Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Some Autumn Favorites

The weather is suddenly cooler, blankets are back on our beds, and I am thinking of books about Autumn:
Autumn Term by Antonia Forest (1948). Twins Nicola and Lawrie are heading to Kingscote School, determined to be as impressive as their elder sisters, but things start badly on the train when Nicola pulls the emergency cord and never seem to recover . . . This is one of my very favorite school stories and children's book. Do not despair: if you don’t own a copy of this book, you will soon be able to order it from Girls Gone By Publishers.

Forty Autumns: A Family's Story of Courage and Survival on Both Sides of the Berlin Wall by Nina Willner (2016). This is a fascinating memoir about three generations of women and a family that is separated by the Berlin Wall, as the writer describes her life in America. My review.
Autumn in April by Essie Summers (1981). When Gaspard MacQueen invites Rosamond to travel to New Zealand to work in his department store, she accepts, not realizing his grandson actually manages the store and thinks she is a gold digger.

Violins of Autumn by Amy McAuley (2012). In this well-done YA historical set during WWII by a Canadian author, Betty lies about her age so she can do her bit and soon is parachuting into German-occupied France to help with the Resistance.
Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon (1996). In the fourth Outlander novel, Claire and Jamie are living in North Carolina prior to the American Revolution, dealing with all sorts of 18th century problems: poverty, slavery, rebellion, pirates, rape. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. Perhaps the books just became too meandering for me but sometimes I wish Diana had stopped after three books and moved on to other characters.

White House Autumn by Ellen Emerson White (1985). In the second of The President’s Daughter series, teenage Meg is resentfully getting used to being in the spotlight and adhering to the behavior required of someone whose mother is the first female president. When her mother is attacked, Meg’s worried family comes together for the first time since President Powers was elected.
Autumn of the Witch by Anne Mather (1972). Stephanie entered into a marriage of convenience to save her father, then finds her debonair husband and his estate in Sicily are more than she bargained for. I suspect this book is unremarkable except that it was the first Harlequin Romance I ever read! I was about 13, visiting my pen pal Jennifer Kavanaugh on Cape Cod and she had a stash of books from her grandmother. Initially, I turned up my nose but Jennifer companionably handed me one and I became quite addicted. Don’t judge! To this day, I am still very fond of Mary Burchell and Essie Summers, although I will admit the latter’s books are extremely predictable.   Still, if I ever visit New Zealand, it will be because of Essie!

What are your favorite fall reads?


Cath said...

Glad to hear Autumn Term will soon be available from Girls Gone By, I looked for it on AM and it was ridiculously expensive.

I think most of us have read a few Harlequin/Mills and Boons in our reading lives. Mixed in with other things of course. I haven't in a while, these days my mindless reading tends to be of the 'she was left a villa in Sicily by a relative she didn't know she had' variety. It's all part of the tapestry of life.

LyzzyBee said...

Clever selection! I can't add to it unfortunately but it was a fun read.

CLM said...

My tapestry of life unfortunately does not include exotic bequests in Sicily or Greece where there is another claimant (arrogant and handsome in equal measures) determined to buy me out or torment me in some other way . . . but there is always hope!

Helen said...

The only one of these I've read is Drums of Autumn. I loved the first three Outlander books, but since then I think they've become far too long, with too many characters. I can think of two other 'Autumn' novels I've read: The Autumn Throne by Elizabeth Chadwick (about Eleanor of Aquitaine) and Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym.

CLM said...

I must admit I have a handful of Chadwicks I haven't had time to read but I buy them because I know I will enjoy them when I get to them! I have read Quartet in Autumn but a long long time ago. Good suggestion!

JacquiWine said...

What a lovely selection, all of which are new to me. Like Cath, I'm pleased to hear that Autumn Term is soon to be reissued as it sounds ideal for a young reader I know! As for a personal favourite autumn read, it would have to be Pym's Quarter in Autumn, or maybe R.C Sheriff's The Fortnight in September for its wonderful sense of nostalgia.

CLM said...

Oh, I only recently read and enjoyed The Fortnight in September! How could I have forgotten it? I may have to do another next fall with the ones I forgot here (and any new ones I come across).