One Season of Sunshine by Julia London is the October pick for the FLICKS Book and Movie club of which I am a member. I think this novel will give us a lot to discuss with its subject matter and it nicely includes a reader’s guide at the end to facilitate discussion.
Jane Aaron is a thirty year old school teacher with a handsome, singer boyfriend that adores her, and a happy family that loves her. Jane feels like a black sheep in her family as she is adopted and doesn’t share the love of cooking that runs through the rest of her family. Indeed they even own their own family restaurant in Houston. When her boyfriend asks her to marry him, Jane feels that she needs to solve the mystery of her past before she can pursue her future. To this end, Jane moves to Cedar Springs, the town where she was born, to investigate her past.
Asher Price lost his wife in a tragic car accident two years ago. His two children, thirteen year old Riley and 5-year old Levi have a difficult life with no mother and an absent father. Asher is trying to hold everything together at his advertising firm and finds himself on the road constantly. He hires Jane as a nanny for his children for the summer.
Jane searches to discover the mother she never knew while also learning the secrets of the beautiful Susanna Price and the tragedy that the Price family had to endure. She also finds herself falling in love with her employer, Asher, as well as with his children.
Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. I love how Jane grew to understand through her connection with the Price children that her parents could love her even though she was adopted. I liked the mystery of finding out more about Jane’s birth parents as well as about Susanna. I also enjoyed the love story between Jane and Asher. At times I got a Jane Eyre vibe from the book with the “master” falling in love with the governess (or nanny in this case) and a “mad wife” in the attic being the ghost of Susanna Price. Indeed there were references by young Levi that he heard his mother in the attic and that made me think the author was perhaps intentionally making the reader think of that reference. It also reminded me of one of my other favorite books, Rebecca, with Susanna as the Rebecca character that everyone else must be able to move beyond to be able to start life anew.
Book Source: The Kewaunee Public Library