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Friday 15 May 2015

✍ Permanent Spring Showers - Scott D. Southard

Genre: Literary Fiction
Published by 5 Prince Publishing
Number of pages: 472
My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★   It was exceptional (minus)
About the author | VBT Spotlight | from the Author

"Professor Rebecca Stanley-Wilson is having a very bad season. Her husband has just admitted to having an affair. And it was with one of her students.

Blame it on a desire for revenge (or way too much alcohol), she then has had one of her own. Unfortunately for her, her affair was with one of the great upcoming painters of his generation. The ramifications of that one torrid evening will not only be felt across her life but over the entire art world.

Sexy, funny, and very surprising, Permanent Spring Showers is the tale of one very memorable springtime and how it impacts a group of unique artists and dreamers. From the writer who is creating a new literary movement (through outright manipulation), to the hopeful Olympian with the failing marriage, to the romantic wondering what he did wrong to drive his love from him, each tale walks the line between reality and fantasy. And waiting at the end of the line is a very important painting… and possibly the revolver used in the Lincoln Assassination. "

"Permanent Spring Showers" - where to start....
I was meant to review this work two days ago, but unfortunately I am a little (a lot) behind in my reading and reviews (such is life....).
To make things worse, I am not a speed reader and do not / refuse to skim - I like to take in and savour every word.

At 472 pages this book was a tour de force as I had just over 36 hours to read it... but it was, oh, so worth it.   Lately I have been incredibly fortunate to have read a string of very good books, but I thought that this one was certainly something special.  
I don't think that I am easily pleased - my standard rating for a good solid book is three stars (I liked it).  I am  no literary buff either, and although I did study literature and literary analysis through to High School, it was not English Lit, and finding hidden meaning into every line of someone's work was never my thing.
I like to read and I know what I like and what strikes me. ... so in that respect I might be a complete philistine - many apologies.

Enough about me and my disclaimers, and back to the book in question.

Permanent Spring Showers is a complex tale and you need to read its description VERY carefully...
Yes, it all starts with an affair: Bob cheats on his wife Rebecca and tells her as she is just about to leave for a four-day conference in Chicago, where she has a really crappy time.  There, Rebecca surely meets a very interesting character, Vince, and ends up having an affair herself.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.
By 30% of the book the author introduces you to about 14 active characters, and several other peripheral ones.  I am generally terrible with names, therefore, at that point in the book, I had to actually test myself to figure out if I was truly managing to keep up with what was being presented - yep!  I drew a map of the characters and their relationships from memory... and I only got a couple of very minor players wrong,  which means Mr Southard must have been doing something right with his narration to get through my very thick skull and make all of those characters memorable for me! (see picture with my early morning scribbles).

All of the players are somehow related to Vince, who lives and breathes art; who is charismatic, sexy, exceptional, admirable, despicable, romantic, sensitive and a complete bastard all at the same time.  Vince is unique, larger than life and always inspiring.

Permanent Spring Showers is littered with poetry and different points of view, which are very effective and fascinating.  Whilst most of the narration is from a third person point of view (POV), Steve's is always presented in the first person, and Jenn's narration occurs in the form of her journals written as personal letters to deceased classical authors.  POVs are also often intermingled and therefore timelines are at times very fluid.  And of course there is more... but you will have to discover that for yourselves.

Many questions and philosophical matters are raised about friendships, relationships, infatuation vs obsession vs love, and the recurring theme of "just how far is it fair to go for the sake of art?" and "would you be able to live with its consequences?".

You will have to decide for yourselves if Rebecca became involved with Vince out of revenge, or if it was something more (.... "spots in time"...)

Finally, Mr Southard's characters, even the most minor ones, were vivid and truly came alive.
The overall writing was not only original, but utterly beautiful, flowing, easy to read, witty and funny - the best use of proper English grammar I have experienced in a long time.

This is definitely a tale that will stay with me for a long time.
The minus mark relates to the ending of this piece; the resolution was somewhat different from what I was expecting and would have liked to see.  That is not to say that the realm of possibilities is not open.  In fact, I could easily see a sequel to this... there are just so many possibilities... and that is definitely a book I would read.

[ARC received via Netgalley]

About the Author

Scott D. Southard is the author of "A Jane Austen Daydream", "Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare", "My Problem With Doors", "Megan", "3 Days in Rome" and "Me Stuff" in addition to his latest release, "Permanent Spring Showers".

His eclectic writing has also found its way into radio, as Scott was the creator of the radio comedy series The Dante Experience.  The production was honored with the Golden Headset Award for Best MultiCast Audio and the Silver Ogle Award for Best Fantasy Audio Production.

Scott received his Master's in writing from the University of Southern California.

Scott can be found on the internet via his writing blog "The Musings & Artful Blunders of Scott D. Southard" where he writes on topics ranging from writing, art, books, TV, writing, parenting, life, movies, and writing.  He even shares original fiction on the site.  

Scott is also the fiction book reviewer for WKAR's daily radio show Current State.

Find out more about Scott D Southard and Permanent Spring Showers in his Q&A with 5 Prince Publishing, and have a sneak peek at another excerpt from the book: Chapter 1 - The Argument.

Visit the author's website Visit the author on Facebook Visit the author on Twitter Visit the author on GoodReads

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I'm so glad you liked it! I really appreciate it. I hope your readers will check it out.
I shared a link to your review on my site as well.
If you ever want to do more on your site around the book (or my other ones), don't hesitate to ask!