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The Four Seasons [Paperback]

Mary Alice Monroe
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 21 2009
As they gather for the funeral of their younger sister, Meredith, Jillian, Beatrice, and Rose, the Season sisters, are inspired to undertake a cross-country odyssey in search of a stranger with the power to mend their shattered lives and to free themselves from the bitter secrets of the past.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

A familiar formula receives skillful handling in this heartfelt family drama involving three sistersAfeisty European model Jilly, authoritative pediatrician Birdie and reclusive Rose Season. Following a lengthy separation, the three gather at their family home in Milwaukee for the funeral of their youngest sister, Merry, who was brain-damaged years earlier in an accident that continues to haunt the sisters. Merry's last request, that they find the baby daughter Jilly was forced to surrender as a teenager, sets the three remaining Seasons on a cross-country journey that will ultimately offer them a chance at personal redemption and self-discovery. Smoothly integrated flashbacks help illuminate long-held family secrets and allow the women to reclaim their childhood affection for each other. Although some of the old mysteries won't be much of a surprise to readers, Monroe (The Book Club) writes with a crisp precision and narrative energy that will keep them turning the pages. Her talent for infusing her characters with warmth and vitality and her ability to spin a tale with emotional depth will earn her a broad spectrum of readers, particularly fans of Barbara Delinsky and Nora Roberts. (Feb.)
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Moving, touching and beautifully drawn, the characters in this wonderful novel are compelling and true. -- Romantic Times (Top Pick) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars SPRING BEGINS... Feb. 14 2001
By BeatleBangs1964 TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A whole new season.
The four Season sisters, Jillian, Robin (called Birdie), Rosie and Meredith (Merry) are a literary example of how blood really is thicker than water.
The sisters, different in temperament and interest were the daughters of a high powered judge and an alcoholic mother. Jillian, b. 1955 is the rebel, the runaway. She has an affair at 16 and a child at 17. She is taken to a Catholic maternity home where she is forced to relinquish the custody of her daughter, b. 5/17/73.
Birdie is the high powered doctor. A driven woman, she takes charge of everything and everybody. Her 15-year-old daughter, Hannah, a fat, insecure girl resents being ordered around and so does her long suffering husband, Dennis.
Rose is the caretaker, the homebody. She remains in the family home to care for their retarded sister, Merry. A near drowing episode in a pool at 2 cost Merry the full use of her lungs and mind. Her sisters carried a guilt complex over her condition.
The story opens with Merry's death. The family attorney, a truly wonderful man makes a video of Merry prior to her death when she states that she wants to find "Spring," the name she gave Jillian's daughter. Spring, the one season that none of the Season sisters was born in. Spring, the time of births and beginnings.
The three surviving sisters confront old family demons and with the help of their angel of a lawyer, embark on a quest to find Jillian's daughter.
This wonderful story is about forgiveness, acceptance and a whole fresh beginning. Birdie is able to reconcile with her husband, daughter and sisters; Jillian, the alcoholic model, the rebel is finally more grounded and Rose, the caretaker finds romance.
The story is really about births and beginnings, Springs and fresh starts. I highly recommend it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Warm and Lovely Summer Read July 6 2004
Here is a book that could be a cliche, but is not, because the four main characters (one of whom we know after death) are so original and so likeable.
This is the story of the four Season sisters, hence the title of the book. The youngest sister, Merry, has passed away at 32 after a long illness as the book begins. As the remaining sisters convene at the family's aging Victorian house, all their long-time hurts, dreams, failures and successes are almost palpable as each grieves in her own way. It sounds like a million other books of this type, but a different twist makes it all brand new, and very interesting.
That is the search for the illegitimate daughter of Jilly, the sister who went on to become a top model in Paris, and a minor celebrity. It turns out that at age 17, she was shunted off to a strict Catholic home for unwed mothers, and forced by circumstances, the time in which she lived, her unyielding parents, and the nuns themselves to give up her baby without being allowed to hold or see it. That momentous situation, it turns out, has colored the lives of all the sisters--even Merry, left brain damaged after a childhood accident. Her last wish was that Jilly and the other sisters find "Spring," the name she has, in her childlike innocence, chosen for the missing Season.
This is not a deep and unforgettable book, but it is well worth reading, and simply perfect for the beach, which is where I finished reading with a long sigh and many tears. Go for it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing June 5 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book was great. The characters were well developed and I felt like they were real people. I was sad this book ended. A must read!!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent June 5 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I purchased this book as a beach book and was not disappointed. This is the first work I have read by this author and immediately after finishing Four Seasons began to search for more books by her. This was a wonderfully woven tale of family tragedy and triumph as well as individual growth within the protagonists as women and as sisters.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular Read March 19 2004
This is a book for anyone who had a sister or, like me, wished they had a sister.
Jilly, Birdie, and Rose -  of the four Season sisters are gathered at their childhood home in Evanston, Illinois after the death of the fourth sister, Merry. It is Merry's last wish that will have the other three on an adventure which will not only have them searching for the child Jilly gave up for adoption 26 years earlier, but for themselves at the same time.
Jilly who left home years ago for elegance and wealth in Europe has returned for good. Despite her fancy clothes and furs, she is broke and all alone. Seemingly without purpose in life, her modeling career over, she really doesn't know who else to turn to but her sisters. Her whole life is a sham - will she be able to tell her sisters how broke she really is? Will she ever find the love of her life? And will her search for the daughter she gave up for adoption be successful?
The second sister, Birdie, has become a physician. Always the studious one, she has married Dennis Connor, a man who Jilly dated as a teenager, and has a teenage daughter, Hannah, who in typical teenage fashion is giving her mother a rather difficult time. Birdie's husband, too, is giving her grief. They don't seem to have the closeness they once had, and when Birdie insists on accompanying Jilly on her search for her birth daughter, Dennis gives her an ultimatum - come home now or our marriage is over. Birdie still chooses to side with her sister.
Third sister, Rose has been living at home taking care of the youngest, Merry, after the death of their parents. She really didn't mind and has juggled her caretaking duties with word processing at home. Rose doesn't get out much but she has traveled the world and met many people via the internet.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Four Seasons - Wonderful!
You know a book is really good when you want to pass it on to everyone you know! Absorbing, real women, real feelings, interesting story line. Read more
Published on March 7 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars As Good As It Gets
Mary Alice Monroe is a skilled storyteller. Her prose is beautiful and her understanding of human nature profound. I was toally absorbed in the lives of these sisters. Read more
Published on Jan. 16 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming and full of insights!
Mary Alice Monroe always has wonderful insight into emotions and relationships. Her style of writing is crisp and beautiful. Read more
Published on Jan. 10 2003
2.0 out of 5 stars Spring, Summer, Winter and Snore...
Another book that I picked up in February of 2001 to pass the time while waiting for customers at the cash register of the Mom and Pop store I worked at. Read more
Published on Dec 9 2002 by Christina L. Matyskela
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bond of Sisters
Birdie, Jilly, and Rose, three of the sisters in the Season family, gather together to celebrate the life of Merry, the youngest Season sister, who has died. Read more
Published on July 11 2002 by Elaine Hayes
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, Heart warming read!
I enjoyed this book so much. I was in a deep reading rut when i came across this one in my pile of boooks to be read and it immediately grabbed my attention and wouldn't let go. Read more
Published on Oct. 12 2001 by Karen Ellis
5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous and rewarding read
Mary Alice Monroe is fast becoming known for her sophisticated and touching novels. This one will only add to that well-deserved reputation. Her prose is graceful and lovely. Read more
Published on April 16 2001 by J. B. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellant fast read!
What a great book! It kept my attention the entire time I was reading it! This was the 2nd book I have read by this author and I am starting my 3rd tomorrow!
Published on April 1 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent Story - Highly Recommended
This is a book for anyone who had a sister or, like me, wished they had a sister.
Jilly, Birdie, and Rose -  of the four Season sisters are gathered at their childhood home... Read more
Published on March 3 2001 by Maudeen Wachsmith
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