Synopsis (Publisher): After more than a dozen moves in 25 years of marriage, Joanna Harrison is lonely and tired of being a corporate wife. Her children are grown and gone, her husband is more married to his job than to her, and now they’re about to pack up once more. Panicked at the thought of having to start all over again, Joanna commits the first irresponsible act of her life. She runs away to Pawleys Island, South Carolina, a place she’s been to just once. She finds a job as a live-in companion to Grace Finelli, a widow who has come to the island to fulfill a girlhood dream. Together the two women embark on the most difficult journey of their lives: Joanna struggling for independence, roots, and a future of her own, as her family tugs at her from afar; and Grace, choosing to live the remainder of her life for herself alone, knowing she may never see her children again. Entwined is Paul Harrison’s story as he loses his wife, his job, and everything that defines him as a man. He takes off on his own journey out west, searching for the answers to all that has gone wrong in his life. One thing remains constant: He wants his wife back. Joanna, however, is moving farther away from her old life as she joins a group dedicated to rescuing endangered loggerhead turtles, led by a charismatic fisherman unlike anyone she’s ever met.
My take: The Richest Season is a beautiful story about two women striking out on a new path in life. Joanna is starting over on her own terms. She’s not sure where she’s going but if she has to leave her home she’ll go where she wants this time. Grace knows where her path will lead and she’s determined to do things her way. She has a plan.
After Joanna makes her life-changing decision life throws her husband a curve ball that sets him on his own journey of change. It’s an important facet to the story that I thought ultimately made the novel’s resolution possible.
Maryann McFadden’s book is one of discovery, reflection and forgiveness. The two women support each other through difficult times as each navigates her way through challenging circumstances. I loved the setting, the characters, and the themes. I think book clubs would have lively discussions about the choices made by Grace and Joanna in The Richest Season.
Narration: I thought Cassandra Campbell’s performance was wonderful. She’s quickly becoming one of my favorite narrators.
- Title: The Richest Season
- Author: Maryann McFadden
- Genre: Contemporary Fiction
- Narrator: Cassandra Campbell
- Published: 2008 – Tantor Audio
- Source: I bought it.