Monday, February 17, 2020

Book Review | LOST AUTUMN by Mary-Rose MacColl

Lost Autumn by Mary-Rose MacColl
Publication Date: March 3, 2020
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: ★★★★★

An emotional novel of love and the power of lost dreams from an internationally bestselling master of historical fiction, about a young woman's coming-of-age in 1920 and the secrets that surface more than seventy years later.

Australia, 1920. Seventeen-year-old Maddie Bright embarks on the voyage of a lifetime when she's chosen to serve on the cross-continent tour of His Royal Highness, the dashing Edward, Prince of Wales. Life on the royal train is luxurious beyond her dreams, and the glamorous, good-hearted friends she makes--with their romantic histories and rivalries--crack open her world. But glamour often hides all manner of sins.

Decades later, Maddie lives in a ramshackle house in Brisbane, whiling away the days with television news and her devoted, if drunken, next-door neighbor. When a London journalist struggling with her own romantic entanglements begins asking Maddie questions about her relationship to the famous and reclusive author M.A. Bright, she's taken back to the glamorous days of the royal tour--and to the secrets, she's kept for all of these years. -Goodreads

This is a very engrossing novel, both the characters and arrangement can absorb the reader with profound curiosity.

It's pure coincidence that I read this book after Harry and Megan announced that they are stepping down from their royal duties and chose to move here to Canada. Yet, somehow, I find it very relevant.

LOST AUTUMN is told in interweaving timelines, featuring books within a book. A  feat difficult yet managed beautifully by the deft hands of Mary-Rose MacColl. The marriage of fact and fiction is flawlessly achieved, so much so that the shift from historical to contemporary was perfectly believable. It strongly signifies that thorough research and planning was invested in making this book.

Like I said, the characters are half of the reason this is very engrossing. Maddie’s character development is critically significant for the timelines. Over the years, she’s still that uncomplicated, honest, intelligent girl that she was, but now, also wounded and resolved. I also like how MacColl gave each of her characters a particular weight. Each woman denotes how opportunities are dealt and withheld at different times, how they are viewed by the public and by those people around them, and the importance of choices and affirmation. In like manner, men are portrayed on how they significantly affect people; and no, not all of them are villains, some are truly honorable too. 

I highly recommend this book.


About the Author:
Photo by David Kelly
Mary-Rose MacColl is the author of six novels, a non-fiction book about maternity care issues, a book that tells a story from her own life, short stories, feature journalism and essays.

Mary-Rose MacColl's first novel, No Safe Place, was runner-up in the Australian Vogel Literary Award. Her first non-fiction book, The Birth Wars, was a Finalist in the Walkley Awards for Journalism and in the Queensland Premier’s Awards for Non-Fiction and for Science Writing. In Falling Snow and Swimming Home have both been published internationally, and Swimming Home won The Courier-Mail 2016 People’s Choice Award. For a Girl, the book that tells a story from Mary-Rose’s own life was shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Awards and the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards for non-fiction.

*Thanks to Edelweiss and G.P. Putnam's Sons for the DRM copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
*This post is a part of the monthly linkups organized by Lovely Audiobooks! You can click here to check it out and be a part of it.


  1. I fell in love with Mary-Rose MacColl when I read In Falling Snow and was so excited to read this one. Great historical fiction with characters you will connect with with a touch of secrets thrown in.

    1. I have to find me a copy of Falling Snow then!
      Thanks for dropping by.