Spring is the third novel in Ali Smith’s Seasonal Quartet, and it is the story of migration, place, and grief. Once again, Smith blends contemporary politics, intertwined stories, and cultural references into a novel that feels fresh and imaginative, but also biting and clever. There is a focus on immigration—with a lot of clever punning and also harsh realities of detention centres—and also on the divisions in Britain, as seen across the other novels as well. There’s also quite a theme of afterlives, not quite the rebirth of spring but of the ways people live on and even speak after death.
Possibly the most engrossing of the quartet so far, Spring feels very typically Ali Smith whilst also capturing something about spring and something about contemporary British, migration, and otherness.