Customer Reviews for

The Cutting Season: A Novel

Average Rating 3
( 42 )
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(8)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

28 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

I have a mental list of authors that I faithfully follow and I p

I have a mental list of authors that I faithfully follow and I pick up everything they write. I know what I like and I have a good idea of what I'll be reading. But on the other side of that coin - picking up a book by an unfamiliar author is an adventure.

The Cutting...
I have a mental list of authors that I faithfully follow and I pick up everything they write. I know what I like and I have a good idea of what I'll be reading. But on the other side of that coin - picking up a book by an unfamiliar author is an adventure.

The Cutting Season is Attica Locke's second book. I missed her debut novel - Black Water Rising - it won numerous prize nominations and lots of praise. But, after reading The Cutting Season, I can see why. Attica Locke is good -really good.

Caren Gray and her young daughter have returned home to Belle Vie - the Louisiana plantation Caren was raised on. Her family history with Belle Vie stretches back to the days when her ancestors were slaves in the sugar cane fields. Now the plantation is a tourist attraction and Caren is the manager. It's not the path she wanted to pursue in life and she has mixed feelings about returning to the plantation.

When an migrant worker is found murdered on the grounds, old and new wounds are opened - long buried history and new controversy. And Caren puts herself in the middle....

Locke drew me in immediately. I was of course caught up in the present day whodunit. There are lots of suspects and the path to the answer is winding. But, at the same time, Caren is caught up in the disappearance of her ancestor Jason, one hundred years ago. Locke skillfully weaves the unravelling of both narratives together.

The mysteries are intriguing, but I enjoyed Locke's exploration of race, politics, business, history and yes, love, just as much. The juxtaposition of abolished slavery and the plight of migrant workers today provides much food for thought.

The character of Caren came across as 'real'. Her own uncertainties, her relationship with her daughter, her ex and her coworkers all rang true. All of the supporting characters were just as well drawn. Having worked as a historical interpreter I enjoyed the descriptions of the cast and their dialogue.

Locke's prose are wonderfully rich and atmospheric and brought her settings to life.

"That beneath its loamy topsoil, the manicured grounds and gardens, two centuries of breathtaking wealth and spectacle—a stark beauty both irrepressible and utterly incapable of even the smallest nod of contrition—lay a land both black and bitter, soft to the touch, and pressing in its power. She should have known that one day it would spit out what it no longer had use for, the secrets it would no longer keep.”

For this reader, a winner on all fronts. (And I'll be hunting down that first book!) Locke has been added to my 'list'.

Dennis Lehane has picked The Cutting Season as the first book for his new imprint for Harper Collins.

"I was first struck by Attica Locke's prose, then by the ingenuity of her narrative and finally and most deeply by the depth of her humanity. She writes with equal amounts grace and passion. After just two novels, I'd probably read the phone book if her name was on the spine

posted by Twink on September 18, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Holds your attention

Really enjoyed this book. Good ending

posted by Pitcairn on October 26, 2012

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 42 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted September 18, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I have a mental list of authors that I faithfully follow and I p

    I have a mental list of authors that I faithfully follow and I pick up everything they write. I know what I like and I have a good idea of what I'll be reading. But on the other side of that coin - picking up a book by an unfamiliar author is an adventure.

    The Cutting Season is Attica Locke's second book. I missed her debut novel - Black Water Rising - it won numerous prize nominations and lots of praise. But, after reading The Cutting Season, I can see why. Attica Locke is good -really good.

    Caren Gray and her young daughter have returned home to Belle Vie - the Louisiana plantation Caren was raised on. Her family history with Belle Vie stretches back to the days when her ancestors were slaves in the sugar cane fields. Now the plantation is a tourist attraction and Caren is the manager. It's not the path she wanted to pursue in life and she has mixed feelings about returning to the plantation.

    When an migrant worker is found murdered on the grounds, old and new wounds are opened - long buried history and new controversy. And Caren puts herself in the middle....

    Locke drew me in immediately. I was of course caught up in the present day whodunit. There are lots of suspects and the path to the answer is winding. But, at the same time, Caren is caught up in the disappearance of her ancestor Jason, one hundred years ago. Locke skillfully weaves the unravelling of both narratives together.

    The mysteries are intriguing, but I enjoyed Locke's exploration of race, politics, business, history and yes, love, just as much. The juxtaposition of abolished slavery and the plight of migrant workers today provides much food for thought.

    The character of Caren came across as 'real'. Her own uncertainties, her relationship with her daughter, her ex and her coworkers all rang true. All of the supporting characters were just as well drawn. Having worked as a historical interpreter I enjoyed the descriptions of the cast and their dialogue.

    Locke's prose are wonderfully rich and atmospheric and brought her settings to life.

    "That beneath its loamy topsoil, the manicured grounds and gardens, two centuries of breathtaking wealth and spectacle—a stark beauty both irrepressible and utterly incapable of even the smallest nod of contrition—lay a land both black and bitter, soft to the touch, and pressing in its power. She should have known that one day it would spit out what it no longer had use for, the secrets it would no longer keep.”

    For this reader, a winner on all fronts. (And I'll be hunting down that first book!) Locke has been added to my 'list'.

    Dennis Lehane has picked The Cutting Season as the first book for his new imprint for Harper Collins.

    "I was first struck by Attica Locke's prose, then by the ingenuity of her narrative and finally and most deeply by the depth of her humanity. She writes with equal amounts grace and passion. After just two novels, I'd probably read the phone book if her name was on the spine

    28 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2012

    Perfect Atmosphere

    The South and the complicated emotions those words connate come alive in this engrossing tale whose characters and way of life come to true life. This tales not hard to belive and neither is Bel Vie.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 7, 2012

    Oh how I love the South; the plantations, the people, the myster

    Oh how I love the South; the plantations, the people, the mystery, the landscape, the politics and the history. The Cutting Season has all of those things and more. This novel has a two -for-one mystery that keeps you so intrigued that you don't want to put it down.

    The characters are real and I loved how the author explored their emotions, personal demons, love for one another, their home and their sense of belonging. I found it very interesting how Ms. Locke compared some of the struggles of yesterday's slaves to today's migrant workers, and society's ignorance in treating them as though they were/are less the human. In one word - Shameless!

    Great story and I look forward to reading Ms. Locke's other work.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I loved the setting: a restored plantation in Louisiana and the

    I loved the setting: a restored plantation in Louisiana and the bits of real history woven into the story. The characters, especially Caren & her daughter, are not well developed. I think that each book by this author will get better, with time and experience.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2012

    Loved it!

    I bought this after seeing it in a list of recommended books for Christmas gifts. I am so glad I did. Caren, Mogan and the rest of the characters will draw you into the world of Belle Vie and the mysteries hidden there. Will definitely look forward to future books by the author.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    It was okayyy...

    This book is okay. It has a really good plot.. But it just seems like a murder mystery where you keep looking and looking and looking... Typical.. Slightly boring.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2012

    Holds your attention

    Really enjoyed this book. Good ending

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2013

    Loved the book. Looking forward to more by this author.

    Loved the book. Looking forward to more by this author.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2013

    Just Okay

    This story is part mystery part a historical novel; however never achieving either, always wishy washy in-between. The story kept me interested, so I guess it is okay. However, the characters are flat, the story line offers little surprises , and the end is a little strange.

    This book was recommended to me by someone who grew up around plantations. She love to revel in the memory. However, if you want to read a good book about plantations I would recommend 'The kitchen house'.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    Great Read

    This book is filled with great characters and a interesting mystery.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2013

    slow read for one who likes drama

    I like drama.. at first it started out slow, but eventually it picked up. don't really care to much for how it finish..

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2013

    Good read

    Good read. I enjoyed the setting of the story especially after seeing the movie Lincoln. It is a mystery but somewhat a historical novel too. Just different setting for a change of pace.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2012

    Great book!

    Loved it.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2014

    Cutting Season needs cut.

    This book will put you to sleep many times before you complete it. It has about 25% of the text that is useless drivel that contributes nothing to the story. Slow and boring from start to finish. I did finish reading all of it, but it was painful, and oh so boring.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Generations of Caren¿s family have lived on Belle Vie.  From sla

    Generations of Caren’s family have lived on Belle Vie.  From slaves to running the plantation as a historical reenactment site.  With a recent murder that her daughter has a connection to, Caren has more to deal with than ever.




    For a book that is labeled mystery I found a lot of it was predictable but sometimes addicting to read.   I say addicting because although I figured out who was working with the murderer I didn’t figure that Caren would keep so much from the police. The writing was okay I am not sure why but I could tell this was a newer author.   It was interesting that the love interest part did not overwhelm the story, like some mystery books do.  

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 19, 2013

    Caren has reluctantly returned home for a job and is taken back

    Caren has reluctantly returned home for a job and is taken back in time to discover hidden secrets about her family's past.  What she does with this information is very interesting!

    A working single mom, Caren was a fantastic character who was struggling with being a boss, but also a hometown girl.  I loved her inner battle with herself and finding her place.  With some mystery and intrigue this book had a great creepy factor that kept me turning and turning the pages!  I wanted to know who the killer was and why they committed the crime and I was quite satisfied with the outcome!  (no spoilers here!!)

    A fantastic piece of southern fiction that takes you back in time, but through the eyes of current people.  The twists and turns were timed perfectly and I would dare anyone to be able to put this book down at any point!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2013

    This was bad and I couldn't wait to be finished.

    This was bad and I couldn't wait to be finished.

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 27, 2014

    If you prefer prose that peppers your nose and wows you with won

    If you prefer prose that peppers your nose and wows you with wonder and awe, then you might find yourself having a grand time while reading about the Deep South, where the tea is always sweet, an afternoon rain happens daily, and the humidity is so thick you have to keep your head down and plow forward through the mist. With the opening line I was caught in time and found myself veering ahead with what might have been excitement mixed with hope. But alas she was a fairer lass than Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton who changed her mind at the drop of a dime, and I found myself rather chagrined with the story I was about to begin. It ended there this love affair, and I slogged through the rain in my poncho and galoshes, the rain splashing my face and assaulting my senses. I sneezed, and then sneezed again.

    The story could have been much more and something I could adore, but alas twas not meant to be, and so it shall go down in history as another two star read. What might have been much better in this little endeavor is if the plot and the ending matched the rest of the prose, instead of just taking me on a journey with atmosphere and vocabulary. What I discovered was a killer who spouted off a little too long in the mouth, and bequeathed our fair heroine with more than a few antidotes. If sugar cane and acid rain had mixed on the page and devoured this journey, tearing and ripping its way toward salvation, and extending the plot with more than a few thoughts, I might have found myself in the middle of THE CUTTING SEASON and happy to be placed out in the fields of labor.

    Instead, I feel I am the one who missed out on the fun, and now I must end this little simulation with a dance imitation and shuffle and grand production where the tourists with the t-shirts and flip-flops and backpacks shall endeavor to visit my plantation.

    Robert Downs
    Author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2014

    Definitely worth it

    Great book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 42 Customer Reviews
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