Amy Dunne’s second novel, Season’s Meetings, reinforces the writing skills and storytelling ability we saw in her Goldie winning first novel, Secret Lies. This is a gentler, easier read, without the YA angst and issues of abuse and self-harm, falling solidly into the Traditional Romance category. But that doesn’t detract at all from how good a wordsmith Ms Dunne is.
The characters are engaging, well rounded and three-dimensional. From Angus the snowplow driver to the Celtic witch in the tourist shop, every person you meet will resonate. The main characters invite our empathy and our good will, we want then to make it… even the annoying best friend Beth has redeeming traits.
The plot is a sweet and heartwarming seasonal fair, but filled in with a level of detail that makes it more than just a vehicle for a romance. The journey is well done and the juxtaposition of Holly, the tinsel loving, big family traditionalist with the bah-humbug Scrooge, Catherine, gives Dunne a perfect foil to make Christmas something new and exciting.
Intertwined throughout is the theme of family. We see examples from happy global networks and small village life to lost, broken histories that have left a lifetime of pain. Amy Dunne brings them all in to play in the remote Scottish Highlands, and from the mix forges new traditions, and possibly even new families.
No review would be complete without mentioning Kimmy, the orphaned cairn terrier who wriggles her way into Catherine’s heart. Full of character, lovingly drawn, she comes close to stealing the show and will definitely endear herself to all the fur-baby loving readers out there.
Thoroughly enjoyable reading, a great Christmas present and a well-done second novel that firmly establishes Amy Dunne as a talent to be watched.
(publisher review copy received)
Available to pre-order,
out on the 15th December