“An astonishing finale to a prescient series . . . Ali Smith brilliantly weaves strands of joy and celebration to end her Seasonal Quartet.”


The last of her quartet of seasonal novels that cover Brexit to the Pandemic. This was a huge undertaking, writing these four books in such a short time to keep them relevant to what is currently happening in the British Isles. So ambitious and yet, for the most part, she pulls it off.
The final novel is about a dysfunctional family of Sacha and her younger brother Robert who is truly a handful of a problem and her Mother Grace. The father has left and now lives next door with his girlfriend. They are dealing with Brexit and now the beginnings of the pandemic. The author balances this by going back to the beginnings of WW2 and tells of how the Brits managed to handle that great change. Some of the characters from the previous novels show up here and the story moves between both eras flawlessly.

Some of the past is told through the story of Grace, as a young actress.

Like her other novels in this series, the stories bounce around and it’s easy to get lost, but in the end, you always feel you have found your way through a new literary experience to an understanding of what the story is trying to explain.
I would wonder about reading the books one right after the other, and what kind of insight that would give to the entire project. Like just about everyone else, I read them as they were published, proving each story can stand alone, but a deeper experience can be gained by doing it the other way, and if you haven’t read any of them yet, then that is what a I would recommend.


Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 17th November 2020

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Richard Franco