Saturday, June 21, 2008

Review: The Richest Season

If you're a fan of Dorothea Benton Frank and Anne Rivers Siddons, it's a fairly safe bet that you'll like this new book from debut novelist Maryann McFadden.

With a somewhat familiar premise of a wife/mother leaving home to find her true self, this book held some surprises, as well.

When Joanna, a longtime and long-suffering corporate wife, ups and leaves her New Jersey home in search of a better life, she ends up in South Carolina, living as a caretaker to Grace, an elderly and dying woman who has come to the beach to live out her last days.

That in and of itself is enough of a storyline. But, McFadden also follows the story of Paul, the left-behind husband. In all honesty, at first this irritated me, reading his point of view when he's initially portrayed as a fairly unsavory guy. However, these were the parts of the book that grew to be my favorite, the words devoted to his own journey from high-powered sales executive to an unfamiliar life, one in which he must learn to find his new place.

The descriptions of the life on Pawleys Island are well-written and evocative, and if you're a lover of Southern fiction, you should pick this one up and add it to your summer reading pile.


maggie moran said...

I'm adding Maryann McFadden to my TBR pile! My hubby is from NJ and he has made a respectable southerner. ;D If you would like to add it to your southern list, I see no reason why not. Thanks for this review.

Becca said...

Hi Jill! Thanks for the comment on my review about this book. I added your link to my post. I'm glad you ended up liking Paul too. He was such a jerk in the beginning that I didn't think I'd end up caring much about his vignettes, but they were better than Joanna's by the end.

Lisa (Southern Girl Reads) said...

Welcome to the Salon! I've just finished The Richest Season as well. At first I couldn't stand Paul, but as it turned out, I ended up caring for him more than Joanna. Here's a link to my review:

I'll add a link to your review on my blog. Have a great week!