Season of Secrets

Seasons of secrets

ExtractOn a wild and stormy night Molly runs away from her grandparents’ house. Her dad has sent her to live there until he Sorts Things Out at home.

In the howling darkness, Molly sees a desperate figure running for his life from a terrifying midnight hunt. He has come to help her. But why? And who is he?
“Season of Secrets” weaves the tale of a heartbroken child and an age-old legend into a haunting story of love, healing and strange magic.

“Names are important. Everyone has one, except really tiny babies maybe, or stray dogs, or people who’ve forgotten who they are. And even stray dogs and people with amnesia have names. They’ve just forgotten them.”

About Seasons of Secrets

daffodils

Spring

The roots of this novel come from the story of the green man, who is the pagan god of summer. A friend told me this story, and I was fascinated by the idea of a person so powerful that he can create summer across a whole world, but who is also incredibly vulnerable, because in order for winter to come, he must be killed.

I wanted to tell his story, but I wanted the story to be based in real life, and to have some relevance to a modern child. I decided to use his cycle of death and rebirth to represent the grief-story of a child whose mother has just died. Like winter, grief isn’t something that happens once and then goes away forever. But I wanted to show that hope does come back. And after writing Ways to Live Forever, I wanted this book to end happily.

summer

Summer

Like Ways to Live Forever, Season of Secrets has a lot of things which come from real life. The reason Molly lives
with her grandparents over a shop is because when my father was a child, he lived with his great aunt and uncle over a newsagent’s. I never knew my father, but the way my mum described his childhood – the kind, old-fashioned couple who let him sleep in their bed because it was the warmest place in the flat – always made it sound like such a cosy, safe place to be.

A lot of the plans Molly and Emily have are for things my friends and I also wanted to do when I was a child. I remember reading Noel Streatfield’s A Vicarage Family and being very impressed that she’d captured that wonderful feeling of possibility – and also our tendency to spend our time planning rather than actually doing.
I’m pleased to say that I managed to get some of my things done.

Autumn

Autumn

Molly is a harder character to write about than Sam, for several reasons. Sam doesn’t like to talk about being sad – he just gives you the space and lets you fill in the details. But Molly is much more emotionally-driven than Sam is and she spends a lot of autumn and winter feeling very sad.
My first drafts had a lot of chapters with Molly moaning about her mum or how much she misses her cat. I took most of these out because they depressed me. But I then had to work with Molly’s need to tell you about how she’s feeling without letting it take up all of the book.
Season of Secrets works like Ways to Live Forever in reverse. Both are books of two halves, with each half having a very different tone. Both have a significant event which happens somewhere in the middle and changes everything.

winter

Winter

The sad story in this book – the dead mother and the absent father – comes from a book I read written by a woman
who looked after foster children. She once cared for a family of six children after their mother died and their father wasn’t able to have them. After a year, the father remarried and the children went back home.

Molly & Hannah

I originally wanted to write a book about those six children, but I hit two problems. Firstly, I’m better at stories that are centred around one character and secondly, I didn’t really have enough plot for a whole book. In the end I took the interesting bit of their story – how do you cope with a father who obviously loves you, but who abandons you? – and gave it to Molly and Hannah.

Reviews for Season of Secrets

It’s a simple story, told simply, but it’s dealing with some complicated and intense emotional issues and it does it in a tremendously accessible way

theBookBag

Sally Nicholls is simply an exceptionally talented writer, who writes beautifully. Her intelligent, warm fiction is honest and profound, complex yet accessible.

loveReading4Kids

This is a beautiful story… Absolutely wonderful.

Bookwitch

75 Comments

  1. Christian rosca
    February 8, 2012 @ 8:40 pm

    Ways to Live for ever îs the beat Bookfest in the whole world.its SAD,FUNNY AND VERY MOVING.i can see that every one likes this Bookfest.IF SOMEONE DOES NOT LIKE THIS BOOK THEN THERE ÎS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THEM.i will get SEASONS OF SECRETS BUT I NO IT WONT BE BETTER THAN “WAYS TO LIVE FOREVER”.I ENJOYED READING THIS BOOK AND IT WAS WORTH READING IT.I HOPE YOU WRITE A NEW BOOK SOON!!!!!!! 🙂 BYE BYE BYE BYE BYE BYE BYE

    Reply

  2. Noor
    July 4, 2011 @ 9:33 am

    I m currently readin'”The Season of Secrets” and believe me…its an amazing suspense and an outstanding novel……..U r the BEST, Sally….

    Reply

  3. tata
    May 30, 2011 @ 11:00 pm

    bok is fanstasic

    Reply

  4. lilianna cote
    May 5, 2011 @ 11:57 pm

    i thought your book was ok but i was wondering did the man make molly’s mom come back to life?

    Reply

  5. Mollie
    April 18, 2011 @ 5:51 pm

    Hi Sally & everyone reading

    I have never read this book but i am looking forward to reading it. This book sounds really amazing.Cant wait till i get the book next Saturday. From the extract i think that i would not be able to put the book down.I can NOT wait till Saturday when I get “Seasons of Secrets” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  6. alicia
    April 14, 2011 @ 7:48 pm

    hi sally i just got your book and it sounds great cant wait to read it taking it everywhere!!!!
    i am 11 and love reading!!!!
    write back soon!!!!

    Reply

  7. Holly
    January 7, 2011 @ 9:11 pm

    heyya sally i love your books they are sooo good you should write another one they are so moving! i reacomended one to my english teacher she is quite picky about books and she loved it!!! i am only 13 but i really love your books!! please write back to me!!

    Reply

  8. ik
    December 12, 2010 @ 6:04 pm

    mooi boek!

    Reply

  9. Lily Rosalie Baker
    November 8, 2010 @ 6:39 pm

    HI!
    Season of Secrets is a WONDERFUL book, there is so much “Magic in the words”!
    It´s my favourite book EVER and I love Molly. And Emily, too.

    Yours, Lily xxx,11 years old

    Reply

  10. Upasha
    November 5, 2010 @ 3:05 am

    Hey ! I just loved reading this book and I wish to read more books written by you. It’s a sad story but Secrets of Seasons really inspired me to write something good. Please keep writing and we shall promise to read your good work.
    Thanks,
    Upasha
    xoxox

    Reply

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