Seasons of the Fool by fantasy author Lynne Cantwell is a bit different from her other novels. Cantwell introduces us to Julia Morton Michaud, about to be divorced from her husband Lance Michaud, who is about to be convicted of fraud. Julia decides to move back to the cottage in Michiana on the shores of Lake Michigan where she grew up. Back home, she begins to confront memories from her past as she navigates toward an uncertain future.
Julia’s situation is complicated when she encounters a love from her past, Dave Turner, who is himself ensnared in a loveless marriage; Ron Gorski, a handyman with a shady past; and two elderly neighbors, Elsie and Thea, who have unknown to her played a key role in her life for years.
Cantwell plunges the reader deep into Julia’s life with her deft phrasing and in-depth descriptions of the characters and setting. True to her fantasy background, there’s a touch of magic in the story, only hinted at, though, which makes it all the more compelling.
You’ll be on the edge of your seat as Julia faces one challenge after another, moving inexorably toward the destiny that has been foreordained for her.
I received an advance review copy of Seasons of the Fool, and once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. I can guarantee you, it’ll affect you the same way. I’ve read Cantwell’s Pipe Woman Chronicles books, and they were good – but, this one is even better. Five stars.
Naomi Witherspoon, after graduating from law school and getting a job with a large law firm in Denver, decides she’d rather be a mediator rather than a litigator. She finds, to her surprise, that she’s really good at it, too, and has a string of successful mediations to back her up. Her former law school classmate, and fellow lawyer at the firm, Brock Holt, asks her to marry him. So, what can go wrong?
She soon finds out, when she starts having dreams about a white buffalo calf that bows to her, and in the dreams there’s a mysterious woman, the White Buffalo Calf Pipe Woman. When the woman speaks to her, and informs her that she is the Chosen One, her troubles begin. Naomi finds herself caught between what appears to be a materialistic money-grabbing scheme by one of her firm’s clients and her affection for a Native American man who is trying to protect sacred ground. Strange appearances begin to occur, not just in her dreams, but in reality.
What, she desperately wants to know, has she been chosen for? When she learns that she is the one chosen to mediate a war between the gods, her life takes a complete left turn.
Lynne Cantwell’s Seized is a novel that weaves fantasy, religion, and reality into a pastiche that will seize your imagination and keep you turning pages until you find out what’s going on. Deft dialogue and narration, infused with a bit of humor, make this a must-read, and, not just for lovers of fantasy. Cantwell will have you questioning your basic beliefs as you root for Naomi during her quest to forestall Armageddon. A great book, the first in the Pipe Woman Chronicle series, and a definite five stars.