A Season of Shadows

Written by Paul McCusker
Review by Dana Cohlmeyer

Life seemed perfect for Julie Harris in Washington, DC, in January 1940: high-society dream home, dream husband, dream life. Upon waking the next morning, she finds her world turned upside down. As she struggles to cope with widowhood, she soon learns that her husband wasn’t quite the perfect man she thought she had married. Her search for answers finds her posing as an aide at the U.S. Embassy in wartime London, coping with her personal struggle over her husband’s betrayal, and trying to move forward into a new world.

Characters and plot combine to keep the reader guessing. McCusker’s characters are well developed and intriguing. As Julie isn’t certain she can tell the good guys from the bad, the reader is left second-guessing her decisions and wondering who she can really trust. Just when the reader might have the mystery solved, the plot takes a fantastic twist and shoots off in another direction with the reader left as shell-shocked as a bomb-weary Londoner.

In the midst of an intriguing story, it is possible to see parallels in the political rhetoric of wartime London and modern American politics. At one point, Churchill comments, “That in the name of freedom, freedom is diminished.” Certainly words to ponder in these political times. Having said that, no one should be put off by this book. Thoroughly enjoyable, it comes highly recommended.