Thursday, August 28, 2014
Season of the Dragonflies by Sarah Creech
Season of the Dragonflies by Sarah Creech
William Morrow - Fiction/Magical realism
Source: Sent by publisher for TLC tour
Remember on Monday when I said I had plenty of time to finish Season of the Dragonflies because my tour wasn't scheduled till the 28th? No? Well, I did, and it turned out I was looking at the wrong week of the calendar. Fortunately, I finished the book last night. Whew! Close scrape.
Season of the Dragonflies begins with the tale of Serena Lenore, how she fell deeply in love and discovered a flower called Gardenia potentiae. From the blossom, Serena created a perfume that grants its users the power to fulfill their every dream. The Lenore family fortune has grown due to careful sale of the special potion at an extraordinary price; but, true love has escaped the grasp of the youngest Lenore daughters, Mya and Lucia. After one of the famous buyers of the special elixir threatens to expose the Lenore family's secret, Mya takes a chance that Great-Grandmother Serena's threat -- that a curse will fall on the family if the formula is altered -- is an empty one.
But, even before she mixes a new formula that she hopes will solve their problem, things begin to go wrong. The flowers are not releasing the powerful scent that normally fills the town of Quartz Hollow during harvest time. Perplexed, mother and company president Willow Lenore delays the harvest while she tries to figure out what's gone wrong.
Meanwhile, Mya and Lucia are facing off. Lucia left home many years ago but Mya has always stayed, certain of her future as the next company president. Mya and Willow have the family gift in different forms but Lucia has never shown any hint of the gift at all. Now divorced, Lucia has returned home and has, for the first time in her life, seen a vision. And, it's a bad one.
While the Lenore women deal with the threat to their business, they're also faced with new possibilities. Mya is dating a younger man who loves her but she's unsure she can ever love and commit to anyone. Lucia finds that the spark between her and the man she once loved has not gone out. Even Willow may have a second chance at love.
What is causing the changes in the flower that are making Gardenia potentiae lose its scent? Can anything be done to save the flowers or will the Lenore family lose everything they've ever worked for and cared about?
I loved the historical chapter and then absolutely hated the first few scenes of Season of the Dragonflies. There were two types of scenes I dislike, right off the bat. It was not a good start but I DNF'd the last book I read for TLC Tours so I decided I was just going to have to force my way through Season of the Dragonflies, no matter what. But, while it was slow going, at first, eventually the promise was revealed. By the time I was 1/3 of the way into the book, the pages were absolutely flying.
Sarah Creech's writing was compared to that of one of my favorite authors, Sarah Addison Allen, in the publicity material. That was why I decided to participate in the blog tour and I was not disappointed. Although there are plenty of scenes of a type I tend to dislike in Season of the Dragonflies, the magical realism is lovely and dreadful and enthralling. I like being surprised when I open a book, so I'm not going to share any of the details but the secret to saving the family crop is wound up in something completely unexpected and yet integral to the story. It's there from the beginning and I didn't like it, at first, but I absolutely loved the solution and the denouement.
Recommended - After the initial historical scene that set the background, Season of the Dragonflies got off to a rocky start for this reader but thank goodness I didn't go for the 50-page rule and set this book aside. The farther you read, the more beguiling the story becomes; and, even elements that I normally dislike in a story ceased to make me squirm as I realized their relevance. I absolutely loved the magical touches, the characterization, and the unexpected revelations that pulled everything together at the end. It will be fun seeing what Sarah Creech comes up with, next.
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