Dedicated by Ms. Maskell to Wendy Shalit (A Return to Modesty), Seasonal Migrations has been called a Catholic novel by some for its criticism of extramarital sex, and a culturally conservative novel by others for its celebration of marriage. The voices of feminist extremism have certainly quavered or howled about its "retreat" from the glorious cause of self-deification... but we view the book as a common- sense assessment of today's moral chaos in highly poetic terms and with a deep sensitivity to human psychology. If a cultural conservative is someone which resists utopian claptrap--if the return to modesty urged by a young Jewish scholar can also fill the pages of a Catholic novel--then we accept a plea of guilty. With pleasure!
For two excerpts, a synopsis, and a range of critical responses to this novel, please click here.
by Giles Maskell
The fine print on the right of the front cover reads, "A novel of rediscovering honor, shame, and the peace of sacrifice." That's probably as good a dozen-word description as can be offered of this chronicle of a return to modesty--but don't be deceived by the pastoral cover-art. The setting of SM is divided between city and country, north and south, winter and summer, progress and tradition. More specifically, the story's energies vacillate between a gentleman of the old school and a predator of the new, and between the protagonist's indecision about whether she wants career, fame, and luxury or family, loving respect, and the true independence of depending upon a being higher than herself. A very contemporary dynamism makes this a book of deep intellectual faith which every young woman (at the risk, be warned, of becoming a conservative woman!) should read before embracing feminist extremism's promise of happiness without irksome limitations.
(paperbound: Arcturus Press)