Season of Secrets

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Sally Nicholls
Marion Lloyd Books
Apr 2009

It is the subtext of Sally Nicholls second novel that makes it so powerful. There is a sense of pain and of grief that permeates through the novel and nowhere is this more poignantly felt than in the absence of Molly and Hannah's cripplingly bereaved father, a gap that gains a weight of significance every bit as heavy as the sudden, unexpected death of their mother.

Solace and resolve is found for the bookish Molly - whose favourite reads include the ouevre of Enid Blyton and Jacqueline Wilson - when the myth of the Green Man manifests itself in fully realised formbefore her. Choice of this analogy feels apt in as much as there is a cyclical quality to where death and life are found with each counter-balancing the other.

There is a quiet, subtleness about the message of regrowth and of what it is to be alive that permeates the novel building to a head of steam that invigorates and inspires readers. Unlike in Nicholls' first novel, 'Ways to Live Forever', where the writing is pinioned constantly by the emotional response that is wrought solely by its subject, here the style is lighter and more balanced and it benefits from this.

Myth, nature and magic combine to create an enlivening story of individual and ultimately environmental growth in this moving work.

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This page contains a single entry by Jacob published on June 14, 2009 12:26 PM.

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