Book Review: Season of Shadow and Light

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Author: Jenn J McLeod
ISBN: 9781925030280
RRP: $29.99

I have only heard good things about the Seasons Collection and Jenn’s debut House of all Seasons was one of our book club reads, one I unfortunately didn’t read but have got on my towering TBR to get to. After having read Season of Shadow and Light I am even more determined to go back and read the first two in the collection.


Season of Shadow and Light is a complex story filled with secrets which make for some intense mystery that kept me guessing, some of those guesses made room for some hairy situations had they come to pass. It is a story of family, of trust, of betrayal and most of all of healing. I loved it from the very first page to the very last.

We have multiple story tellers, three for the most part but then an extra joins the ranks late in the piece, for a broad perspective and a much more insightful story. This method allowed us to see deep inside the story, and understand motivations that we may not have otherwise while driving the mystery and sustaining suspense. Yes, there were some predictable outcomes but there were some that took quite a bit of working out and many is it or isn’t it moments all the while ensuring that not all the questions were answered.

Paige Turner has given herself a time out from her life and packed up her 6 year old daughter Matilda for a road trip. Perhaps a little rash, not completely thought out, but something she felt she had to do and when Alice couldn’t talk her out of it she decided to tag along. The plan was to head to small town Saddleton with some half baked idea to find out a little more about her history because she knows very little about her mothers roots.

The dynamics in Season of Shadow and Light are not so much new but not often explored, it is becoming much more common now but this was a family dynamic that I was new to in literature. Paige grew up with two mothers in a time that it was far from common, and even further from socially acceptable so the fact that her history goes back no further than her birth is not that hard to understand. Nancy was Paige’s birth mother, who passed away when she was a child, and Alice was her partner. After Nancy’s death Alice took on the role as Paige’s mother and that made life a little simpler.

The timeline jumps around a little which I did have trouble following at times because the characters seemed to wander off into their memories without notice, totally sidetracking a scene and there were times I wasn’t quite sure if we ended up getting to the end of the scene in the present because we got so caught up in the past. Except for the fact that it confused me at times this helped to drive the story because so much was rooted in the history of these characters.

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The last couple of years haven’t been kind to Paige; after marrying her first love and thinking she had it all they pursued their career goals and then started working on their family. Robert Turner dotes on his darling Matilda but not so much on his wife anymore. Paige suffered the loss of a baby and then a post partum stroke which stole her sense of taste and smell, which in turn robbed her of her dream job as a professional food reviewer. The relationship between Paige and Robert is already strained but then news of a major betrayal comes to light and Paige’s wobbly personal life starts to topple.  The perfect excuse to set off in search of Saddleton and information about a young Nancy.

Circumstance sees them land in Coolabah Tree Gully, not far from Saddleton but a world away from the life she’s always known. A place she finds a sense of peace, an affinity for horses she was previously unaware of and a simple country life experience for Matilda.

McLeod deftly explores same sex unions in a time when ‘that sort of lifestyle choice needs to be hidden for the benefit of the family’s reputation’. There are other things I would like to mention but in the interest of keeping this spoiler free I’m not sure what I should or shouldn’t say.

Trust and betrayal are huge themes in Season of Shadow and Light and they are portrayed from all angles, highlighting the shades of grey and absence of black and white. There are many forms of betrayal and a million ways for a trust to be broken. Where do you draw the line between betrayal and protecting your loved ones?

Season of Shadow and Light captures the head, the heart and the soul with it’s exploration of the importance in contrast. There can be no shadow without light, every yin needs its yang, and the choice is always there to love and heal, to grow and forgive as it is to fester in hate and bitterness. A fantastic introduction to Jenn J McLeod for me and a reading relationship I intend to fully explore.

Season of Shadow and Light is book #22 for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge.

You can find Season of Shadow and Light in all good bookstores now, and at Simon & Schuster.

Jenn J McLeod can be followed on Twitter, Facebook and her Website.

67 thoughts on “Book Review: Season of Shadow and Light

  1. Hello Michelle, I just read your review of my book, Season of Shadow and Light, and I wanted to thank you for taking the time to share your well-considered thoughts with other book lovers. There are so many fabulous books to read. Thank you for choosing one of mine. Cheers, Jenn J

  2. I just loved House of all Seasons so I am looking forward very much to reading this new “House” book. Absolutely thrilled to have been selected to review it. I’m going to re-read House of all Seasons again as I’ve only just realised, via Michelle’s review of Season of Shadow and Light that it is a series.

      1. Thanks so much for responding personally, Jenn. I LOVED the book. I’ve bought the 2nd one, looking forward to reading that and the 4th one next year. All the very best.

  3. I had high hopes for SEASON OF SHADOW AND LIGHT by Jenn J McLeod, but I don’t think this one was for me. I found the story to be quite disjointed at times. However, I do think that this writing style reflected well upon the characters and some aspects of the story. For example; in emphasising Paige’s anxiety and fears, happenings throughout and relationships. I don’t know if this was deliberate on the part of the author, but it worked. I did find myself compelled to read on at all times because wanted to see how certain issues were handled and to read the final resolution. I was very glad of the opportunity to read and review.

    My question: do you use locations you are familiar with or do you seek out new locations?

    1. Hi Mary, regarding this in your review: “I don’t know if this was deliberate on the part of the author, but it worked.” Can I say, that if it works, then it is most definitely deliberate on the part of the author!!! 🙂 At least i kept you reading. That is good news. As for the locations I use… I create fictional places, often based on towns I know and love. EG: Calingarry Crossing in House for all Seasons is based on NSW towns (Sawtell, Bellingen, Ulmarra). Right now I am sitting on a cattle farm in Rockhampton (in the caravan I live in these days) and writing book #5 – set on a cattle property n Rockhampton!! Very inspiring. Thank you for the question

      1. HI Jen,
        I am going to compile a list of questions for you from these readers at the end of the book club so we can have an author interview post 🙂

  4. I received my copy of Season Of Shadow and Light a couple of days ago, and have just finished it.
    I haven’t read any of Jenn’s other novels but that is one thing that I plan to change, after reading this novel.
    Quite simply, I thoroughly enjoyed this book!
    The characters were great – real, at times flawed, and very memorable and likeable in my opinion.
    The settings were described beautifully without the overuse of adjectives.
    I found that the story flowed really well; I liked how the chapters were told from the main characters’ perspectives.
    I want to commend Jenn for using lesbian characters in her story; I have a gay niece, so could relate to it on a personal level.
    I would highly recommend this book because it is very well written and a real page turner.
    (Speaking of a page turner, how clever is Jenn to name the main character Paige Turner?! I loved it!)
    Without giving much of the storyline away, I enjoyed knowing that by the end of the book, all secrets and lies were out in the open.
    My question to Jenn is: Jenn, do you have a signature dish or recipe that you make, and if so, what is it? Alice has her scones, and I’m curious as to what you would consider your signature dish?
    I can’t wait to delve into Jenn’s other works as I’m certain I won’t be disappointed.
    Many thanks for the opportunity to review. It was a most enjoyable read.

  5. Season of Shadow and Light by Jenn J McLeod was a book I really enjoyed reading and didn’t want to put down.
    The experiences of Alice and Paige had me enthralled. Without being a ‘Spoiler’ I could feel deeply for the heat break and choices that each of the characters in this book had and have to make.
    City living versus the laid back calmness of a small country town and the dangers of flooding can have on a small community.
    The impact of past actions that tear apart families are explored and the amazing way these are resolved. Not always a happy ending for some but poignantly happy for others.
    This book touches on a whole range of different subjects that were ‘hidden behind closed doors’ and touches on the small town mentality that many people have come across.
    Family dynamics, lost relatives discovered and the catching up of many years lost had me crying and laughing at the same time.
    A very realistic story and I would recommend this to many others.

    My question for Jenn J McLeod would be did you do a lot of research on the impact same sex couples in country towns and the discrimination they did have in the past?

  6. I loved this book, the flipping between the two main characters was great, each time I finished a chapter on one character I cried out as I wanted to find out what was going to happen with them. However, two paragraphs into the next chapter I was hooked again on the other character and was engrossed to pick up the story so far (from their side) and find out what would happen next.

    I giggled with glee when both characters met up, interacted and then seperated.

    For me this book had the right amount of excitement, unjustness (I know its not a word!), betrayal, tough decisions and self doubt. I both cried and laughed throughout the book and often wondered what I would have done in a similar situation.

    Well done and I am certainly looking forward to the next book!

    My question would be, when thinking about your evil or dark characters, how do you come up with their heinous acts, is it researched or an overly active imagination?

  7. I have just finished reading Season of Shadow and light. I enjoyed the thread of the book , the concept and idea was one that I had a great story line. The characters were written in thoughtfully and full of life, but sometimes there was a few times that some parts of the story that seemed to lose the thread of the story or to not be relevant to what was happening. I understand that sometimes we need some back ground information on the characters but I found myself having to go back and catch up on what was actually happening in order to keep my thoughts.
    I loved the city to country process throwing in the line of food and horses throughout the book. Rory sickness threw me, didn’t expect that but the ending seemed quite quick with opening for further story or extended story.

    My question is : Do you write a story to plan or does it change and take shape as it is being written ?

  8. Pleased to be given the opportunity to review ‘Season of Shadow and Light’.
    This is a novel of loyalty, trust and mysteries, for me it led to understanding of things I haven’t given much thought to before. It challenges issues which were once swept under the carpet.
    Paige is the central character, together with her daughter Mati and Alice, partner of Paige’s mother (who tragically died when Paige was young. meaning that Alice has always been in Paige’s life and has had the responsibility of Paige’s upbringing) are heading to Saddleton from Berowa. This is a trip for Paige to escape from problems in her marriage and health issues she has had to deal with.
    Road closures see them stranded in Coolabah Tree Gully a rural town. Here friendships develop, trust is tested and friendships develop.
    As Alice states “It’s the Journey not the destination”.
    I really enjoyed the humour in this book, I found it exciting and down to earth, easy to read and follow.
    When’s the sequel coming out?!

  9. Once I connected with the characters in Season of Shadow and Light – my fault, not Jenn’s, because I wanted this to be House For All Seasons part 2 and of course it isn’t! I loved it. I loved House and it took me a little while to let it go as there are 4 books in the Seasons – each are stand alone. I’m incredibly pleased that I was selected to read and review Season of Shadow and Light and thank Beauty and Lace, Michelle and Simon and Schuster for the opportunity.

    Jenn McLeod’s sentence in the acknowledgements is incredibly meaningful “Acceptance comes from understanding and it is often through our stories that authors can provide readers with a safe place to explore and appreciate social differences.”

    The relationship between Alice – one of the most wonderful characters I’ve encountered – and Nancy is beautifully and sensitively handled as is the way that relationship affects so many close to them. Lesbian relationships wouldn’t be my first choice reading but the way this novel evolves without preaching or being soppy made for a beautiful book with wonderful characters. Michelle has reviewed the novel far better than I could so I see no reason to revisit that but my personal feelings are relevant.

    The writing is powerful and effective. The characters and their surroundings come to life and the details are excellent. The way Jenn describes horses and their ability to connect with and shape lives is brilliant. I loved the way I was able to feel as though I was there with the characters. The relationship of the characters with each other was excellent and believable. The need to keep a secret given to a loved one a long time ago weighed so heavily on Alice. “Are some secrets best kept for the sake of others?” Not knowing the effect that revealing the secret would have. possibly destroying everything Alice held dear, no one could blame her whatever decision she reached. The way this was played out was perfectly done.

    I loved the ending. I hate endings that tie things up neatly without thought to the rest of the book but I also hate not feeling satisfied with something I can keep thinking about – Jenn managed to give a beautifully rounded ending without it being forced. I love reading a book that stays on I’m my memory and I look forward to the 4th Seasons book.

    My question to Jenn is : How much do the characters change and evolve from original concept to completion of the novel?

  10. I was keen to read this novel for a number of reasons: I love discovering new Australian authors, I enjoy books that are told from different characters’ perspectives and as a fairly “new” Australian I enjoy reading stories set in country towns.
    The brief prologue caught my attention and I quickly became absorbed in Paige’s story – eager to know what had caused her health issues and what the story was behind her nightmares.
    I enjoyed meeting the characters and trying to work out how they and their lives fitted into the story. This quickly became a book I found hard to put down (always a great sign!) and I was very relieved when we had a wet windy afternoon which was the perfect excuse to become completely absorbed in the book and its characters. I did enjoy hearing different characters’ voices – it gave the story depth and gave me a greater understanding of their motives.
    Although at first I saw the book as Paige’s story by the end I felt it was also Alice’s story and at times I wanted to learn more about Alice and her background, some of my questions were answered but not all. I also wanted to learn more about her and Nancy’s lives together and the prejudice they must have encountered.
    While I can’t say I found the conclusion much of a surprise – I do like a story to actually have a conclusion. So this book did live up to my expectations and I will certainly be seeking out Jenn’s other novels to enjoy on future wet windy days.
    Question: What do you find the most challenging part of writing a new book? Is it getting started or knowing when the manuscript is definitely finished and ready for the next stage?

  11. I wanted to read this story from the original synopsis as I too come from a small country town and often wonder what my life would be like if I retuned there to live. When I started the book I wondered how was I going to get through it as I didn’t really like the characters. However a few more chapters in and I was captured by Alice, Paige and Aiden. Such a different story to what I expected and as the characters evolved I found myself wondering how it would end. A real mix of characters, mix of personalities and mix of circumstances. I loved the story but I want more! What happens to Rory and does she have a life with her love Juma. How was the transplants etc? There is another story here! Please Jenn J McLeod – your next book please!

  12. I have not read any of Jenn J McLeod’s books before, but that is something that I will be changing from now on. I really enjoyed ‘Season of light and shadow’ and found it difficult to put down.

    I must confess that initially I got really frustrated reading the book. Books that dangle little pieces of information in front of you without giving you the full story are really frustrating and that’s what was happening with this one. At first there were a few hints and references to something big that had happened to the main character, Paige, in the past, and I kept thinking that maybe I had missed some vital information that explained what it was. But the line was out and I got caught hook, line and sinker, just as I think Jenn probably expected!

    I did enjoy the story more once I understood the background history about Paige. It all fell into place and then I was able to concentrate on what was happening ‘now’.

    I enjoyed that Paige grew up with two mums and that there were some reflections from Alice’s point of view. I think without being in-your-face, the story provided a snippet of what life is like/has been like for lesbians and I think that giving information in an easy format, like an enjoyable book, can help us all to be more accepting of people’s choices.

    My question for Jenn is: Would you ever think about doing a sequel to the ‘Season of shadow and light’? You know, the epilogue gave us some information about the future for these characters, but what really happened and how did it happen? Aiden reconnected with Eamon, but Eamon had autism (or something) didn’t he? So, how exactly did they reconnect? How did both Alice and Rory go after their kidney donation/transplants? How did all of them go about building their relationships with all that had happened in the past? I don’t expect you to answer all of these questions now – but as I said before, a sequel would be great!

    Thank you so much Jenn and Beauty and Lace for letting me review this book >:o)

  13. Ahh, sorry I’ve just read the comment above mine and the question for Jenn is the same. Must be saying something though Jenn!!!!

  14. Firstly thanks for allowing me to review this awesome book.I found it hard going at first as the storyline jumped to the 3 different characters but once I got more involved I found it hard to put down.The storyline reminded me of everyday people & their secrets & troubles that somehow rectify themselves as time goes by but it always seems that some people think it best to take their secret to the grave.Who is it better for the one who has passed or the one that is trying to exist with questions?Anyway I loved the storyline the depth of characters & even while thinking of what will happen next enjoyed the ending.I had one problem which is a personal view every time the strongest character Alice was front & centre for some unknown reason I kept getting a vision of Alice from the Brady Bunch really weird I know but this didn’t detract from reading a very enjoyable book.
    My question was Coffs Harbour really called Korffs Harbour?Fact or Fiction?

    1. Carol, a fascinating bit of insight into character names and readers. Thank you. Some of my friends thing I AM WEIRD because I spend so much time on choosing names – for this very reason you explain. Being a HUGE Brady Bunch fan I admit I did not think of ‘that’ Alice. But I so understand what you mean. I was lucky to have a real life Alice to draw on (memories only sadly) when i needed to draw out some of the more emotional stuff. And yes, the Korffs Harbour name is a true – factual history from Coffs. 🙂 If you are familiar with the area you will LOVE next years release – set on a banana plantation and also Nambucca’s V- Wall.

  15. Have thoroughly enjoyed Season of Shadow and Light. Although the story line is very predictable it is nonetheless very delightful to see the way the characters go about exploring the changes in their lives. It is really refreshing to see non mainstream relationships explored in a non judgemental way. The detailed descriptions of the Australian country town and the different perspectives presented really bring the characters to life. Jenn J McLeod will be on my list of authors for future light reading.

  16. Thank you so much to Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read this delightful book. I congratulate Jenn J McLeod on an amazing novel. At the start I was a bit unclear as to what the deal was with Paige and her illness but obviously the story was still taking off and introductions to the central characters still being made and by the time the trio of Paige, Alice and Matilda reached Coolabah Tree Gully I was hooked and didnt want to put the book down. The story is full of drama – and then some, at times I thought this is better than Days Of Our Lives, but all the drama and depth and intensity is what made for such a compelling, sensational read. I loved the suspense of the Paige and Aiden frienship/relationship, the will they? Won’t they? Can They? (Robert is a doofus anyway). I also found intruiguing the characters past and present lives and history and felt the themes and issues surrounding the book were given sensitivity and thought. I also liked how the issue of Mall Man’s encounter with Paige at the start of the book was cleared up at the end and the tartan coat horse was also symbolic particularly at the end. I couldnt help but love all the characters even tough chick Rory and with all they had to endure, well let’s just say I’m a sucker for a happy ending. Thanks again for a fantastic read. I look forward to more of your work and will strongly recommend this novel to family and friends.
    My question to Jenn J McLeod is: Do your travels play a big role in inspiring a novel?

    1. Oh, you made me laugh aloud at Robert being a doofus, Dancr. (Secret: I used my ex-hubby’s name to help get into character when writing. It worked, eh? LOL) I love that you mentioned Mall Man too. He almost ended up on the cutting room floor. I had to fight my editor to keep him. 🙂 Yay! I so appreciate you spreading the word to friends and family. Every book sold means I can buy a coffee!!!!! 🙂

  17. Jenn,

    I thoroughly enjoyed your book. I loved the fact that you have introduced quite interesting and unique characters. You have nicely introduced the “Gay” Theme in your story. I work in a high school library and are always on the look out for books to recommend to our students. This is the first of your novels i have read and have thoroughly enjoyed it.
    My question to you is “What inspires you to write” ?

  18. Thanks for the opportunity to read Season of Shadow and Light. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and loved how Jenn didn’t hesitate to broach the subject of same sex relationships.

    I found the characters to be likeable and believable and enjoyed reading about their journey. I felt for Alice when she struggled with the choice of whether to keep her promise to Nancy or reveal the secret to Paige. I did get a bit frustrated at times as my opinion was that Alice should share the secret.

    Some parts of the story I didn’t get, like when the man at the mall embraced Paige, then nothing more was written about it, but of course it all came together at the end.

    This is the first Jenn J McLeod novel I have read, but it certainly won’t be the last.

    My question to Jenn is: Are any of the characters in the book based on people you know or they entirely fiction?

  19. Thanks for the opportunity to read this book!

    At first I found the book a bit hard to get into. I think it was because it is written in a style that is very heavy with descriptive words. It take did me a while but there was a point when I was hooked, and each night I would do the ‘one more chapter’ deal and found myself awake way too late as I couldn’t put the book down. I found that the ending of each chapter opened a new little part of the mystery which tempted me to start the next chapter.

    I found the main characters were very likable and I especially liked Paige and Aiden, but reading from Alice’s perspective was the one that gave most of the secrets to us. I liked the mystery that built all through the book, and without wanting to give it away I thought for a long time that a certain character was going to turn out playing a different part.

    I did find some parts were slightly disjointed as they switched between the past and the present but I quickly got used to that occurring and it didn’t catch me out. Sometimes it jumped back to the present and I was wishing I could see more of the past that had been playing out. I liked how the past and present aligned in the end, and the Mall Man was a nice touch – I wish we could have found out what happened with that later on.

    The end was a little anti-climax “happy ending” but I must admit one of the last chapters shocked me as it didn’t give away much at first and I thought 2 other conclusions before I found the truth. I was happy though that the ending gave answers to most of what happened and was quite final. Overall it was a good read and portrayed a really good story.

    P.S this story has made me think how awful it would be with no smell or taste – food is a huge part of my life (and not career wise)!!
    My question: Do you have a favourite place to go, food to eat, or ritual, etc to get you into the right mind set for writing?

  20. Thanks so much for the opportunity to read Jenn J McLeod’s new novel, Season of Shadow and Light. Having recently rediscovered my love of fiction following a few sleepless and novel-less years of babies and studying, I was thrilled to discover a new (for me) Australian author.

    I got into the story quite easily, and enjoyed getting to know all the characters and their quirks. One of my favourite things about the book is the rural setting. After growing up in the city, I moved to a small town a few years ago and just love the small community, would never go back, although I haven’t discovered any dark family secrets as yet! I also love road tripping through the outback so if Jenn’s other books are set in other fictionalised Aussie towns I reckon I’ll love them too.

    I’m very impressed at how deftly the story was woven with many issues addressed with empathy and respect. I also relate to family dramas and the repercussions of various family members’ actions, from first hand experience!! It is good to know that all families that their peculiarities…

    While some may say the story finished in too much of a ‘happy ever after’ ending, I personally loved the sense of resolution that gave me, everything tied up neatly.

    I was very pleased to have the opportunity to read and review this book and look forward to more new discoveries in the future. Thanks Beauty and Lace and Jenn J McLeod.

    My question is: what prompted you to give up a high flying big city career and make a break for the country life?

    1. Forgot to mention, I’ve also recently joined a bookclub and we are looking out for good reads to put on the list. I think I’ve just found one!! What a great idea to have bookclub questions in the back!

  21. Huge congratulations to Jenn J McLeod for such an amazing book.
    Season of Shadow and Light had me hooked from the start. A complex book full of unusual twists and turns. Sometimes I feel like I could predict what was going to happen and other times.. it was a complete surprise. As an aside…. I do love the name Paige Turner and initially I kept giggling at the name #immatureme. I adore her character and the way the plot unfolds for her.
    I am really looking forward Jenn’s next book.

    My question for Jenn – What sort of books do YOU enjoy reading? Do you even have time to read other authors?

  22. I will admit I have had some trouble getting into this book. I found it a little hard to follow, in parts it got me hooked and then it lost me again.

    The storyline is very intriguing and has some good plots it is just that sometimes it goes off track a little and I got a little lost. In saying this I did enjoy the book it had enough intrigue to have me keep reading . I did like the way the description of the areas was written I did actually feel like I could “see” the run down farms and the cow getting stuck and pulled out. It did have a good balance it was just the back and forth that frustrated me a little.

    I did enjoy the book and was glad that it all worked out well…. but some part of me thought that perhaps it would not or that it would be too much to handle.

    My question: at what point did you decide to go with the happy ending? The book lent itself to many different endings, just curious.

  23. What a wonderful book, I had not read anything by this author before and was pleasantly surprised. I loved the way you gradually got to know the three main characters in alternating chapters, the author did a great job of letting you into their lives and thoughts over a period of time and circumstances. Paige is recovering from a devastating stillborn son and her husband’s infidelity and goes on a road trip with her ‘other mother’ Nana Alice who has kept a secret about Paige’s early life. When they get there they meet Aiden, who also has circumstances of his own to deal with. Throw into that a great description of life in a country town in NSW and the other characters within and you wont be disappointed. All is revealed by the end of the book, which I didn’t see coming, but I was very satisfied with the conclusion. Thank you Jenn for your wonderful words, and I really appreciated the care you took and the research you did with some of the elements in the book.

  24. Hi there
    Thank you for the opportunity to read and review Season of Shadow and Light.
    Congratulations Jenn J McLeod on your clever writing style.
    I loved the twists in the story and really appreciated how the concept of gay parenting was tackled.
    I also enjoyed the humourous writing throughout the novel and especially loved the name “Paige Turner”! How clever!
    Admittedly, I felt a bit lost in some parts of the novel but overall, I wanted to keep reading which is half the battle for an author so well done!

  25. It took me a little while to ‘get into’ Season of Shadow and Light – possibly as I had just finished a fast paced thriller. Once I got some time to sit and read without interruption, I found I could not put it down!

    The characters were so relatable and I often found myself nodding along of thinking “exactly’ when Paige shared her thoughts – especially about men and relationships!

    I love the descriptions of the scenery and the town and it’s characters, and through Jenn’s “way with words”, I found that Coolabah Tree Gully felt familiar, and I really enjoyed it. I have passed it on to Mum as I think she will love it.

    My question to Jenn is have you lived in a town like Coolabah Tree Gully? having come from a small country town myself, I felt it was written about by someone who really knows what it’s like to live in a small town.

  26. First of all thank you for the opportunity to read and review ‘Season of Shadow and Light’. What an awesome author Jenn J McLeod is.

    Although it took me a little while to get into this book, I loved it in the end and found it hard to put down.

    Being born and bred in a small country town, I could really relate to this story.

    I love how you get to know about the backgrounds of the main characters. I also like that it is based in Australia by an Australian author.

    Hearing the characters different perceptives was great, especially Alice’s secrets.

    The descriptions of the small country towns, really gave me vivid pictures, ie run down farms etc.

    My question is: are the settings you write about known to you?

  27. Having also read ‘House For All Seasons’ in this series, I was very keen to begin my journey in exploring this one. I enjoy Jenn’s writing style as it keeps me thinking, guessing and constantly surprises me as I am never correct in my predictions of her stories.

    i found this novel particularly interesting as I’ve not seen, read or heard of another quite like it in it’s storyline and characters.
    The pages and chapters flowed one into the next and even though it was mostly based in the past and did drift in and out quite a bit through the different characters, I loved that as it gave me a better insight into the bigger picture being portrayed.

    A thicker, longer book which I was still able to get through quite quickly without it dragging on as I was intrigued and hooked very early on in the book.

    Highly recommend for those with an open mind and heart who like mystery and truth. A fantastic read!

    My question to Jenn is have you been to the places you write about in your novels and do they hold any special meaning to you?

  28. Oh what a tangled web we weave when we first practice to deceive, how true this statement is in real life.

    I love how the author alternates between Aiden, Paige and Alice and their past lives, full of secrets and dreams. Showing how the past often catches up with the present..

    Sometimes I found the story to be a little drawn out but the suspense carried me through to the end.

    I so loved the attraction between Paige and Aiden, coming from different backgrounds they still found a common bond and physical attraction. Paige’s husband didn’t give her the support she needed after her stroke, no wonder she began to have feelings for Aiden
    who made her laugh again. I loved this part of the story.

    What an interesting element to the story that Nancy and Alice had been lovers and had borne a child – Paige. It was sad that Nancy died and couldn’t see her child grow up to witness the beautiful woman she became.

    Overall a really great read and the author has such a lovely way with words.

    My question to the author is “at what age did you decide that writing novels was the path you wanted to go down”. Did you always have a natural gift for writing?

  29. Loved it!!!!! I give this book 5. Family secrets and lies make for a wonderful book. It has deals with some real life issues and I loved reading it, picturing people and places. This book is full of emotion, happy, angry and disbelief… I cried. I’m recommending it to all my friends. Thank you Michelle for letting me be part of this reading experience, it was amazing

  30. I absolutely adored House for all Seasons, so I was very keen to read Jenns latest delivery. I found it a little tricky to adapt to at first – placing who everyone was and how they all fit in, but once I did I was taken on a wonderful journey with the characters.
    I love that like with her previous novels, Jenn is able to draw us in and make us feel emotional and relate to the characters, and if not the characters, the situation. I loved the twists and turns and related to small town life well. Some tricky issues and relationships are tackled in this book and it is all written so well I found it hard to put down!
    Thank you for letting me review this book, and congratulations Jenn on another wonderful book!

  31. Sorry a bit late with my review but been busy ibn process of moving and we all know how stressful that is. The book was excellent i give it a big 5 out of 5, it was very up and down emotionally with all its twists and turns which i love in a book , Thank you for letting mre enjoy and read i have now passed the book on to my mum ,sister and her friends who are also enjoying the book 🙂

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