Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Review: Sally Platt’s ANNIE’S AUTUMN – Unique Western Historical Romance is Delightful
Set in Sweetwater Springs, Montana, presumably in the last quarter of the 19th century (no date is given), this is the story of Annie Fitzgerald, one of three Fitzgerald daughters orphaned and raised on a ranch by a good woman. When Annie is just a kid, she has an encounter with 10-year-old Luke Barstow, who tries to help her land a fish and ends up being scolded by Annie. So he puts a frog down her dress.
Ten years later, after living in South Carolina with her sisters, Annie returns to Sweetwater Springs to run the ranch that is now hers. Luke has become a respected and wealthy man and when he encounters Annie, he sees a feisty gal, but one who has grown into a beauty with a lady’s manners.
The first thing I noticed about this story was the author unique “voice”. She repeats names and “head hops” between characters in rapid succession to give you a sense for all that is happening. Flitting through everyone’s head was confusing at first. And the failure to have any paragraph breaks between dialog or different characters’ thoughts made reading the story a challenge. But once I overcame all that, I quite liked the story and it held my interest. I would even say I have become a fan of Ms. Platt.
The back and forth between Luke and Annie is priceless and, at times, funny. Both are strong characters. And there are many exciting passages as bad guys, who want Annie’s ranch, use various methods to try and take it from her. But Luke is her constant protector, always there in the background, helping her. The chemistry is very subtle.
Some of the author’s comparisons made me laugh out loud. I particularly liked the one where she said the slow-moving coach traveled at the pace of a sick snail. Ha!
Now that I’ve adjusted to her style, I would look forward to reading another by this author. There are two more in the Fitzgerald series: Elaine’s Escape is out now and the story of the third sister, Louisa, is planned.