Hero photograph
Photo by pixabay.com

Spring is here! - Novels which Reference the Spring season

Maureen Brook —

"Spring won’t let me stay in this house any longer! I must get out and breathe the air deeply again." - Gustav Mahler

Now that the long, wet winter is over, let us enjoy some sunshine, daffodils, magnolia and blossom - and some great reading:

The Language of Flowers Vanessa Diffenbaugh

The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. After a childhood spent in foster care, Victoria Jones finds connection with people difficult, however she finds joy in working with flowers and when a local florist discovers her talent, she is invited to work at her shop. Victoria soon meets a young man and must decide whether she can trust him enough to open herself up to love.

The Beginning of Spring Penelope Fitzgerald

In March 1913, Nellie Reid leaves her husband Frank, a Russian-born Englishman who runs a printing shop in Moscow.  She returns to England without warning and he urgently needs to find someone to look after their three children. Eventually Frank finds a governess who has had no experience with children but they grow to love her. Frank also finds her attractive. Meanwhile Spring has arrived and there is no communication from Nellie.  Should Frank resist his desire for the young governess?

Spring Karl Ove Knausgård

This book is volume three of the 'Seasons' quartet.  A day in the life of a father and his infant daughter while they make a road trip.  The Dad talks about the small joys of family life and equally, the struggles.  He notes the changing weather and the colour of the roadside flowers as they drive.  There is much self-reflection and imparting of life knowledge to his sleepy baby daughter.

The Botanist's Daughter Kayte Nunn

In present-day Australia Anna, a botanist, finds a metal box containing a sketchbook, a photograph inscribed 'Spring 1886 and a bag of seeds.  This discovery sets Anna on a quest to find out more about the items.  In Victorian England, botanist Elizabeth follows her father's quest to discover a rare, life-saving plant. The journey takes Elizabeth from Cornwall to Chile. The story is told from a dual-narrative approach and has a great sense of time and place, eventually connecting the two protagonists.

Spring Ali Smith

Book three in the 'Seasonal quartet' series. The story has two central narratives - Richard boards a train to Scotland with no particular destination in mind, as he tries to deal with the loss of a loved one. Brittany works at a detention centre for migrants where she meets Florence, who provides the thread of the story.  Set in modern-day Britain.

Mothering Sunday Graham Swift

Mothering Sunday, Spring 1924. Jane Fairchild, orphan and housemaid, is wondering how to occupy her time, with no mother to visit.  A phone call changes that and Jane heads off to an assignation with Paul Sheringham, young heir to a neighbouring house.  What Jane does not realise is that this particular day will change the course of the rest of her life.


Honey Roasted Cleo Coyle

A Springtime Affair Katie Fforde

Peach Blossom Spring Melissa Fu

Big as Life: Three Tales for Spring Maureen Howard

Kill Fee Owen Laukkanen