BOOK CLUB: Wasp Season

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[Total: 8 Average: 4.5]

Author: Jennifer Scoullar
ISBN: 978-1-925827-25-5

Copy courtesy of Jennifer Scoullar and Pilyara Press

Jennifer Scoullar is one of my favourite Australian authors and I’ve adored every one of her books, including this one.  Scoullar is, in her own words, “a passionate conservationist and amateur naturalist” and this is strongly reflected in all her works.  But it’s not always about the big things, Tasmanian Tigers, Brumbies, Dolphins, etc. the little things also have an amazing impact on our world.  In this part documentary, part suspense, part horror, but all brilliant book you will learn more about our Australian types of wasps, and the impact of the European Wasp on our environment than you ever knew before

Wasp Season is written as a very different dual timeline.  Firstly we have Beth, 35, separated for the last two years from her husband Mark, and their two children, Sarah 12 and Rick, 10, plus Mark’s new family, Lena (short for Helena), 25 and their new baby Chance.

After the separation, Beth and the children have moved to the country property she and Mark bought together, with Mark having regular weekend access.  Beth is pleased that despite the messy and painful breakup she and Mark appear to have reached a level of cordial relationship and she’s loving being closer to nature in the home she’s named Benbullen.   

The only downside to her idyllic home is the discovery of a European Wasp in the garden, complete with a struggling caterpillar in its strong jaws. Rushing outside to try and rescue the caterpillar Beth is horrified to see 2 more wasps.  Clearly she doesn’t want her home overtaken by European Wasps, so after doing some research she heads down to the local hardware store to purchase a wasp trap.

As a lover of all forms of nature, Beth struggles with watching the caught wasps die in their traps, torn between knowing of the need to remove the wasps from her home, and her distress at causing death.

The more research Beth does about European Wasps the more fascinated she becomes by the life of the wasp queen, her struggles and sacrifices to survive and birth a new queen to ensure the future of the species.

And so we move to the European wasp queen, Zenandra, as she builds her nest in a fallen log in Benbullen’s garden.  The efforts she goes to in creating the perfect home, laying her eggs, taking care of her babies as they grow, then the emergence of her firstborn, Sabrina, followed shortly thereafter by the emergence of further sisters.  The European Wasp population explosion is beginning.

Meanwhile, things don’t seem to be going so well with Mark and Lena, Mark is beginning to realise that trading Beth in for a younger model is not everything it’s cracked up to be.  But in his arrogance, he seems to believe that Beth would welcome him back with open arms.  Beth, however, has moved on, she is happy to have a cordial relationship with Mark, but has no desire to reconnect with him on any other level.  As Mark’s behaviours become increasingly erratic and frightening, so too do the activities in the wasp world escalate.  The Increasing suspense in both worlds leads to a dramatic and traumatic conclusion.

“You’ll never see a wasp in the same way again”.

I know I said it before, but I reiterate, this is a brilliantly amazing book.  I learnt more about some of our insect population in this one read then I have learnt in my entire life before, and all in the context of a fabulous story of human drama.

Many thanks to Jennifer Scoullar and Pilyara Press for providing this book for me to read, and to Beauty and Lace for enabling me to provide a review. A definite 5 star read from me.

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading Wasp Season by Jennifer Scoullar. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

18 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Wasp Season

  1. Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read Wasp Season by Jennifer Scoullar.

    A beautifully written story about Beth who lives with her kids in the country after her marriage ends. Her life has its ups and downs.
    Beth has a fascination with nature and it weaves its way through the story.

    But the ending has a twist you never saw
    coming! From a nice flowing book to a devastating and violent end this is a great read!!


  2. Many thanks to Beauty & Lace, Jennifer Scoullar and Pilyara Press for providing this book.

    Wasp Season is a wonderful story detailing the life of Beth while also telling the stories of the wasps in her garden.

    The storytelling was beautifully written and the detail of the wasps and other insects was very interesting.

    A lovely, subtle story with a twist of an ending.

  3. Wasp Season by Jennifer Scoullar
    Beth is a single Mother of two kids who lives on a small property called Benbullan.
    She is starting to enjoy her independence since leaving Husband, Mark and is finding her own way while absolutely loving living on her property.
    Beth loves the outdoors, horse, flowers and insects, everything that play a part in rural living.
    That is until she discovers some European Wasps. While trying to catch them in traps she starts to learn more about their species and their habits, unbeknowst to her their Queen has set up home in a fallen tree on her property. Until she can locate the nest she can’t eradicate them entirely.
    She starts to enjoy them and feels guilty about wanting to kill them. That is until they start to cause some major problems to the eco system and her Family.
    This book takes some unexpected twists and turns along the way with the story also focussing on Beth’s ex husband and his new family. There is a lot of interesting information on the wasps and other insects living on Beth’s property with some of the story told from the Queen Wasp’s perspective.
    Thank you to Beauty and Lace and the Author Jennifer Scoullar for sending me a signed copy of this interesting book.

  4. Thank you so much Beauty and lace and a special thank you to Jennifer Scoullar for my signed copy of Wasp Season, a lesson in love intertwined with a valuable wildlife lesson. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, unlike any book I’ve ever read before, with just the perfect balance of nature and nurture. I had no idea of the destructive havoc caused by European wasps on our vitally important native wasp and bee population, and I certainly learnt a lot from Jennifer’s extremely thorough research, and her love for our native environment.

    I loved the parallel story-lines and multifaceted characters, Mark with his money and wealth taking priority above everything else, Lena with her selfish spend it all now mantra, Beth vainly trying to hold her crumbling deteriorating relationship together with the father of her children, and hunks Jason and Noah thrown in the mix assisting both women they care about. Beth’s property Benbullen sounds idyllic, bordered by State Forest and a babbling brook, with a rural slower pace of life complete with magnificent garden, horses grazing in the paddocks, and a secret nest hidden away in a fallen log with a complex hierarchy of inhabitants, who’s lives mirror the human lives unravelling around them.

    This story touches on gambling addiction, spousal abuse, violence, trust issues, greed, fraud, isolation, materialism, and maternal instinct with the story ratcheting up to a shattering conclusion I did not see coming. I thoroughly recommend this book to readers who enjoy delving into human relationship stories with a sprinkling of mother nature, a controlling force affecting both the mortal and natural worlds.

  5. Wasp Season, by Jennifer Scoullar, is one of those truly absorbing books that you find very hard to put down. It gives a fascinating look at nature as well as exploring the ups and downs of human relationships. At times, I felt the nature side interfered with the human story line. I was anxious to see what became of Beth and her situation and sometimes felt the parallel wasp storyline a little distracting. I guess I just felt more connected to the humans involved in the story.

    Overall I felt it was a fantastic book to read and I felt compelled to continue reading to the detriment of most other things I was supposed to be attending to.

    I look forward to reading more of Jennifer’s work!

  6. ‘Wasp Season’ by Jennifer Scoullar was an interesting book to read. It was definitely not the usual type of fiction book, but more of a cross between fiction and gardening/entomology. I must say that I really enjoyed the fictional part, but the insect part was a bit too much for me. It went into too much detail and didn’t hold my interest. I didn’t understand why the wasp nest wasn’t eradicated earlier and I didn’t understand it’s connection to the storyline. I did learn about European wasps though, which I have had hanging around during previous summers. I also loved the twist in the end – something I never saw coming!

    Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read this >:o)

  7. Thank you Beauty and Lace and Jennifer Scoullar for the book to read.

    We were lucky to receive personally signed books from Jennifer herself. Thank you so very much for these.

    Beth lives on a small property in the country with her two children Rick and Sarah. Her property has horses and many types of native animals, native plants and plenty of bugs. Beth lives day to day and enjoys life.

    Mark lives in Melbourne with his new partner Lena and their son Chance. Mark is Beth’s ex husband and he lives with riches and luxury.

    Wasps live on Beth’s property and they have begun to invade her garden.

    Beth and the wasps story run side by side through the book at times crossing over from one to the other and joining.

    Beth is a strong female and will do anything to make sure her family is safe. She tries to keep everyone and everything happy and as a result things tend to get a little out of control.

    Zenandra is also a strong female making sure her family is safe and happy and she will do all she can to keep going.

    This book has some parts that are equally fascinating and horrific. I have a bit of a phobia with bugs and this book was at times a little hard to read. Wasps, argh.
    The in depth telling of the life cycle and lives of the bees and wasps was fascinating and horrific.
    Fascinating in how they live and horrific in how the go about living.

    There is a major twist toward the end of the story that will grab you and leave you thinking ‘wow’.

    This is a unique read and one that you will remember long after you’ve finished.

    Only someone with a magical way with words could create a story involving wasps in such a was as Jennifer has done.

  8. Thanks for the opportunity to read this book Jennifer Scoullar and Pilyara Press and I have to say it was a great book

  9. I absolutely loved it. I didn’t know much about wasps and bees, but after reading this fantastic book I have learnt more about them. I was on the edge of my seat near the end and I had to keep reading to find out what happened.

  10. When I began this book, I thought “do I really need so much detail on wasps?” I do! It was a great story with a sudden twist at end. And the insect chapters were relevant and really enhanced the story. I was educated and entertained! The author personally signing the book was a lovely touch. A great book!

  11. Wasp Season is a great read about wasps and a lady called Beth. The wasps played a roll in the story more then the people. Beth has two children ex husband that wants her back in his life. She doesn’t want him she has moved on with her life with her wasps and the farm.
    The twist of the story will shock you.

  12. Wasp Season by Jennifer Scoullar was written a little differently to a lot of books I have read. I did find at times that the nature side of the storyline of the wasps interfered with the fiction side of the story. The fiction side of the story was very good, but the wasp parts were sometimes too much for me.
    Beth and her children Rick and Sarah live on a small property in the country. Her ex-husband lives in Melbourne with his new partner Lena and their son Chance and they live a life of luxury.

    Beth loves her life on the property with horses and her beloved garden, but the wasps are taking over and invading her garden.

    Life carries on with a very major twist later on in the story that will change your thought pattern and leave you thinking how come I didn’t think that was going to happen!

    Having the author sign the book was a very special touch.

  13. Thankyou to Beauty and Lace and Jennifer Scoullar for the opportunity to read Wasp Season.

    Beth’s marriage has ended and she and her 2 children are building a quiet life in the country. Her ex husband has moved on with a new partner and baby.
    Beth loves her life, her kids, her garden and is ready to date again.
    Suddenly her ex husband begins to make trouble, bringing down Beth’s peaceful existence.

    In a parallel world in her garden, the tranquility and balance of Nature is about to be shattered when European Wasps have moved in and nested.

    A must read with a brilliant ending.

    I will never look at an European wasp in the same way again! Amazing facts throughout the book about all the insects and garden life we don’t take time to notice.

    I have read other books by Jennifer Scoullar and loved them all, great Australian stories.

  14. Wasp Season by Jennifer Scoullar was a fantastic read. I absolutely loved it and my only complaint was that it finished! Jennifer wove a wonderful story of fiction and non-fiction together that I found enjoyable and fascinating. As the front cover says, ‘You’ll never see a wasp in the same way again’ I have found myself doing exactly that.
    The story revolves around Beth and her two children Rick and Sarah and their life after her divorce from her ex-husband Mark. Mark has started a new life with a new partner Lena and their baby and it’s time for Beth too as well. However, life as she knows begins to get turned upside down with Mark deciding his new life is not as green on his side of the fence after all. At the same time, European Wasps have set up a new nest on Beth’s property and the story of how they thrive and survive and the chaos that then enfolds runs parallel to the chaos that is quickly becoming Beth’s life.
    I loved the story about Beth and the many characters involved. There are so many layers to this story that I thoroughly enjoyed and then combining it with the story about the European Wasps was the icing on the cake! The wasp part of the story was so well written that it didn’t feel like I was reading a textbook. It was interesting and gently informative, and I just could not stop reading. I can’t not mention the ending either, it was awesome!
    Thank you so much to Beauty & Lace and to Jennifer for the opportunity to read this (and for the personal signing, what a special treat!). I am sourcing further books by Jennifer straight away and can’t wait to read more of her work!

  15. Thank you Beauty and Lace and Jennifer Scoullar for the opportunity to read and review Wasp Season.

    I really enjoyed this book, it kept me guessing right until the end. I definitely will never look at a Wasp in the same way again. This was the first book I have read by this author but will not be the last.

    I loved that it was also signed by Jennifer a lovely touch.

  16. Thank you so much for the opportunity to read this amazing book.

    I was on the edge of my seat the whole book and will never look at wasps the same way again

    I loved the way Jennifer was able to combine an amazing fiction story with remarkable non fiction.

    Congratulations on an amazing book once again!

  17. Thank you for my opportunity to read this book & also to Jennifer Scoullar for my signed copy, very special touch.

    This is my first novel by this author & I loved it, I will certainly be keeping an eye out for more of her novels in the future.

    An ending with a twist, would recommend this to read

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