Thanks to Lizzie at Red Door for an invite to join the blog tour and a copy of the book. My thoughts are my own and not influenced by the gift.
The sixties are in full swing days of hedonism, youth culture and free love. Not so for Sam Ashby, a hormonally-charged country boy, busy navigating a turbulent adolescence.
Frustrated by his lack of success, especially with girls, nineteen-year-old Sam accepts the job of Assistant Stage Manager and general dogsbody at the Meads Theatre in Eastbourne, where his world’s about to change, in ways he could never have imagined.
Enter stage left Abigail Compton, glamorous star of stage and screen to dazzle, to embarrass and divest poor Sam of his every last defence (including his best shrink-to-fit Levi Strauss blue jeans) on his way across the shaky bridge to adulthood.
The final playful episode in Richard Masefield’s quintet of Sussex novels and a sequel to his bestselling Chalkhill Blue, Three Seasons of Sadie is a genuinely funny rite of passage story set in the provincial theatre of the nineteen-sixties.
This is the first book I’ve read by Richard Masefield and I will look out for his previous Sussex novels, because I enjoyed this book. Before we dive into the book, I wanted to remind everyone to look at gorgeous cover (by http://www.clareconnieshephard.com) and remember the days of visiting theatres in person in pre-Covid 19 days.
This book is set in the nineteen sixties, when my parents were ‘courting’, so I loved reading about what life was like during that era. The story follows Sam, who after introducing himself at the start of the book over the first few chapters, regales us with the story of the summer he was nineteen and working at The Meads Theatre in Eastbourne.
From turning a bath blue trying to shrink Levi jeans, to trying to solve the mystery of who is out to sabotage the play, starring Abigail Compton, this is a book that was enjoyable to read, a coming of age story mixed with historical fiction about the sixties.
Sam experiences a number of events which change his summer (and life) as he moves from a boy to a man after spending time with Cordelia and Abigail. There is a great mix of characters and Sam has to cope with a variety of disasters and unexpected challenges over the time that Three Seasons of Sadie is being performed at The Meads.
I enjoyed my virtual time travel visit to Eastbourne and I look forward to reading more books by Richard Masefield in the future.
Richard Masefield comes from a family of writers – John Masefield was his cousin – and with a love of animals and the outdoors he decided at a young age that he would farm and write, if necessary both at once.
It took years of hard work before Richard could realise his dream, and in fact his first published novel was written while milking a herd of Friesian cows. He still lives on his farm in Sussex with his wife Lee and together they spend as much time as possible with their large family of children and grandchildren.
You can visit Richard’s website at http://www.richardmasefield.co.uk