Review: Autumn, Seasonal Quartet, Book One by Ali Smith



I learned of this book by reading this review at The Book Satchel blog.

My Interest

I’ve been reading seasonally this year so this seemed like a natural fit. But, never judge a book by its cover–right?

The Story

Next-door-neighbors Elisabeth and Daniel become life-long friends, except at different “seasons” of life. Elizabeth is just starting out, her life moving to the entrance (she is in elementary school) and Daniel is elderly–his life is moving toward the exit. A flighty, irresponsible mother means Daniel becomes more important to Elisabeth. Lonely, save for his memories, his books, and his art, Elisabeth becomes more important to Daniel.

Meanwhile, in the other side of the story, a forgotten female British pop artist’s life ends. Christine Keeler entertains the Cabinet–or at least the Secretary of State for War, John Profumo whose name becomes synonymous with the Britain of that era. A Soviet spy, a doctor and others are involved. Uncle Harold’s government falls. The pop art world goes on. A new government is formed and goes on. The world goes on.

No spoilers on connections or non-connections between the stories!

My Thoughts

This book was a finalist for the Man Booker prize–typical of my take on many such prize nominees or winners, this was an odd book. The title makes it odder still. “Odd” though does not mean uninteresting. This book more than held my attention throughout, even if I often stopped to think “what did I just listen to?”

I listened to the audio version.

My Verdict

3.5 Stars

The Kindle version of Autumn by Ali Smith is now on sale for $1.99

Fun Postscript: This is the second book I’ve read recently [for the life of me I cannot remember which book was the “other one”] that mentions an antiques treasure hunt t.v. show!

5 thoughts on “Review: Autumn, Seasonal Quartet, Book One by Ali Smith

  1. This novel certainly has a “blah” cover but, like you say, never judge a book by its cover. I think this book sounds interesting. I’ve never read anything by Ali Smith. In fact, I had not heard of her until I read your review which raised my curiosity about her and this novel.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d forgotten I bought this and the other titles in her “seasonal’ quartet, but now would indeed seem like the appropriate time to begin reading them.
    I’ve read a few other things by her – some worked well, others didn’t do much to enthuse me

    Liked by 1 person

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