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Review of Bear Season by Gemma Fairclough


Well, this 176 page novella packed one hell of a literary punch and I adored every single page of it! 


PhD student Jade Hunter has gone missing. Ursula has been convicted of her murder but Jade’s body was never found. When years later Jade’s thesis is shared online and swiftly deleted, journalist Carla Young follows the trails and conspiracies of Jade’s mysterious disappearance.


I am a huge fan of uniquely written novels, especially when you have to question if this could be a fictional twist on real life. Gemma has cleverly constructed Bear Season as Jade’s PhD thesis but with an extra layer of original penmanship that catches you in its spell. Gemma has injected myths and fairy tales into Bear Season, especially as Jade becomes more and more motivated to shed her current life and become something more. I felt that Jade was a character study of the female population as a whole, considering women as doting wives and daughters and the ways in which they look up to the male figures in their lives, when in truth all they want is the option to be free. At times I could feel the tremor of female rage simmering just below the surface, and if this was Gemma’s aim, she hit it in such a brilliant and creative way.


Bear Season echoes folklore and mystery throughout its entirety and I devoured it all in one-sitting. Utterly unforgettable! A real triumph in the literary fiction genre.


I am definitely looking forward to future novels from Gemma (and Wild Hunt Books).



Reviewed by Danielle.

Bear Season was published on 29/02/24 by Wild Hunt Books.


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