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The Richest Season Hardcover – Bargain Price, June 10, 2008

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How to Start a Fire
Anna, Kate and Georgiana have been bosom buddies since their salad days at University of California at Santa Cruz: This novel follows the three adventurous women into middle age. Read about the author, Lisa Lutz

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A quirky charm takes the place of easy answers in this midlife tear-up, originally self-published by debut author McFadden. A neglected corporate wife for 25 years, Joanna Harrison rebels when husband Paul receives yet another move-necessitating promotion. Before they go, with her children grown, Joanna gets in her car and leaves their upscale Jersey digs. Ending up at Pawley's Island, S.C., Joanna meets Grace, an elderly artist who has a house on the ocean and needs a live-in companion. A floundering Paul heads to Pawley Island to try to woo Joanna back, but soon has further crises to face. Skillful plotting keeps pages turning, and McFadden quickly has readers rooting for intriguing Joanna, on the cusp of change. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"A heartrending journey of discovery. Maryann McFadden is an exciting new author who writes with compassion, wisdom, and astonishing skill." ---Cassandra King, author of Queen of Broken Hearts --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 326 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; 1st edition (June 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401322700
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401322700
  • ASIN: B002GJU1JI
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,121,901 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

THE BOOK LOVER, my 3rd novel, will debut on May 1, 2012. Stay tuned for more information! I am so excited to introduce a unique story about the book world, and the passionate people who inhabit it. This story is filled with love, loss, betrayal, and the daring risks we take to follow our dreams. It's a story I know personally, and one I hope you'll fall in love with.


Ever since I was a little girl, nothing gave me more pleasure than losing myself in a good book. And now, as a writer, I get that same joy as I lose myself in the creation of a rich and intricate story with memorable characters. Characters who are not so very different from you and me, really, as they struggle to find their way in life.

I began writing poetry and stories in high school. After college, I worked as a freelance writer while raising my babies, squeezing writing time in while they napped in the afternoons. I wrote for a variety of newspapers and specialized in health and fitness articles for magazines such as WORKING WOMAN and WOMEN'S SPORTS & FITNESS. But after nearly a decade of working mostly from home, a bit lonely, I must admit, I left writing and pursued a career in real estate, of all things. I found myself becoming intimately involved in people's lives. I loved it. And I was good at it.

For the next 15 years, I helped my customers sell their homes, whether for a job transfer, a divorce, a death, or simply the need for a change in life. I also helped them to pursue their dreams as they sought a first home, a cottage by the river to soothe a grieving heart, or a little ranch after spending more than 50 years in a rambling Victorian. These stories of people's lives, I began to realize, were rich and precious, the kinds of stories people like to read about..

And then my own children began leaving the nest, and the need to write again began to consume me.

I returned to school, got a Master's Degree in Literature with a Concentration in Writing, and turned to the kind of writing I always loved best: fiction. My first novel, THE RICHEST SEASON, is the story of a corporate wife who runs away. As a realtor, I witnessed first-hand the trials and tribulations of families relocating every few years all around the world. My second novel, SO HAPPY TOGETHER, is a sandwich generation novel, something so many of us are familiar with these days. What happens when you've finally hit that age where you think you can spread your wings and live your dreams--only to find your family tugging at you from all directions. That's what happens to Claire as she's about to leave for a dream summer in Cape Cod.

I enjoy setting my stories in the kinds of places I like to escape to. THE RICHEST SEASON takes place at one of my favorite beaches in the world, Pawleys Island, South Carolina. And SO HAPPY TOGETHER unfolds in a charming little town in northwest New Jersey, not unlike the place where I live, and also at the tip of Cape Cod, otherwise known as "land's end."
So Happy Together will be coming out in Summer, 2009.

My writing is filled with things I am passionate about: nature, wildlife, gardening, writing, family, love, and the spiritual side of life. And also the complicated dance of the human heart.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Brown on June 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
Rebeccasreads recommends THE RICHEST SEASON as an engrossing read written from three points of view -- Joanna, Grace & Paul - as each struggles with loss, death, love & their sense of worth.

Joanna has been the perfect corporate wife & mother whose nest not only is empty -- her daughter is living in Colorado & her son is away at college in Montana -- her husband, Paul, has just become a VP of his company & is going to have to relocate, again. She's lost count of the houses they've lived in.

Out running one morning in the New Jersey estate, it's all become too much. Joanna dreads the thought of moving, she misses her children & she's furious that the man she married has vanished.

As she runs the thought keeps coming up -- just run away from it all & go find a life. & so she does, packing some stuff into her Jeep & heading south to a place remembered from one of her family's vacation years ago -- an island on the South Carolina coast.

There she meets Grace, who lives in a house built on the beach, who needs a live-in assistant & a six month commitment.

When Paul finally locates his errant wife, their reunion goes awry as the fear & resentment overwhelms them. He goes back to the only constant in his life -- his work -- & when that is suddenly pulled out from under his feet, he's cast adrift & doesn't know what to do, so he buys a van & heads west to visit his daughter & son, & maybe find out what to do next.

THE RICHEST REASON is a richly told coming of age story that will give reading groups much to think about.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By BookLover on June 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I don't know if it was the cover, but I wasn't expecting this to be as well written or developed as it is. Expecting this might be a light weight beach read, I was pleasantly surprised to find very well developed characters, excellent descriptive imagery, and wonderfully intertwined stories of the three main characters. The Richest Season is a cut above most popular fiction, yet it's also very readable and entertaining. This is a terrific balance of serious writing and an engrossing story. Highly recommended!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader VINE VOICE on August 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Joanna has decided before that she is tired of being a corporate wife, but after her husband receives yet another promotion requiring yet another move, she has had enough and sets off to find a life of her own. She arrives in Pawleys Island confused and in need of guidance. What she finds is an old woman named Grace with some difficulties of her own and a small community that is destined to change the way Joanna thinks. Meanwhile, her husband, Paul, only realizes after his life collapses that some serious changes need to be made. In this way, two lives are rebuilt.

I really, really enjoyed this book. I loved the atmosphere of it, particularly the feel of the island. I was walking along the sand with Joanna, looking out Grace's window, and smelling the salty sea air. McFadden creates a great sense of atmosphere here that I really appreciated. I was consistently immersed in the story and found myself thinking about it even when I hadn't been reading for a while.

I found it particularly amusing that the NJ town mentioned in the book is my hometown, where my parents live. Typically, the author had the attitude of this place down, but I couldn't reconcile any of the physical details with what she said, so I think she made up the developments and the things like the annual outdoor market, unless I have just been missing out on them for the past 15 years. Not only that, but one of the local bookstore owners where I used to buy my books for school is quoted on the back of my ARC copy. I'm astounded that this little town in the middle of nowhere has now appeared in a book that I have read!

As for the plot, I was never bored and I was moved very, very often. This one is certainly an emotional read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Johnson on June 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Joanna is a lonely housewife. Her husband is always traveling
for his job, and her children are grown and have moved away. Suddenly she realizes that no one needs her anymore and would they even miss her if she left? She does just that, and takes off for Pawley's Island, South Carolina. While there, Joanna spends most of her time walking the beach and thinking over her life. She meets Grace, an elderly lady who needs a live in caretaker. Joanna agrees to take the job. She doesn't realize their relationship will come to be so much more than caretaker and patient.

Grace is an elderly lady hiding from the world with secrets she refuses to tell. She lost her husband Frank a few years ago to cancer and wants nothing more to do than hide from her past. Until Joanna no one knew about her dreams of wanting to paint. It was an ambition, as a young mother she put it aside to take care of her family.

As Grace and Joanna live each day regretting past mistakes, they
forge ahead making new friends. Both learn to let go of the past and
hold onto the unforeseeable future. They grow closer and learn to
forgive themselves and their decisions, past and present.

Paul is Joanna's husband; he tries to make her come home, but soon
realizes that she's made a new life for herself. He never listened
to her and her wants. All he thought about was making more money.
Now that he's lost his job he has to learn to live again, alone. He
tries to build a bridge to connect him to Joanna, but he fails. Paul
soon realizes that he loves working in the yard, and working with
wood. Can he make a living doing these things or does having a real
job make him more of a man? When it comes time to sell the house
he's lost.
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