Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Book Review: Wasp Season by Jennifer Scoullar

Wasp Season
Jennifer Scoullar

Publisher: Pilyara Press
Publication date:  20th July 2020
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Pages: 294
Format read: eBook
Source: Courtesy of the publisher
About the book 

When Beth’s marriage ends, she’s determined to build a new life in the country for herself and her children. A quiet life lived closer to nature. She thinks she’s achieved the impossible – a civilised separation, a happy home and a cordial relationship with her estranged husband, Mark. There's even the promise of new love on the horizon. But when Mark tries to change the rules, Beth’s peaceful world is turned upside down.

Disturbingly, she also discovers that European wasps have invaded her garden. Beth’s obsession with them and their queen holds up a distorted mirror to the human drama. As the chaos in Beth’s life gathers momentum, connections between the two worlds come sharply into focus. The lives of Beth and the others are neither separate to, nor safe from, the natural world.
My review

Jennifer Scoullar's love and reverence of the nature that surrounds us shines through in her writing, making the daily lives of the wasps and other insects fascinating and evocative reading.

Wasp Season is narrated in multiple points of view. Scoullar anthropomorphises the wasps and bees thus invoking sympathy. Naming the insects and giving their POV brings the reader right into their lives and thoughts and gives a perspective I'd never contemplated before.
Fairy wrens, potter wasps, paper wasps, assassin flys, black cockatoos, European wasps, platypus, wombats, wallabies, kookaburras, dragonflies, eastern spinebill, hummingbird, cicadas, spiders; all this beautiful and diverse fauna of Australia is seamlessly spread throughout the story without being one bit contrived.

The humans are just as fascinating as the insects. Mark, a delusional narcissist, separated from wife Beth and now living with girlfriend Lena and their baby son, has a life is always greener on the other side attitude. Bored with his young girlfriend he decides he wants his wife back.

Lena feeling alone and worthless turns to the allure and bright lights of poker machines to get her highs. Predators are lurking to pounce on the weak and unwary.
Beth and her two children have settled into a tranquil life on a property in the mountains. However there is a European Wasp colony developing that will threaten them and the whole surrounding ecosystem.

With themes of the natural balance of the ecosystem, introduced pests, regrets, narcissism, gambling addiction and befriending strangers, Wasp Season is fascinating and emotional. As human lives and insect lives cross over and intertwine Scoullar builds the story to a suspense filled conclusion.
4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
 About the author
Photo: Goodreads
Bestselling Aussie author Jennifer Scoullar writes page-turning fiction about the land, people and wildlife that she loves.
Scoullar is a lapsed lawyer who harbours a deep appreciation and respect for the natural world. She lives on a farm in Australia's southern Victorian ranges, and has ridden and bred horses all her life. Her passion for animals and the bush is the inspiration behind her best-selling books.



  1. I have this on my kindle, I'll have to move it up the line. Great review.

  2. Thanks for you lovely review, Veronica.

    1. My pleasure Jennifer. It didn’t endear me to bees, wasps and creepy crawlies though. 😂