I love Australian lit, love it so much I used to import it from one sadly-gone bookshop and wait weeks for it to arrive: Jesse Blackadder, Joanne Horniman, Brigid Lowry, Linda Jaivin and others. Pene Henson's Storm Season evokes everything I love from those books I spent so much time tracking down--sweeping descriptions of the natural world, cheeky humor, breathless emotion--with a modern sensibility around life, love, diversity, and doing what's right over what's easy.
The last thing party girl and journalist Lien wants is roughing it in the woods on the way to a festival, even with her best friends, but she rethinks her feelings about the outdoors when a freak storm washes her right into the arms of Claudie, strapping forest ranger with a mysterious musical past. Their passion blooms as the tropical storm rages, but what will become of their feelings when both return to their real life?
Pene Henson is a new author, and one that I am so glad to be introduced to. Her writing is quick, lyrical, gently funny, and emotional just when it needs to be. Every character is a dear, even the ones with barely half a dozen lines, and their identities reflect a modern, non-homogeneous Sydney. Even better, this is a story where the answer isn't giving up what anyone loves to be with a person--it's about finding oneself and striking it out on your own, and how that can make love grow all the better. A gem, one I will be returning to during the rainy NYC summer.