Do you like the idea of those Christmas movies where someone returns to a small town and finds the Spirit of Christmas, but you wish they were gayer and Jewish? Helena Greer’s Season of Love is for you. Season of Love is also for you if you ever wanted to read about a Jewish family trying to save the family Christmas tree farm while grappling with grief and trauma, but in a way that leaves you feeling like someone just handed you the best cup of hot cocoa.
Miriam Blum has built a carefully successful and regulated life. She is about to take her business to the next level with a physical studio and shop in Charleston, and she’s engaged to a woman who will be a great life partner. And then she gets a phone call that her Great-aunt Cass has died. For the first time in a decade, Miriam has to go back to Cass’s Christmas Tree farm, Carrigan’s.
The story telling switches between Miriam and Noelle. Noelle joined Carriagan’s during the decade Miriam was absent. Cass took Noelle under her wing and gave her a sanctuary and Noelle is mad at Miriam on Cass’s behalf. Cass’s will torpedos everyone’s plans to move forward by leaving the farm to four people – Miriam, her cousin Hannah, Noelle, and Hannah’s ex, Levi. In addition, she’s left the farm in a precarious financial situation. Shenanigans ensue.
I just erased three paragraphs recounting the plot and a whole paragraph about Miriam’s best friend Cole. The plot is great, but I want you to read the book and enjoy it as written by Helena Greer, not as recounted by me. I fell in love with Cole before he finished his first line of dialogue and I can’t wait for you to fall in love with him too.
Helena Greer impressed me over and over again with Season of Love. She deftly weaves together grief and trauma with hope and love into a richly textured whole. We never meet Cass alive, but she is the light source that illuminates Carrigan’s and the nearby town of Advent. The legacy of love and generosity she leaves behind has left a foundation that allows the people she left behind to heal and build a stronger future.
There’s so much goodness in Season of Love. Greer has given her world the range to move from life altering grief, to sparkling banter while never straining credulity. The messy feelings that come with grief, trauma, and falling in love never overwhelm the plot. Miriam and Noelle have both kept the messiness of strong feelings out of their lives, and it is only the grief of losing Cass that cracks them open enough to let love come in. This is not a spicy book, because it is fade to black, but it is steamy with yearning.
I cannot wait to see how Greer brings Noelle and Levi together in the next book.
I am friendly with the author of this book, but have done my best to ensure the review is based solely on the book itself.
I received this as an advance reader copy from Forever and NetGalley. My opinions are my own, freely and honestly given.