Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews's Reviews > The Other Side of the Season

The Other Side of the Season by Jenn J. McLeod
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 2016-books

The Other Side of the Season is Australian author Jenn J McLeod’s fourth novel. I firmly believe that after having the pleasure of reading Jenn’s previous works, this release is easily her best work yet. The Other Side of the Season is a novel that places McLeod as Australia’s premier contemporary fiction novelists.
Following on from her ‘seasons’ theme, which McLeod has covered in her previous three novels, McLeod’s latest novel hints at how the shift in seasons can imprint on our life experiences. McLeod introduces the reader to siblings Sidney and Jake, travelling to the warmth of Byron Bay from the chill of their Blue Mountains home. In search of a new life, Jack and Sidney feel compelled to settle in a town they run into through a detour, a picturesque coastal town named Watercolour Cove. Watercolour Cove is a place that has altered over the years as a curious Sidney soon discovers. Running alongside Sidney and Jake’s present day story, is a thread set in 1979, involving a family from Watercolour Cove who own a banana plantation and their surrounding community. It becomes apparent that these storylines will converge, as choices, secrets and lies from the past have life altering consequences for those living in the present day.
Small town fiction is Jenn J Mcleod’s speciality and again this aspect of her novel receives her expert treatment. The Other Side of the Season exudes a strong sense of place. From the majestic Blue Mountains, to the tropical banana plantations and tranquil coastal beauty of Watercolour Cove, McLeod’s setting descriptions have the power to transfix any reader.
The Other Side of the Season contains an intricately crafted plot that deftly combines high family drama, secrets, love and abandonment. Woven into these main themes are issues explored with great care and attention to detail, such as the Australian art industry, imprisonment, albinism, mental illness and the impact of institutionalised child abuse.
The obvious highlight in this book is the characters. Each character featured in The Other Side of the Season is expertly drawn. McLeod’s characters manage to stir a mix of emotions from deep care and sympathy to dislike and pure frustration. Either way, it is impossible not to get drawn into the intricate lives of these characters.
As an avid and fast reader it is rare that a book compels me to savour rather than quickly devour it. This is a testament to the fine writing style of the talented Jenn J Mcleod. An excellent piece of Australian life literature, The Other Side of the Season is a highly affective read. It easily ranks as one of my best reads of 2016.


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Reading Progress

Started Reading
May 26, 2016 – Finished Reading
May 27, 2016 – Shelved
May 27, 2016 – Shelved as: 2016-books

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