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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Shapeless Summers is a work of fiction in the interpersonal drama subgenre. It is suitable for the general reading audience and was penned by author Hayden Thompson. The book follows a middle-aged former sea captain, William Greenwood, as he leaves England behind and reinvents himself as a scientist in the South Pacific. Over six years, William finds new ways to challenge himself and grow amongst the changing islands and communities he visits as he moves from island to island. But behind him lies a failed marriage, and the one thing he cannot find afresh, due to his new lifestyle, is the possibility of long-term companionship.
This is an intense and introspective piece about the crossroads in life that people face when they reach middle age and see that all they have ahead of them is more of what they’ve already done. William is an engaging character who grabs the opportunity for change with both hands, and through his observations of the new direction he has carved for himself, Hayden Thompson explores the ways in which humans continue to develop throughout their lives. The beautiful islands of the South Pacific are a wonderful backdrop for this journey, and the prose squeezes every last bit of excitement and wonder from the surroundings that William finds himself in as the journey progresses. Overall, Shapeless Summers is an odyssey of the soul, which asks meaningful questions about how we choose to grow as people throughout our lives and demonstrates that real change can also bring with it real fulfillment and happiness.