Confusing the Seasons is the new novel by Dan Cavallari. It starts out as a tale of rural family life in northern Maine, where lives are dominated by the weather:
Mainers recognise the seasons with all their senses. Aside from the obvious bite of the autumn and winter chills, these tougher New England souls taste their seasons; smell them; hear them; touch them and see them. As Einar sat in the living room of his home in Northern Maine, not far from Fort Kent, he knew it was cold, knew winter was on its way and the first snowfall wouldn't be far off - before Thanksgiving for sure. He knew this by listening. His silent house gave way to other noises: the crackle of the burning logs in the fireplace, the groans and pops of the house settling into its joints, arthritically cracking from the lasting of heat from within and cold from without. The windows knocking from the gusts of wind outside, interspersed with the crunch and scatter of the dead leaves across the ground and each other outside. These were the signs that the snow was coming, but without them, Einar would still simply know.
Einar's family, like him, are all more or less in tune with the rural environment around them. His daughter's husband though is a city boy, and spends his time with his mobile phone stuck to his face, which alienates him from everyone else in the family. There are of course other tensions in the family, as there are in any family and these are explored carefully and sensitively in the first half of the book, which I really enjoyed.
However, from about half way through, the book changes from heart warming tale of rural family life to blood-thirsty revenge drama. This part of the book is gripping, but just wasn't what I wanted to read, particularly given recent events in Norway. I also felt that I had been mislead somewhat by the book's blurb (which you can read here).
So all in all, I felt this wasn't quite the book I'd hoped it to be, but there is no doubt that Cavallari can write a good, gripping story and I look forward to see his future work. I am also intrigued by his mixed media Apocalypse project.
Confusing the Seasons by Dan Cavallari published by Brown Tie Publishing
Dan has responded to this review on his blog here.
Disclaimer - I received a copy of this book through a Twitter giveaway.
As ever, red text in this post, contains hyperlinks which take you to other webpages where you can find out more.