Thursday, July 16, 2020

Review: Lost Autumn by Mary-Rose MacColl

Lost Autumn
by Mary-Rose MacColl
Release Date: March 3rd 2020
2020 G.P. Putnam's Sons
Kindle Edition; 404 Pages
ISBN: 978-0593085059
Genre: Fiction / Historical
Source: Review copy from publisher

3 / 5 Stars

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.

My Thoughts
Lost Autumn is the story of seventeen-year-old Maddie Bright who accepts a position to serve Edward, Prince of Wales during his tour across Australia.  When she arrives, she ends up with quite a different job, answering letters on behalf of the prince, setting in motion a tale of deceit that would cross generations.  While I really enjoyed the previous two novels by this author, it took me awhile to get into this one, and even then, I found my mind wandering quite a bit as I read.  I love stories about royalty, and since I was familiar with Edward and some of the events of this tour, I thought it would be a lot more interesting than it actually was.  

The story is told in three POVs and while I don't necessarily have an issue with alternate story lines, and these ones were not very complicated, I can't for the life of me figure out the use for the middle story line. Okay, it was somewhat interesting as it was about Princess Diana's engagement, but it really didn't go anywhere.  And while I definitely understand the connection in the book, it really has no relevance to the story, which are two very different things.  To be honest, I just skimmed through those pages. 

The story line set in the 1920s was the most interesting, but the major incident was predictable.  I actually think if the prologue had been left out, the story would have been more unpredictable, but as soon as I read it, knowing Prince Edward's reputation, it was quite easy to figure out. And I'm still unsure as to what I think about the ending; a bit far-fetched?

I think the only negative thing with multiple POVs sometimes is you lose that connection to the characters at times.  While I definitely had sympathy for Maddie as a young woman, I didn't really connect with Victoria in the same way.  It's definitely not due to lack of skill as a writer though, as this author definitely did a lot of research for this book, and the characters were interesting and intriguing.  I just felt there wasn't enough time given to Victoria to really get to know her in the same way as Maddie, which was too bad.  And again, while I understood the connection in the book to Princess Diana, her engagement and her death, the relevancy of it escapes me, and it was in these sections where the author sometimes lost me as a reader.

Lost Autumn is an easy book to read, told in multiple time lines, with an intriguing cast of characters. It's basically a story of friendship and the loss of innocence.  Personally, I enjoyed the parts set in 1920 far more than the 1981 and 1997 time lines as I really didn't see the point of them. I think I would have preferred reading more about young Maddie and then finding out what happened to her as an older woman in an Epilogue. The author has a great writing style, something I really enjoyed in her previous books, and I think she could have done something a little different in this book.  I think I am in the minority on this one, so my recommendation would be to read it for yourself.  


  1. i get what you're saying about multiple povs.
    sherry @ fundinmental

    1. I don't mind multiple POVs, but it just didn't work for me in this book. It actually took away from my enjoyment of the characters and the story and I found myself flipping through pages instead. It's a shame though, as this had the potential to be really good.

  2. I rarely like prologues They are almost always spoilery, usually I just pretend they Don’t exist and skip over them. Thanks for sharing your thoughts

    1. In this case I agree; it completely gave away a major plot point of the book. I should have just skipped it.