The Driest Season

The Driest Season

As her community suffers a long season of drought, sixteen-year-old Cielle endures a more personal calamity: the unexpected death of her father. On a balmy summer afternoon, she finds him hanging in the barn—the start of a dark secret that threatens her family’s livelihood. A war rages elsewhere, while in the deceptive calm of the American heartland, Cielle’s family conten...

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Title:The Driest Season
Author:Meghan Kenny
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Driest Season Reviews

  • Fran

    Cielle Jacobson, sixteen years old, lived on a one hundred acre farm in Boaz, Wisconsin. The farm, owned and settled in 1863 by her Norwegian great-grandfather, was no longer Jacobson land. During the depression, old Mr. Olsen bought land from struggling farmers and leased it back to them. In summer 1943, Cielle came home from school to find her father hanging from a beam in the barn, an apparent suicide. If she were to tell anyone, her life would instantly change. She went to a neighboring farm

    Cielle Jacobson, sixteen years old, lived on a one hundred acre farm in Boaz, Wisconsin. The farm, owned and settled in 1863 by her Norwegian great-grandfather, was no longer Jacobson land. During the depression, old Mr. Olsen bought land from struggling farmers and leased it back to them. In summer 1943, Cielle came home from school to find her father hanging from a beam in the barn, an apparent suicide. If she were to tell anyone, her life would instantly change. She went to a neighboring farm but told no one about her discovery.

    The discovery of Lee Jacobson's body and "tractor accident" as his cause of death was a crafted cover up of lies and deception. If Mr. Olsen knew that the death wasn't accidental, it would contractually void any buy-back agreement for the farm.

    Many Boaz residents were unable or unwilling to address their personal issues and created smoke screens and omissions. Cielle, however, wanted to understand why her father left. She wasn't ready for this sudden change. What do you do when loved ones leave?

    Cielle experienced tumultuous change in 1943, uncertainty for sure, but her strength of character was slowly developing. Life as she knew it no longer existed. Did life cycles create positive experiences as well? "The Driest Season" by Meghan Kenny is a heartfelt, coming of age novel I highly recommend.

    Thank you W.W. Norton & Company and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review "The Driest Season".

  • Carla

    I so enjoyed this book set in Wisconsin during World War II. Fifteen year old Cielle is wise beyond her years and the death of her father has her questioning the secrets that are being kept, and her own place in the world. With wonderful character development, I was instantly a party to Cielle's thoughts and feelings. This is Meghan Kenny's debut, and what a wonderful debut it is. This book will be available in mid February. My thanks to Netgalley and W.W. Norton and Company for access to this b

    I so enjoyed this book set in Wisconsin during World War II. Fifteen year old Cielle is wise beyond her years and the death of her father has her questioning the secrets that are being kept, and her own place in the world. With wonderful character development, I was instantly a party to Cielle's thoughts and feelings. This is Meghan Kenny's debut, and what a wonderful debut it is. This book will be available in mid February. My thanks to Netgalley and W.W. Norton and Company for access to this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Katie B

    Fifteen year old Ciella life is forever changed when she walks into the barn on her family's farm in Wisonsin. She finds her father hanging from one of the beams and if word gets out he committed suicide Ciella and her sister and mother could lose their farm. This is a story of grief and growing up set in the 1940s during World War II.

    The author originally wrote a short story with the same title and this is more of an expanded version of the story. Clocking in at under 200 pages it does read mor

    Fifteen year old Ciella life is forever changed when she walks into the barn on her family's farm in Wisonsin. She finds her father hanging from one of the beams and if word gets out he committed suicide Ciella and her sister and mother could lose their farm. This is a story of grief and growing up set in the 1940s during World War II.

    The author originally wrote a short story with the same title and this is more of an expanded version of the story. Clocking in at under 200 pages it does read more like an extended story than a full length novel but it doesn't make it any less satisfying. Even though it deals with serious subjects there is something very simplistic about it. I really enjoyed this one and would definitely check out any future books by the author.

    I won this book in a giveaway but was under no obligation to post a review. All views expressed are my honest opinion.

  • Meigan

    Realistically portraying life in the heart of farming country in America right on the brink of entering WWII, The Driest Season tells the story of a family trying to keep it together when everything is falling apart.

    16 year old Cielle is the one who finds her father, hanging from the barn rafters after his suicide. Grappling with the hows and whys and how they’re supposed to move on afterwards, she and her family are thrust into a world of secrets and how nothing is ever as simple as it seems.

    Realistically portraying life in the heart of farming country in America right on the brink of entering WWII, The Driest Season tells the story of a family trying to keep it together when everything is falling apart.

    16 year old Cielle is the one who finds her father, hanging from the barn rafters after his suicide. Grappling with the hows and whys and how they’re supposed to move on afterwards, she and her family are thrust into a world of secrets and how nothing is ever as simple as it seems. The only thing that’s certain is life will go on for the rest of the family, but it will certainly never be the same.

    Exploring mental illness and loss, this story packs quite the emotional punch despite its short page count and certainly doesn’t waste a single word. Every character was dimensional and fully developed, the world was realistically portrayed, and each and every aspect of this short novel was there to serve a purpose. Quite a feat to deliver all of the above in just 192 pages, but Kenny delivered beautifully.

    All in all, The Driest Season was an enjoyable and quick story of heartbreak and hope and family, and certainly one that’ll tug on the old heartstrings a bit. Highly recommended and I’ll definitely be watching for anything else by Meghan Kenny.

    *I received a free copy through Goodreads giveaways.

  • ♥ Sandi ❣

    3.75 stars

    This is a quiet little story about loss and the overcoming of emotions. Grief, loss, and the remaking of a family is seen through the eyes of a 16 year old girl, who has found her father hanging in their barn. Asking why, Cielle is looking for answers. As her life totally changes, her sister moves away, her Grandmother returns to her own home, a friend leaves for the military and her Mother narrowly misses a nervous breakdown, Cielle searches for the answer as to why things change.

    Ken

    3.75 stars

    This is a quiet little story about loss and the overcoming of emotions. Grief, loss, and the remaking of a family is seen through the eyes of a 16 year old girl, who has found her father hanging in their barn. Asking why, Cielle is looking for answers. As her life totally changes, her sister moves away, her Grandmother returns to her own home, a friend leaves for the military and her Mother narrowly misses a nervous breakdown, Cielle searches for the answer as to why things change.

    Kenny has written a very good novel in a quiet, subtle way. Except for the details of the father hanging in the barn, which happens in the first few pages, the rest of the story is told in a mellow subdued fashion. This book does not scream of the changes in life, but flows in a relaxed easy-going laid-back way, even though some of those life changes are cruel or hurtful. A good novel on grief and loss softened by the authors fluid movement of words and thoughts.

  • Diane S ☔

    A slice of life in the American heartland. Boaz Wisconsin, 1943, Cielle finds her father dead, hanging from the rafters in the barn. This discovery puts the family at risk, their farm at risk, and leads Cielle on the quest to discover exactly why her beloved father did what he did. (Not a spoiler since this discovery is part of the books summary) Although America is going to war, and will touch this family, the events of the summer take precedence, as Cielle must come to terms with a huge loss a

    A slice of life in the American heartland. Boaz Wisconsin, 1943, Cielle finds her father dead, hanging from the rafters in the barn. This discovery puts the family at risk, their farm at risk, and leads Cielle on the quest to discover exactly why her beloved father did what he did. (Not a spoiler since this discovery is part of the books summary) Although America is going to war, and will touch this family, the events of the summer take precedence, as Cielle must come to terms with a huge loss and it's aftereffects.

    Cielle, soon to be sixteen, as expected, changes over this summer, grows up and comes to understand the contrary nature of man's outward personality, and the churning difficulties he harbors within. It is a slow road of often somber realizations, but beautifully written. The flashbacks to specific moments with her father were wonderfully portrayed, and emotionally touching. Family, friends, the weather affecting the farm, a first love, and a broken romance are encompassed in this novel. The descriptions of the country side are brilliantly rendered. A beautiful place that holds the family at its center, their life and livlihood caught within.

    The Amish, and their different standards of living, come to the aid of this small family, and bring a different sort of realization to Cielle. A quiet, internal novel about facing a devastating loss while attempting to keep external forces from taking what is theirs.

    ARC from edelweiss.

  • Donna

    It is during the summer of 1943 when Cielle, short for Lucille, comes home from summer school to her farm in Wisconsin and finds her father dead, hanging from a beam in the barn. She is only fifteen, but she has just entered adulthood in a rush.

    She certainly gets her chance now.

    Cielle is shy and a loner, but she was close to

    It is during the summer of 1943 when Cielle, short for Lucille, comes home from summer school to her farm in Wisconsin and finds her father dead, hanging from a beam in the barn. She is only fifteen, but she has just entered adulthood in a rush.

    She certainly gets her chance now.

    Cielle is shy and a loner, but she was close to her father, or as close as anyone could be as there was always a little something that kept him apart from others. Gradually, she tries to piece together what happened while those around her are still in denial or full of anger or just want to move on. But none of that works for Cielle.

    Cielle has some decisions to make, and she knows any answers she finds might not help, and they might even change how she saw her father and maybe not for the better. But she presses on, needing to understand both her father and herself.

    This story is told simply and without being sentimental. The author allows the reader to feel things on their own without pushing emotions upon them. It is a sensitive portrayal of a family and their close friends dealing with one man’s suicide or not dealing with it, their struggles seen through one young woman’s eyes.

    The writing is superb in many different areas. The reader knows Cielle’s thoughts, but is never inside her head for too long, avoiding a sense of claustrophobia too common in first person narratives. Instead, there is plenty of dialogue and action to balance it out, and wonderfully descriptive passages that never slow down the story such as this one after the funeral:

    There is a dark underside to this story with its secrets and lies lurking below a veneer of normalcy. The tension within it is like an expanding bubble about to break and release anger, truth and sorrow. There is a melancholy mood throughout the book, but amazingly for the subject matter, it is not depressing and rather enriching.

    My only complaint, which stops me from giving this book five stars, is that the story, as short as it is, feels drawn out and is sometimes repetitive when voicing Cielle’s observations. This may be so because this short novel was based on a short story by the author who expanded upon it to publish it in book form. Still, this may not bother some people, and it does not detract from the enlightening journey ahead for Cielle and the reader.

  • Karen Kay

    I received this from netgalley.com in exchange for a review.

    Fifteen year old Cielle struggles to make sense of her father’s time on earth, and of her own. A war rages elsewhere, while in the deceptive calm of the American heartland, Cielle’s family contends with a new reality and fights not to be undone.

    This was an enjoyable quick read and appropriate for young teen and adults.

    3.25☆

  • Monica

    Although this isn't a genre I usually read, I did enjoy

    . This is an extremely well written short story and accurate depiction of farm life in the post Depression era. I enjoyed the relationship between the sisters and how they supported each other through all their life changes. There is grief and heartbreak, growth and challenges. The girls were supported by their grandmother to take a lot more chances than most girls at this time were allowed. The strength in their family t

    Although this isn't a genre I usually read, I did enjoy

    . This is an extremely well written short story and accurate depiction of farm life in the post Depression era. I enjoyed the relationship between the sisters and how they supported each other through all their life changes. There is grief and heartbreak, growth and challenges. The girls were supported by their grandmother to take a lot more chances than most girls at this time were allowed. The strength in their family ties was honest and inspiring!

    I would recommend this story for readers who enjoy American historical fiction. It's a quick read and I appreciate the ARC from a GR give-away!

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