Book Review: The Burning Season

07.05.22 | Harper Perennial
Rating: 4/5 stars


Rosemary has often felt like trouble, and now at thirty-two, her marriage to her college sweetheart, Paul, is crumbling. In a last-ditch attempt to restore it, she agrees to give herself over to a newly formed Christian sect in central Texas, run by charismatic young pastor Papa Jake. While Paul acclimates quickly to the small town of Dawson and the church’s insistence on a strict set of puritanical rules, Rosemary struggles to fit in. She finds purpose only when she’s called upon to help Julie, a new mother in the community, who is feeling isolated and lost. Then the community is rocked by a series of fires which take some church members’ homes and nearly take their lives, but which Papa Jake says are holy and a representation of God’s will. As the fires spread, and Julie is betrayed in a terrible way, Rosemary begins to question the reality of her life, and wonders if trouble will always find her–or if she’ll ever be able to outrun it.

This summer has become the season of cult reads for me and I was thrilled to add THE BURNING SEASON to my stack once I learned it was hitting shelves. This is a literary fiction story, but everything about the community Rosemary finds herself living in felt incredibly real. Wisdom perfectly captures the isolation surrounding this cult community and the deceptive ways members are made to believe the things their pastor is preaching. Rosemary was a perfect choice for a narrator, as we experience the constant conflicting feelings she experiences regarding her present situation and her past. In addition to Rosemary there is a cast of secondary characters that Wisdom allows the reader to briefly get to know without taking away from the progress of the story, but instead enhancing the experience by giving the reader more insight into the cult.

🎧: I loved the narrator of this audiobook and how she brought everything to life. I think I enjoyed my reading experience more through the audio than I would have reading the physical copy. Highly recommend!

A huge thank you to Harper Perennial for my gifted copy!

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