gypsy, a mother figure to them...more
This was an interesting read. For some reason initially left unspecified, four women (Sara, Poppy, Amber and Caitlin), who sometimes hung around together when growing up, are obliged to return to a house bequeathed to them jointly and are required to each spend a period of time at the house. Why the house was left to them jointly and what the link is between the 4 of them and the lady who owned the house is the main mystery running through the book and it ties the individual stories of the women...more
Lauren Murphy
House for All Seasons is an Australian set story of four former friends who are reunited 20 years later when they inherit The Dandelion House in Calingarry Crossing from Gypsy a woman who along with daughter Willow played a pivotal role in their childhoods. All of the women are quite resistant about returning to Calingarry Crossing for a season as requested in Gypsy’s will prior to deciding on the fate of the house. They have secrets to hide, regretful pasts they’ve shied away from and futures t...more
Rhonda Bottari
I have just reading this marvellous good 'House for all Seasons' and just wanted more feeling very sad that there were no more pages. Due to a severe sciatica attack I was laid up for 7 days and I found the book to be very comforting and theraputic. Loved all the characters but perhaps favoured Sarah the most as I could identify with her. Many thanks to Jenn for putting a wonderful story together that I have passed on to many of my friends. Looking forward to the next novel.
Bree T
Four friends who have barely spoken to each other in twenty years are left a hundred year old house that they spent time at during their childhood. Situated in their hometown of Calingarry Crossing, the terms of the will state that each woman must spend a season there in order to fulfill the terms of the inheritance. Each of the women have varying feelings about returning to spend time in the house, from downright refusal to eagerness. Returning means confronting demons for all of them, includin...more
Sara, Amber, Poppy and Caitlin have briefly been reunited for the first time in twenty years and it didn't go well. Gathered against their will in a solicitor's office it is apparent that they will never recapture the close friendship they once shared. But then the real bombshell is dropped - all four women have been named as beneficiaries by their old friend Gypsy. She has left them her house nicknamed The Dandelion House in the small town of Calingary Crossing. But the catch is that each of th...more
This is the first Australian authored book I've read. I enjoyed it a lot that I started my quest in discovering more books authored locally. The author wrote wonderfully. She revealed the plot bit by bit without revealing too much; just enough to keep me wanting to turn the page. All four characters were interesting in their own way. I find it disappointing that the chapters weren't equally done for each of the characters. By the time I reached the last season, I noted that the pages covering it...more
As someone who loves character driven fiction I really enjoyed this debut novel from Jenn J. McLeod. The small town setting is very authentic and provides the perfect backdrop for the intersection of 4 women's lives when they jointly inherit a house left to them by Gypsy, a woman from their shared past. Each woman has her own set of issues to deal with as she returns to Callingary Crossing and each finds solace of some sort in the time spent there. If you like stories that unfold gently, charact...more
Catherine Heloise
This is another book I won from the Australia Day Blog Hop Giveaway, and is not a book I would normally have sought out for myself. It's difficult to review it (and very difficult to give it a star rating - I really want to give it a 3.5), because I enjoyed it very much, but don't think it was brilliant, objectively speaking.

The story follows four women through the space of a year, with each woman getting one season. These four women were friends at school twenty years ago until something terrib...more
Marie Miller
I just loved this book. Not something I would normally read but once started I couldn't put it down.
Four women inherit a house in Calingarry Crossing. What each finds out about themselves will impact on their future. a tale of repair, redemption, research and renewal. The characters breathe through the pages and you will fall in love with them all, even the ones you think - "Not on my guest list, honey". and the secrets the small town keeps?
It's a shocker.
I loved this debut novel by Jenn J McLeod and am now champing at the bit to wait for the next book in the series.

Immediately I connected with each of the characters and wanted to know more about what bound them together when it seemed they were such different personalities. They were obviously once friends, so what was the secret that they could not face that drove them apart? The Dandelion House in Calingarry Crossing has obviously meant so much to them in childhood and I had to keep reading to...more
A beautifully and cleverly written novel about life's present and past and dealing with unfinished business. I fell in love with McLeod's wonderfully picturesque prose and honest characters. Although it wasn't a 'can't put down' read, it did stay in my present mind constantly whilst reading it. McLeod ties the storyline together beautifully with an unexpected twists and turns at the end and shows us how each character has grown and changed. Certainly makes you think about what you really want ou...more
A wonderful read that kept me captured throughout. I loved the storyline, pace, setting, characters and the discovered secrets at the end. I have to admit that when each person's season came to an end I was intitially disappointed as I was enjoying their story so much, but it didn't take me long at all to get to know the next and the next. A house was left to 4 women in the town they grew up in. It was requested that each woman spend 1 season each in it before anything could be done with the old...more
What a stunning first novel! Every page had my complete and utter attention, with the characters and settings completely believable.
Being a Western Australian, who grew up seeing a great deal of our wonderful state through a variety of communities and small country towns, I was transported back to my own childhood while reading about Calingarry Crossing. Truth be known, I quite often miss those small town ties.
The characters, while not always likeable, were honest. We all have our flaws and dem...more
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Aussie Readers: Jenn J McLeod ~ Women's Fiction 15 20 May 30, 2013 07:05PM  
No stranger to embracing a second chance or trying something different, I took the first tentative steps towards my tree change in 2004, escaping Sydney’s corporate chaos to buy a small cafe in the seaside town of Sawtell (NSW north).

Moving to the country was like coming home and I now spend my days maintaining my corner of the country(I run a B&B on my property)and writing Australian fiction:...more
More about Jenn J. McLeod...
Simmering Season Little Gems Short Story Anthology 2012: Diamond Little Gems Short Story Anthology 2011: Garnet

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