Dreaming in the Pages

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Broken Pieces

Jack Canon's American Destiny

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Seasons' End by Will North @WillNorthAuthor #AmReading #Women #Fiction

“Can I just ask you a question?” Colin said.
He and Tyler were sitting at a corner table at their local London pub, the Cross Keys, having just celebrated Thanksgiving with steak and kidney pie and a bottle of “claret,” as Tyler insisted on calling the Bordeaux they’d ordered. Tyler was in one of his expansive moods.
“I believe you meant ‘May I,’ and you just did,” he replied, grinning. He was well into his second after dinner double whisky, a pricey 25-year old single malt from the island of Islay, in the Scottish Hebrides.
“Are you in love with Pete?”
“Oh, ho! Jealousy rears its ugly green head!”
“Stop being an idiot.”
“Being an idiot is one of my many charms.”
“Help me out here. What would the other ones be?”
“Ooh, testy tonight are we?”
“Look, it’s a simple question.”
“One thing I’ve learned about my roomie is that nothing’s ever simple with you. You see layers in any incident, multiple meanings in every otherwise declarative statement. You’re an analyst; must be your medical training: the diagnostician.”
“Would that be in the manner of a compliment?”
“Oh, I shouldn’t think so…”
“Good, because that would be so out of character.”
“Impossible. I have far too many characters to ever be out of one.”
“Well, how about you see if any one of them can answer the question at hand.”
“Why do you wish to know, if not out of rampant jealousy?”
“You’re answering a question with a question.”
“I’ve always found that an effective mechanism by which to keep the interrogator off balance.”
“Didn’t work this time, pal. I’m not unbalanced.”
“Well, that’s one of us, then.”
“Answer the question or I’m sticking you with the entire tab for dinner.”
“Okay what?”
“Okay stick me with it.”
“You’re right. You are an idiot.”
“Ah, but only sometimes; one never can tell.”
“Actually, one can. You’re an idiot for pretending to love Pete and shagging every other woman who comes across your path.”
“Am I getting only every other? That’s only a fifty percent success rate. Damn! I’m slipping. Get me another whisky, will you?”
“No way.”
“How about if I answer your question?”
“I’ll take that into consideration.”
“Big of you. Yes.”
“Yes, what?”
“Yes, I love her.”
By which you mean…what?”
Tyler heaved a theatrical sigh and stared off into the dim light of the saloon bar. The soft light from rose-shaded sconces and table lamps made warm pools on the patterned, predominantly red, mock-Sarouk carpeting.
“By which I mean I can’t imagine not being with her, not having her be a part of me. I suppose these days one would say we’re ‘soul mates.’ ”
“‘Soul mates,’ or just old mates?”
Tyler shot him a look. “We’re not just friends, you know.”
“Yes, yes; you’re lovers, too. Big deal. You have lots of other lovers. Where’s the distinction? Where’s the fidelity?”
“Goodness, I had no idea they had Puritans in the New York Mafia…”
“I’m serious; I don’t get that part.”
Tyler smiled, leaned back on the rear legs of his chair, and made a grand slice through the smoky pub air, as if dividing the Red Sea.
“One bifurcates,” he said. Then he winked, as if he’d just lured a naïf out of innocence.
“As in divide and compartmentalize.”
“So all these other women—the ones who call you from Oxford, the ones you bring home from the pub here, the matron at the Grapes…?”
“One box, as it were.”
“And Pete?”
“Quite another. One box holds trash, the other treasure.”
“I just hope you remember which box is which,” Colin said.
Every summer for generations, three families intertwined by history, marriage, and career have spent “the season” at their beach cottage compounds on an island in Puget Sound. Today, Martha “Pete” Petersen, married to Tyler Strong, is the lynchpin of the “summer people.” In childhood, she was the tomboy every girl wanted to emulate and is now the mother everyone admires.
Colin Ryan, family friend and the island’s veterinarian, met Pete first in London, years earlier, when she visited his roommate, Tyler. He’s loved her, privately, ever since. Born in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen, son of a bar owner, he’s always been dazzled by what he sees of the sun-kissed lives of the summer people.
But this summer, currents strong as the tides roil: jealousies grow, tempers flare, passions clash. Then, on the last day of the season, a series of betrayals alters the combined histories of these families forever.
As in previous novels, The Long Walk Home and Water, Stone, Heart, with Seasons’ End, Will North weaves vivid settings and memorable characters into a compelling tale of romance and suspense.
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Genre – Women's Contemporary Fiction
Rating – PG-13
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