Book Review: Cocoon by Emily Sue Harvey

Seana Howard is a vibrant, out-going, cheerful, lovely woman. After many years of marriage her husband Ansel died. She often thinks back on the life they'd had. She wonders if it would be possible to love gain. Seana has 2 adult children with families and careers, Tim and Zoe. Tim manages the business Ansel built. Zoe has a dance studio. The dance studio is where Seana met Barth. At first sight Barth looked rather out of place back in the "dim corner" of the studio. Seana introduced herself, there was a spark of attraction between them. In the small town of Paradise Springs, South Carolina, the beauty of the Smokey Mountains are in the distance. The population is 2,000. Everyone knows Seana. She is a respected and beloved friend. Barth though is a "new-comer" to town. Seana's children are bewildered and shocked when Seana and Barth elope. Seana and Barth settle in to her spacious 2 story ranch home, hoping that eventually her children will welcome Barth with a positive attitude. Not long after their marriage Seana becomes ill with a mysterious illness. She withdraws in to a cocoon of complete apathy. Her physician has a difficult time with a diagnosis. Barth is thrown in to the care-giving role while they are still in their honey-moon phase. Will this test of endurance and faith persevere through the refiners fire.

I loved this story!
I love southern stories----southern in landscape and speech.
The author describes the beauty of Seana's corner of South Carolina, tucked away just below North Carolina, where you can see the "blue Smokey Mountain range." The fragrance of "honeysuckles, primrose, lavender" greet the reader in the first few pages.
Southern expressions such as: "For crying out loud." "In a jiffy." "Off kilter." "Well I never." "Evasive as a feral fox." This is the language of my people, my land, my south. There is comfort in being amongst my own people---even in a fiction world.
Barth's role as caregiver I can relate to. The never-ending moments that develop in to days of caring for someone that is uncooperative, fussy, obstinate. The hope of a better day, a day of not just a respite, but healing.
Love is displayed not just in word, but action amongst Seana's family and friends. Each of her loved one's in tenderness and patience, wait in faith, for the day of Seana returning to them.
On first reading Cocoon it appears to solely be about Seana, yes she is the main character and the character that is going through this most pitiable and troubling disease. Yet, I believe Cocoon is about love. Beyond the "moonlight and roses" as my mother used to say, Cocoon is about love when there is no beauty, there is no birdsong in the morning, there is only the dark night and it seems to go on forever.
 
Thank you to Emily Sue Harvey and The Story Plant for my free review copy in return for an honest review!
An additional thank you to my precious friend that introduced me to Emily Sue Harvey's books----Vicki Moss, her website is:
http://www.livingwaterfiction.com/

Published by The Story Plant and will be available May 29, 2012
276 pages
Fiction/Love Story/Mental Illness/Family Saga

Authors site:
http://emilysueharvey.com/
Link @ Barnes and Nobles:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cocoon-emily-sue-harvey/1106922269
Paperback $10.25
Nook $2.99


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