Lost Autumn by Mary-Rose Maccoll (2020)
Updated: Mar 16
It is 1920 and Australian teenager Maggie Bright finds herself working for Edward the Prince of Wales during his train tour of her home continent. What begins as a romantic brush with royalty, takes a tragic turn and sparks a drama that spans generations.
I found this book in a free library and decided to read it because it seemed like the kind of thing I wouldn’t usually read.
It was… OKAY!
The writing was cheesy, and at least one character randomly bursts into tears in every scene, but my main issue with this book is the pacing.
Things are moving at a reasonable clip for the first 60 pages or so but then Maggie gets on the train and we fall into a plot-swamp where we get 100 pages of reminders of what has already happened, and relentless foreshadowing of the dark events on the horizon. When something finally happens again, it’s less of a shocking twist, and more like “Finally! Now we can get on with the story!”
This seems like an author trying to pad the length of a book without much plot but then, at the end of the book, we get this huge chunk of exposition, where half of the plot is explained to someone over the phone. There was plenty of plot, it’s just all scrunched up at the end for some reason. 20% of this novel’s plot actually takes place on a train, but that’s where we spend 75% of our time.
There were some truly lovely parts, and it’s an exciting story, but there’s a big slog in the middle and by the end you’re just happy to have gotten through it.