The Other Side of the Season

Jenn J. McLeod

2016

Adult Fiction

Won

Paperback

★★★★★

‘Everything has a reflection…And there’s another side to every story

When offering to drive her brother to Byron Bay to escape the bitter Blue Mountain’s winter, Sidney neglects to mention her planned detour to the small seaside town of Watercolour Cove.

Thirty-five years earlier, Watercolour Cove is a very different place. Two brothers are working the steep, snake-infested slopes of a Coffs Coast banana plantation. Seventeen-year-old David does his share, but the budding artist spends too much time daydreaming about becoming the next Pro Hart and skiving off with the teasing and tantalisingly pretty Tilly from the neighbouring property. His older brother, Matthew, has no time for such infatuations. His future is on the land and he plans to take over the Greenhill plantation from his father.

Life is simple on top of the mountain for David, Matthew and Tilly until the winter of 1979 when tragedy strikes, starting a chain reaction that will ruin lives for years to come. Those who can, escape the Greenhill plantation. One stays – trapped on the mountain and haunted by memories and lost dreams. That is, until the arrival of a curious young woman, named Sidney, whose love of family shows everyone the truth can heal, what’s wrong can be righted, the lost can be found, and … there’s another side to every story.’

The Other Side of the Season is the first book of Jenn’s I have read. I won it through a Facebook competition held by another author and am incredibly happy that I have. I love a good Aussie book by a good Aussie author and strive to try and support Aussie talent where I can.

This book was incredibly hard to put down. I found myself constantly cursing anything that made me put the book down. Makes me miss the days where I could sit around all-day and read. It was so easy to read and even though the book would go between the past and the present, it flowed so well. I felt that it created more eagerness to read it through switching between the two.

There was just something about the characters that just made you love them all. No matter how badly some of them acted (and boy there were some really questionable things), you loved them for all their flaws. It was great to see such character growth, in particular with Natalie. I wish it hadn’t ended the way that it had but it made sense for how the characters developed.

This book was filled with wow factor. You think you knew where it was going and then Jenn would throw you for a loop. The setting was amazing but I am biased as I am an Aussie and I would love to live on the NSW coast. I fell so in love with this book and Jenn’s writing that I immediately borrowed another of her books from the library.

My only negative was that I didn’t want the book to end the way it did. I get why Jenn did it the way she did. I totally understand. But I wish it hadn’t ended that way.

My recommendation: Get your tissues and block out a day coz this is well worth it.

Cai xx

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