Three Seasons: Three Stories of England in the Eighties
By Mike Robbins
These three uniquely different series of novellas are set in England in the 1980s. Each story is deeply captivating, subtle and intriguing with a sophisticated effort to understand in an atmospheric sense what it was like to live in a country that was on the brink of change.
Spring is the first story that I found to be deeply touching as it follows the life of 60 year old trawler man called Skip, who had spent 45 years at sea and 40 years as a drinker. He wouldn’t normally risk a drop of alcohol between breakwaters until now as he tries to revive his business with his newly invented long-lining system. However, his one last chance to change his fate has the most devastating consequences which all lead to an unexpected series of events that will change and shape the rest of his life. This is rather a bleak tale of the realities facing many fishermen in a time where the government decommissioned many fishing vessels and the sense of place and time is exceptionally well characterised.
Summer is the second story and follows the conflicts and a number of ambiguous flashbacks between an impetuous estate agent called Terry and a guy called Roy, who is the meeker of the two who teaches and is an amateur gliding instructor. Terry remembers Roy as a boring and a very serious right-wing Labour supporter at university who opposed most of Terry’s political views. Their long grudge against one leads to some intriguing and unpredictable consequences.
Autumn is the third and final story and once again the author uses a number of ambiguous flashbacks of an aging college master called, Paul Makepeace where a series of present events take him back on an unforgettable journey in to his childhood that have undoubtedly shaped his future.
Although these three stories are in no way connected to one another, I felt deeply connected to the well-developed characters’ in each story and couldn’t help but think that the underlying moral of each story was that each character managed to find their grounding, despite a number of evolutionary and cultural changes that were taking place around them in the 1980s.
Disclosure: I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
My Ranking: 5 Stars
My Review Sites: