I want to give it an extra 1/2 star for being a good fit to my mood.
Is the book really a romance if the romantic storyline is secondary? It’s a strong part of the book, but it isn’t the primary focus. As is true of most good romance novels, chick lit, contemporary women’s fiction, and probably some other umbrellas that I don’t quite understand the boundaries of, the book is very character centered.
Jane Aaron has a very good life, but she’s realized she can’t move on until she gets some closure with the mother who gave her up for adoption. Her boyfriend has asked her to marry him, but she wasn’t able to deliver her planned “yes”; work on her Master’s thesis has stalled, and she’s run out of leads on her birth parents.
Only one one option remains– move to the town where she was born, and see what she can discover there.
She takes a temporary job as a nanny to make ends meet. I like that she and Asher Price joke about the cliche of the nanny and the boss having an affair, because it really is a fairly stereotypical plot.
One Season of Sunshine was written well enough that the strength of the characters, of Jane, of Asher, and of his daughter Riley were enough to get past this. (5 year old Levi was a little two dimensional, but cute enough to make up for it).
I loved the character of Riley, although to me, she read about a year older than stated– 13, almost 14 rather than 12, almost 13. My daughter is just a little younger, and Riley gets involved in situations that I hope my daughter is a long way away from. (although we’re getting there with the clothing struggles!) Overall, Riley captured that vibe of still trying to figure out what it means to grow up. Is it dying your hair pink? Is it sneaking out with your friends? Is it putting up a wall between you and all adults in your life, even when you really want to talk about what’s going on?
One Season of Sunshine is the story of Jane’s journey, which was a highly enjoyable one to follow along on. She’s trying to find answers to the questions about her past, but she’s also trying to figure out why it matters, and where she wants to go.
I don’t know if it was a particularly realistic portrayal of the dynamics of adoption and the adult search for birth parents. The logical side of me thinks that the eventual resolution might not go as smoothly for her as she seems to think at the end. Really, it doesn’t matter. In the end, I shrugged it off and appreciated the ride!
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I received One Season of Sunshine for review from Simon & Schuster. Thank you for this opportunity!