“The Season for Love”
M.W. Arnold (Author)
Release Date: December 16, 2017
Several themes run through this intrinsically British read… all of them emotional.
Chrissie Stewart has been mourning the loss of her husband, Richard (Richie), longer than they were together. She writes to him several times during the day and visits his grave to talk to him daily. Chrissie has pushed away family, friends, and LIFE, managing to only work, and talk to Richie.
Josh Morgan and his daughter, ten-year-old Lizzie, lost their wife and mother when Lizzie was an infant. Though he still misses his wife, Josh is no longer steeped in mourning like Chrissie but is instead on a journey for his daughter which will ultimately involve Chrissie.
Anne is Chrissie’s boss AND best friend who’s been the primary source of moral support for Chrissie since Richie’s death. Anne gets my vote for Friend of the Year! She’s simply amazing, always there for Chrissie and dealing with her different moods (all of which are depressing). This has come at no small price to Anne, who’s dealing with a serious medical crisis unknown to Chrissie. Which leads us to Oscar—Anne’s hubby. He’s sympathetic to Chrissie’s plight, but his resentment toward her grows when she doesn’t even realize Anne isn’t well. (And I’m right there with him!)
Debs (Deborah) is Chrissie’s younger, sister. Chrissie has been the “parent” to Debs since their elderly parents died so close together… at least until Richie dies too.
However, if I had to pick one theme, I’d choose relationships.
As the central character, we see how everyone relates to Chrissie. But, the author does an excellent job showing the dynamics of other relationships in the story, i.e. father/daughter, husband/wife, friends.
Chrissie Stewart’s grief is compounded by the fact she lost more than Richie in the accident and she carries much guilt over it. That being said, she worked my nerves.
Loss is hard, grief is heavy, and we all mourn differently, but any empathy I had for Chrissie ran out the front door when it’s revealed Anne has been sick for OVER A YEAR and Chrissie has not noticed!
They are the only two people in their office five days a week. They are BEST friends. Earth to Chrissie! Someone (Debs) should have delivered an open-hand slap in the face ala Cher in Moonstruck and demand Chrissie “snap out of it!”
Josh is a nice guy, trying to make the best of a sad situation, and find the right time to share his secret with Chrissie… who guessed it beforehand. (Oh NOW, she becomes observant.)
Lizzie’s a cute kid. A bit too precocious, but I believe it’s hiding the pain from the loss of a mother she never got the chance to know and the possibility of having to share her father.
Debs is the scene-stealer, though. Loud and unapologetic, Debs becomes the ‘older’ sister (insert open-hand slap here) while trying to drag her sister back from Chrissie-Land.
My one issue with the story? I had to re-read sentences and/or paragraphs to get a clear understanding of what was being said, and it took me out of the story. I do NOT believe it’s the uniquely British references, but the delivery. I believe it would benefit from a copy edit.
However, I still found The Season for Love to be a warm, holiday read showcasing the powers of forgiveness and love, and being open to… possibilities.
Believing she was responsible for the death of her husband, Chrissie Stewart retreats from all those who love her. A chance meeting with mysterious stranger, single-parent Josh Morgan and his bewitching young daughter Lizzy, breathe new life into her and gradually, she feels able to start to let go of the memory of her lost love. Unexpected links are revealed between the two families that strengthen the growing bonds she feels to this man and with the encouragement of her best friend Annie, herself hiding a hidden conflict from Chrissie, she battles with her demons to believe in her ability to trust and love again. Everything comes to a head on Christmas Day; which all goes to show that this is truly The Season for Love.
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