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Confusing the Seasons Paperback – March 14, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
Dan Cavallari's debut novel, Confusing the Seasons, is an intense story chronicling the men of the Coates family. Einar William Coates is adjusting to life without his beloved wife, who recently passed away. She was the glue that held them all together. She always knew what to say and how to handle all of their precarious situations. Jason, the younger son, is adjusting to life without his wife, who left him after finding out he had an affair. Robert seems to still hold a grudge against Jason for childhood battles and for causing his limp. Einar's daughter Bethany has her own problems, with a husband named Askar who can't seem to put down his phone long enough to acknowledge her existence.
Each member of the family is completely screwed up in one way or another. No one seems to know how to have a productive relationship with anyone else. They don't even seem to love themselves. Secrets in all of their pasts seem to continue to eat away at their lives and snowball as more revelations surface. When they try to mend their relationships and resolve some of their past issues, they only seem to succeed in making everything worse. You go from feeling sorry for a character to wanting to punch him in the face and to shake him for being so small-minded and stupid. But you can't stop reading. I found myself waking up in the middle of the night, unable to sleep, until I had read a couple more chapters.
The story of the Coates family is a painful one. Cavallari doesn't attempt to sugar coat anything. He doesn't come up with tidy resolutions to conflict. People like to read something that wraps up everything with a big shiny bow. You aren't going to get that here. Life doesn't work that way.Read more ›
Be forewarned: there's a lot of pain in this book. And just when you think you (or the characters!) can't take any more of it, the author turns the screw a little more. And then again, a little more!
The setting is strong and the language is at times beautiful and poetic, making you want to linger. But the author doesn't let you linger for long as he ratchets up the tension slowly and steadily until the final heart-stopping scenes.
Though the sudden POV changes were a bit jarring at first I soon became used to the way Cavallari gets into everyone's head and fleshes out each of the character's motivations, including all the nuances of both light and shadow -- love and anguish -- that eventually play out in the concluding pages.
It's not a story for the faint of heart, but it is worthy, and if nothing else, could be used to remind us all to live with a little more grace and forgiveness towards those we claim to love the most. And ourselves most of all.
What started out as a story about a family steadily grew to include the local towns and ultimately the entire region and many of its people. At the end everything went to hell in such complete chaos it was amazing that anyone survived but some did. That was the predominant note of this novel to me, resilience, no matter how complete the destruction, something, somewhere will survive and push on. No matter the size of the tragedy there will always be someone who lives through it who has to get up everyday and just keep living.
I have two suggestions to offer when this novel is adapted to the screen:
1) Don't change the ending
2) Cavallari should play the mechanic in Waterbury
Thanks for reading,
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is one of those books at the end of which you say, 'Wow, I wasn’t expecting that.' It starts off with an old man, Einar Coates, who, after burying his wife, Sarah, watches his... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Beeshon
Dan Cavallari has painted a compelling family portrait with a depth that resonated within this reader. Read morePublished on June 20, 2012 by Stephen W.
This novel has a solid foundation: a good premise and strong descriptions of the setting in rural(ish) Maine. Read morePublished on April 29, 2012 by CLE
I received this book for free for review purposes. It was a serious read. I decided to read it based on the description and other reviews already written, but I don't think it's... Read morePublished on April 22, 2012 by Sharee Hebert
I really enjoyed this book. It was about the characters and their interaction with each other and in dealing with their own demons. Read morePublished on April 3, 2012 by Rosemary Nelson Cantrell
Confusing the Seasons is a well written, picturesque novel about a man who loses the love of his life after 4 decades of marriage. Read morePublished on March 22, 2012 by Amazon Customer
The mark of a well written, engrossing story is not in your ability to put it down when you want to but when you have no choice. Read morePublished on March 21, 2012 by Eric Frye
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review. This is one of those kind of books that you can get lost in. Read morePublished on March 1, 2012 by Mindy kleinfelter
I downloaded this book on a whim and I'm glad I did. It's an engaging story set in Maine. It's not a story for action junkies but rather for readers who prefer some complexity to... Read morePublished on February 10, 2012 by twsprings