Review: Wasp Season by Jennifer Scoullar

Title: Wasp Season

Author: Jennifer Scoullar

Published: 20th July 2020, Pilyara Press

Status: Read September 2020 courtesy the author


My Thoughts:

In Wasp Season, by Australian author Jennifer Scoullar, Beth has built a comfortable life for herself and her two children on a small property in rural Australia. She’s come to terms with the end of her marriage to her ex-husband, Mark, and is even considering starting a new relationship.

Though Mark now has a much younger girlfriend and new baby son, he is beginning to regret his decision to leave Beth. Lena is either too busy with baby, or shopping, to pay him much attention, and their relationship is increasingly strained.

Meanwhile, In a downed tree on Beth’s property, a European Wasp queen is building a nest, nurturing the beginnings of a new colony. As the hive begins to grow, and then thrive, the imported species takes a destructive toll on the environment.

A passionate conservationist and amateur naturalist, Jennifer Scoullar novels often feature environmental themes. In Wasp Season the author draws some parallels between the development of the European Wasp nest, and the human drama that escalates as Mark’s mental health deteriorates.

In the main I found the detail related to the wasps to be fascinating. Though I know bees have a vital role in our environment, I’ve never given much thought to wasps. I certainly had no idea how destructive European wasps are to the Australian bush. I thought it was quite remarkable that Scoullar was able to inject suspense into these chapters as the wasps slowly decimated the ecological stability of Beth’s property.

I found the pace of the ‘human’ story fairly sluggish to begin with. To be honest I didn’t really warm to Beth, I thought her to be quite a stiff and uptight character, even her internal dialogue is quite formal. The pace and the drama picks up as Mark and Lena’s troubles worsen though, spilling over to disrupt Beth’s more ordered world. The climatic events were quite shocking and more dramatic than I expecting.

Though I’m not sure it is entirely successful as a cohesive story, Wasp Season is an interesting and entertaining read with a unique structure and premise.


Available to purchase from directly from Jennifer Scoullar

Or from your preferred ebook retailer by CLICKING HERE


Also by Jennifer Scoullar reviewed at Book’d Out





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