Author: Sarah Creech
Publisher: William Morrow
Type of book: Magical realism, perfume, Blue Ridge Mountains, mysterious flowers, love, power succession, sisterhood, mother/daughter relationships, 2000s, scents
Year it was published: 2014
As beguiling as the novels of Alice Hoffman, Adriana Trigiani, Aimee Bender, and Sarah Addison Allen, Season of the Dragonflies is a story of flowers, sisters, practical magic, old secrets, and new love, set in the Blue Ridge Mountains
For generations, the Lenore women have manufactured a perfume unlike any other, and guarded the unique and mysterious ingredients. Their perfumery, hidden in the quiet rolling hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, creates one special elixir that secretly sells for millions of dollars to the world's most powerful-movie stars, politicians, artists, and CEOs. The Lenore's signature perfume is actually the key to their success.
Willow, the coolly elegant Lenore family matriarch, is the brains behind the company. Her gorgeous, golden-haired daughter Mya is its heart. Like her foremothers, she can "read" scents and envision their power. Willow's younger daughter, dark-haired, soulful Lucia, claims no magical touch, nor does she want any part of the family business. She left the mountains years ago to make her own way. But trouble is brewing. Willow is experiencing strange spells of forgetfulness. Mya is plotting a coup. A client is threatening blackmail. And most ominously, the unique flowers used in their perfume are dying.
Whoever can save the company will inherit it. Though Mya is the obvious choice, Lucia has begun showing signs of her own special abilities. And her return to the mountains-heralded by a swarm of blue dragonflies-may be the answer they all need.
The characters aren't really drawn sharply in my opinion, at least Mya and Lucia weren't. Willow is a strong female character who cares more for livelihood and she is doing the best she can in circumstances that were given to her. She cares for looking elegant and tries to pass this value on to her girls, but she is also slightly eccentric because while she buys expensive fashion, she lives in a run-down house. Mya is the eldest daughter and a complex character, although one has to make guesses about her motivations. She devotes herself entirely to the perfume company yet is afraid of opening up her heart. I think a lot of unexplored territory with her. Lucia is the youngest daughter and she has always felt left out of her family because she lacks gifts that they possess. There are male characters, but besides their careers and names very little is known of them, and their characters aren't interesting for me.
Things don't go as planned
The story is written in third person narrative from Willow's, Mya's and Lucia's points of view. At the start, there is the story of Serena Lenore and how she found and created the company, but most of the chapters alternate between the three women. Sometimes I did have trouble figuring out who's narrating the chapter. It did take me a little longer than usual to get into the story, and the story is interesting, although I think that the pacing is uneven towards the end. I also think that the romance part isn't very strong, and perhaps its kind of tagged on as an afterthought maybe?
About Sarah Creech
Born and raised in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Sarah Creech grew up in a house full of women who told stories about black cloud visions and other premonitions. Her work has appeared in storySouth, Literary Mama, Aroostook Review, Glass, and Glimmer Train. She received an MFA in 2008 and now teaches English and creative writing at Queens University of Charlotte. She lives in North Carolina with her two children and her husband, a poet. This is her first novel.
Few years ago, I read The Witch of Little Italy, a goodreads win, and earlier this year I read When the Cypress Whispers. I think because of the magical realism of sorts, I really enjoyed reading it, but I feel that the book is more of a 3.5 rather than 4 stars. The story is interesting, but I feel it can be read quickly and there is very little memorable in it. Also, towards the end, the story feels rushed and I didn't really buy when certain characters had a change of heart. And I didn't really understand the purpose of dragonflies in the story, or what they are supposed to symbolize? I also think if you're looking for a fun and lighthearted read, then this is a right book to check out.
This is for TLC Book Tour
Sarah’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, August 12th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Wednesday, August 13th: Always With a Book
Thursday, August 14th: Read. Write. Repeat.
Monday, August 18th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Tuesday, August 19th: Literally Jen
Wednesday, August 20th: Peeking Between the Pages
Thursday, August 21st: From the TBR Pile
Monday, August 25th: BoundbyWords
Tuesday, August 26th: Book-alicious Mama
Wednesday, August 27th: What She Read …
Thursday, August 28th: Bookfoolery and Babble
Friday, August 29th: Kahakai Kitchen
TBD: Bibliophilia, Please4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)