Review: House For All Seasons by Jenn J McLeod

 

 

Title: House For All Seasons

Author: Jenn J McLeod

Read an Extract

Published: Simon and Schuster Australia March 2013

Status: Read from February 03 to March 05, 2013 — I own a copy {Courtesy Simon & Schuster Australia}

My Thoughts:

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 physically and emotionally fragile after treatment for breast cancer and her recent divorce, Poppy is beginning to recognise that her professional success is a poor substitute for personal satisfaction, Amber’s perfect facade is starting to crack and Caitlin is frustrated by thwarted dreams.
Though they are reluctant to revisit Calingarry Crossing, Dandelion House proves to be a haven as each woman assesses her past, present and future, searching for redemption and renewal. With a nudge from heartfelt letters left for them by Gypsy, and timely intervention from mysterious (perhaps mystical) sources, Sara, Poppy, Amber and Caitlin confront their difficult pasts and their memories of Willow.

As part of the women’s stories, McLeod explores difficult issues such as cancer, teenage pregnancy, domestic violence, post traumatic stress and addiction. The larger themes examine the need to make peace with the past in order to move forward and the importance of knowing what you need, and want, to be happy within yourself. Their experiences are sure to strike a chord with any reader who has questioned their role or direction in life.

There is romance, though it remains mostly low key. The emotion is heartfelt and honest without becoming overly sentimental. The drama increases as the secrets begin to unravel concluding with a surprising twist that binds the women in an unexpected manner. I thought perhaps McLeod could have lingered a bit more over the ending, it felt a little rushed and blurs with Caitlin’s story. It is a minor quibble though, for what is a well crafted, well written story.

A moving novel of friendship, family and forgiveness, I thought House For All Seasons was a warm, engaging story and an impressive debut from Jenn J McLeod. I look forward to revisiting Calingarry Crossing in her next book.

Click here to learn more about Jenn J McLeod and House For All Seasons in the Q&A I posted earlier today

House of All Seasons is available to purchase

@Simon and Schuster Au I @BoomerangBooks I @Booktopia I @Amazon Kindle

Via Booko

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20 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: AWW Feature: Q & A with Jenn J McLeod | book'd out
  2. Margaret Lynette Sharp
    Mar 05, 2013 @ 17:53:11

    Congratulations to Jenn on a wonderful debut novel. 🙂

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    Reply

  3. Jenn J McLeod | Come home to the country...
    Mar 05, 2013 @ 17:54:43

    What a week! My local book launch last night and this lovely review today. My thanks to you (and all book bloggers) for sharing your love of books.

    Like

    Reply

  4. artistsparkblog
    Mar 05, 2013 @ 17:56:03

    Great review. I’m going to read the excerpt. 🙂

    Like

    Reply

  5. Trackback: Book Launch Love – Coffs Harbour | Jenn J McLeod
  6. Lakeshia Artis
    Mar 06, 2013 @ 00:47:36

    Great review as usual!!! I’m putting it on my TBR list.

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    Reply

  7. stacybuckeye
    Mar 06, 2013 @ 05:39:24

    I love books about women’s friendships, especially when circumstances force them together. I’ll have to look for this one.

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    Reply

  8. Kate Loveday
    Mar 06, 2013 @ 09:36:58

    This sounds like a great read. I’ll look for it.

    Like

    Reply

  9. Marg
    Mar 09, 2013 @ 22:14:04

    I won a copy of this as part of the Australia Day blog hop and I know it is on it’s way to me now. I am looking forward to reading it!

    Like

    Reply

  10. Stephanie @ Read in a Single Sitting
    Mar 12, 2013 @ 19:56:00

    This sounds great, Shelleyrae. Thanks for yet another thoughtful and intriguing review. 🙂

    Like

    Reply

  11. Lily Malone
    Mar 14, 2013 @ 23:16:39

    This book is on its way to me at the moment, though I then have to wait until my mother’s read it (birthday present) before I get my hands on it! I can’t wait. Thanks Shelleyrae for continuing to review and show the works of Australian authors.

    Like

    Reply

  12. AnnaM
    Apr 01, 2013 @ 11:33:07

    I loved this book Shelleyrae, thanks for featuring it and giving such a thorough write-up!

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    Reply

  13. Trackback: Hangout with me tonight! | book'd out
  14. Trackback: Hanging out with Jenn J McLeod | book'd out
  15. Kate Forsyth
    Apr 05, 2013 @ 09:30:33

    I must say this book does sound intriguing. I’ll look out for it. Congratulations, Jenn, and thank you, Shelleyrae, for adding another book to my tottering tbr pile 🙂

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  16. Trackback: Review: Simmering Season by Jenn J. McLeod | book'd out
  17. Trackback: Guest Post: Jenn J. McLeod and House of Wishes | book'd out
  18. Trackback: Review: House of Wishes by Jenn J. McLeod | book'd out

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