Persephone spends six months of the year under the ground with her husband, king of the dead, and six months on earth with her mother, goddess of the harvest. It has been this way for nine thousand years, since the deal was struck. But when she resurfaces this spring, something is different. Rains lash the land, crops grow out of season or not at all, there are people trying to build a road through the woods, and her mother does not seem able to stop them. The natural world is changing rapidly and even the gods have lost control.
While Demeter tries to regain her powers and fend off her daughter’s husband, who wants to drag his queen back underground for good, Persephone finally gets a taste of freedom, joining a group of protestors. Used to blinking up at the world from below, as she looks down on the earth for the very first time from the treetops with activist Snow, Persephone realises that there are choices she can make for herself. But what will these choices mean for her mother, her husband, and for the new shoots of life inside her?
No Season but the Summer takes a classic myth and turns it on its head, asking what will happen when our oldest stories fail us, when all the rules have changed. It is, above all, a book about choice.
‘Matilda Leyser’s novel takes the eternal polarities — love and hate, life and death, summer and winter, possibility and impossibility — and brings them crashing together in a tumultuous story of gods living alongside humanity, mother-daughter love and loss, and a glimmer of hope despite it all. In No Season but the Summer, our world is still dying, but it is putting up a hell of a fight as it does so, reminding us that we can fight too, and that fighting for our lives might start with listening to the earth.’ - Stella Duffy, author of THEODORA
‘What a wonderful writer. Matilda Leyser’s work is precise, poetic, hard-edged, rhythmical. It seethes with life, and feels both ancient and brand new.’ - David Almond, author of SKELLIG
‘As you climb to earth with Persephone, you know you are in good hands. Leyser has an uncanny ability to make the mythic intimate and the timeless timely. She takes an ancient tale of goddesses and furious wrongs and fashions it into a passionate contemporary story that will resonate with mothers and daughters everywhere. Oh — and she writes like an angel. Her prose at once precise and lush, you can taste and smell and touch every bit of her thrilling, sensuous world. No Season but the Summer is an everyday epic with an invitation to ride.’ - Nicky Singer, author of THE SURVIVAL GAME
‘Artfully transporting classic myth to the present, this is the tale of Persephone, of the stories behind why our seasons change, and “how climate change is stretching and breaking the rules that have long kept the natural world in rhythm”.’ - The Bookseller