The Fifth Season is not a book for everyone as it is dark, deep and prods at the very things we all like to keep locked away, that of our own mortality, death and dying; an often disturbing subject that comes with many layers.
Salom says he has always had a fascination with crime, particularly with missing people, those found without an identity or those who simply disappear, go missing without a trace, which forms the basis of The Fifth Season; maybe the season of death, despair and lost hope, or even possibly time.
As with all of his works, Salom has intricately crafted the character of Jack, a man who is going to write his first novel, fascinated by the story of a man who disappeared from Blue Bay. Jack discovers a book written by Simon, who is possibly not Simon at all, but lived in the place he is renting. Jack is also facing his own issues with mortality.
Sarah’s sister Alice has also gone missing; Sarah is trying desperately to find her, painting pictures of her sister throughout the country, hoping someone will recognise her; she is shrouded in never ending grief, hoping against all odds her sister will return or be found. They meet in Blue Bay: both fixated on missing people who are lost and yet may eventually be found.
Filled with the unexpected, a myriad of twists and turns, the words paint a clear and emotional picture of life changed forever. There is a black humour to Jack, as he believes he can only write in a room completely black; he is fascinated by the crazy mosaics in the backyard, which he knows have been crafted by the man, Simon, who lived in the house but disappeared, apparently without a trace of his whereabouts.
Haunting and definitely a book which will bring forth many personal issues, it is also an abstract and unforgettable peek into the mind of an author who delights in crafting novels that are far left of center, with a simple but continuous storyline, an all too human thread embroidered in rich detail.
Not for the fainthearted but for those who enjoy seriously alternate literature, The Fifth Season portrays ‘the tenuousness of life and what it means to be both lost and found which can be summed up in the words: He will ask his little suitcase what to do. The Moving finger writes; and having writ, Moves on…………………….’