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Book Review: Seasons: A Fictional Novel by Elizabeth Squires

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Her author profile indicates that Elizabeth Squires has been devoted to those in the entertainment industry, providing life coaching and management services as well as an ever-ready shoulder to cry on. It’s apparent from her new book, Seasons, that she cares about the people she meets and attempts to help. In this fictional novel, based in part on the stories of those she has encountered and counseled, she introduces the reader to a group of four men who coincidentally are each faced with trauma in their lives at the same time. Their shared problems test each one of them individually, and simultaneously challenge their longtime relationship as a “family.” Age-old issues between men and women run throughout the current of this contemporary story of young adults–a cheating wife, grieving the loss of a spouse and mother killed in a car accident, and second guessing important life decisions made in the inexperience of youth.

One of the premises on which the story is based is the possibility that four very different people, with seemingly little in common in terms of life goals and career paths, could maintain a close relationship over the years. I found this premise to require a considerable leap of faith which I was never able to fully make, despite the hard work of the author to forge this basis. As a result, I spent much of my time trying to understand why the author was taking a character down a particular path. I also continually wondered why several of the character’s seemingly dysfunctional behavior went unnoticed by the other characters.

Readers should note that while neither the front cover nor the back cover comments make any reference to religion, the book is very much steeped in the Christian genre. But, in the author’s Acknowledgements, one gets a clear sense that Squires is a person of strong faith. The matter of Christianity is used by the author in a clearly “black and white” manner, with all good things coming to the designated “good” Christians, while those who have strayed experience God’s displeasure. In some instances, this device was almost absurd, and overall, God does not disappoint any of those who heeded his word. The result of the author’s choice to develop the stories on this basis is the serious undermining of the book’s reality, unless you are a person of faith.

For me, perhaps the most significant take-away from reading Seasons is the realization that life has in fact outpaced the old notion of seasons. Today, people develop and mature at different paces, they are subjected to intense and rapid changes that break down the walls of traditional “life periods,” and they are often ill-prepared throughout their entire lives to deal with what happens to them. In essence, much as nature’s seasons are changing, Squire’s book suggests that so are our human seasons of life.

As a writer, Elizabeth Squires comes across as a caring, loving person. Seasons reflects the spirit of a person who loves to write. Squire’s profile says that “Uplifting others through life application and storytelling is her passion and purpose.” Her challenge now is to connect with readers who share that need and that passion.

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