Thursday, July 29, 2010

Season of Water and Ice - Donald Lystra

Summary: Set in 1957 in rural northern Michigan, Season of Water and Ice is the story of a pivotal few months in the life of young teen Danny DeWitt, who lives alone with his father following the sudden departure of his mother. Bookish and relatively friendless, Danny becomes acquainted with Amber, a pregnant teenager abandoned by her boyfriend and rejected by her family. Both outsiders--one because of disposition, the other because of social stigma--Danny and Amber form an unusual, openhearted alliance that helps each deal with their separate challenges.

Their friendship is tested when Amber's abusive boyfriend returns and Danny's mother withdraws more permanently from her family, leading eventually to a crisis that threatens Amber and her unborn child, as well as Danny's concept of love and manhood. (Summary from book - Image from - Book given free for review)

My Review: Season of Water and Ice is a quiet, contemplative, and well-written piece of literary fiction. Danny’s relationships with those closest to him are complex and riddled with unspoken (or rarely spoken) emotion which is, perhaps, why he spends so much of his time alone. As an alarmingly perceptive teenager, Danny distances himself from his peers and his family, and occupies himself with deftly analyzing the world and people that surround him, learning to discern their motivations and his own. Unfortunately, the distance that he put between himself and the other characters, kept me at bay as well, and made it difficult for me to truly connect with any of them. While I can’t say I loved this book (it was far too sad for that), I can’t say I didn’t like it either. Most of all, it made me think. Which, I suppose, says quite a lot.

My Rating: 3.5 Stars. For the sensitive reader: I don’t think that I can honestly recommend this book to you, beyond the above paragraph, because there were far too many sexual situations, discussions, and moments of profanity throughout this book. Although I’m sure the sexual content was authentic to his character, age, and gender, I wasn’t particularly thrilled about having to read about it all the time and doubt you will be either.

Sum it up: A melancholy coming-of-age story about the many faces of love, the desperation of loneliness, and the anguish of dreams unrealized.

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