Off Season Review
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After the death of her husband, Lilly McCall returns to her family home in Maine, where she spent her childhood and where her husband died. As she mourns her husband, Lilly takes readers back to her childhood and her first love, Jon Lowell. She also reminisces about meeting the man she’s destined to spend the rest of her life with, their ideal relationship, and his tragic and untimely death as she looks ahead to facing the rest of her life alone.

Off Season is a story of love and loss. And, of course, secrets.

Siddons is adept at portraying the impact of the loss of a first love, growing up, and the making of friends and enemies (in particular, one irritatingly shrill Peaches Davenport).

I quickly found myself immersed in this well-written drama, in which the characters are realistically portrayed and the relationships and storylines gracefully flow. I was impressed with Siddons’s skill in giving the reader a great sense of time and place and by her ability to make me feel like I was right in the middle of everything. I was thoroughly enjoying myself, wallowing in this novel—until I got to the bizarre ending.

For a second, I actually entertained the thought that perhaps the ending was made for another book, but it accidentally got put on this one instead. It left me disappointed and confused, wondering how it was supposed to fit in with everything I’d just read—and why Siddons would choose to end her novel in such an enigmatic way.

Still, authors who write the same kind of books with the same kind of story and the same kind of ending bore me, so I give Siddons credit for trying to mix things up a bit. In this case, though, the ending left me scratching my head, muttering, “What the heck?” There’s a clash of styles here, and it just doesn’t work.

While Off Season is Siddons’s 17th novel, it’s the first one I’ve read. She’s proven to me that she can write a powerful story. And while I could let the fantastical ending to this novel put me off, it won’t keep me from checking out her other books.

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