Today I am delighted to be hosting the blog tour for Growing Season by Seni Glaister
A poignant and uplifting story for fans of Rachel Joyce and Ruth Hogan
After a life-saving operation leaves Sam unable to have children, could a rural cottage be the fresh start she needs? Or is she running away from her problems?
For her husband Danny, this was never part of the plan. He likes predictability. The countryside is just a bit, well – wild. But he wants Sam to be happy, even if he isn’t.
If only Danny could tell Sam what is going on in his head. If only he knew what was really going on in hers. If only they knew that they’re equally afraid of what happens next.
Can the couple find a way to face the future together, or have they already grown too far apart?
Growing Season is a poignant and uplifting novel about how love and nature sometimes need a helping hand.
I first met author Seni Glaister at a publishing event for HQ Stories. She was lovely to chat to, warm and interesting and I was intrigued to read what was then her latest novel, Mr Doubler Begins Again. It was such an enjoyable novel and I immediately fell in love with Seni’s writing and the characters she brings so gloriously to life. How thrilled was I then to have the opportunity to read her latest offering, Growing Season. But surely I couldn’t love it as much as Mr Doubler? Oh, but I do. It’s wonderful and merely confirms what I felt back then, that Seni knows how to capture the very essence of what it means to be human. I read the book last year when the hardback was published and I have just returned to the story by listening to the audiobook. I enjoyed it just as much as the first time, I always discover something more on the 2nd reading (or in this case listening) of the story. Audiobooks are wonderful and a brilliant way to escape into a good story whilst otherwise busy with my hands.
Sam and Danny have been through a tough time but they still have each other. Yet, as quite often happens, communication seems to have broken down between them and they both appear to be walking on eggshells around each. Sam is recovering after a serious illness, one that left her wombless but alive. The toughest part is the reaction of family, friends and colleagues who don’t quite know how to cope with the fact that she can no longer have children. Society does, after all, expect married couples to have children (and at least two!). Sam is angry at peoples expectations and the fact they are unable to see past her loss. She does not share her anger or her pain with Danny but through a blog under a pseudonym. Here she lets rip but is left feeling guilty and ashamed of the controversial opinons she share with her followers.
When they move to the country she plans to leave her blog behind her, trying desperately to repair what is broken inside without the need to write her anger for all to see. For the first time she has a garden of her own and she plans to attempt to soothe her battered soul by nuturing her garden. Yet soon after she arrives she discovers that the stigma associated with being unable to have children is never far away and she begins to turn back to her blog for a form of release.
Away from the city she begins to lose herself in country life but in a small village it seems even easier to stand out from the crowd. Sam finds solace walking in the woods and there meets Diane (reported to be a witch by small minded villagers). As she gets to know her she realises the two women have a great deal in common and they begin an unlikely friendship. But as Sam gets closer to finding her path to healing, her relationship with Danny seems to be drifting further away. Will they be able to find their way back to each other and the unknown future now ahead of them?
This was such an uplifting story. Seni has this wonderful ability to capture a character and bring them and their many complexities to life. She touches on everyday situations and highlights the ‘ordinary’, finding the magic that is there bubbling beneath the surface. During a time when many of us have had the time to pause and question how we spend our time, Seni has hit the nail right on the head. In a world that now feels strange and unprecedented, it is good to be reminded to stop and look around us, at our lives and the world we live in. There are metaphors aplenty within this tale. Seni is full of wisdom and through her characters I feel that she is encouraging us to live our very best of lives, right here and now.
Five stars from me and thoroughly recommeded.
Thank you so much to the lovely team at HQ Stories for inviting me to take part in this blog tour and providing me with a copy of the audiobook to listen to. Seni is a wonderful author and I look forward to seeing what comes next. PS. Loving the paperback edition cover! Absolutely gorgeous.