One of the most frustrating things about reading a new author is realising you’ve stumbled across a very good writer and wondering why the heck you haven't read any of his or her books before! However, in this case, the frustration is very short-lived because Ms Cantwell is now on my 'favourite authors' list!
This book hinted at fantasy, which is a genre I approach with a bit of apprehension, as I'm not overly fond of hard-core fantasy. Seasons teeters on the edge. The reader is led along a path of reality for the most part, but just takes a left turn into a magical world from time to time.
A failed marriage, a failed subsequent relationship and a call to testify against her fraudulent husband pushes Julia to flee to her deceased grandmother’s house in an idyllic lakeside location. It’s an escape hole that holds many memories and is where her former teenage sweetheart, Dave, also lives. He’s riding his own rollercoaster of a marriage. It’s loveless and his children hate their mother. Julia and Dave’s old feelings for each other resurface. But there are many obstacles in their way. Thea and Elsie down the road, however, might well have the answers. Their labyrinth is the key.
I was sucked into this story from the get-go. Julia and Dave have different journeys and different decisions to make, although they want the same thing. Julia requires courage and strategy. Dave needs…more distressingly…to do the right thing for the sake of his children. What we have here is a pot of romance, crime, suspense, peppered with magic and quirkiness (in the form of the rather adorable Thea and Elsie). It’s an excellent story, masterfully written.