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Rosalind Lauer

Series: Seasons of Lancaster 2012

If you are looking for an easy-read, change-of-pace contemporary fiction after the hectic holiday splurge this could be a start.

It is the third in the series of an Amish community in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

In this book you follow the King family who are recovering from the deaths of their parents. The family are struggling to get past the previous year and its tragedies and work together within their community.

Two brothers Jonah and Gabe have reached marrying age and are expected to find their true partner while holding to their Amish teaching and beliefs. Jonah, calm and capable, hopes to marry family-minded Abbie while brother Gabe is very keen on schoolteacher Emma, but motorbike riding is taking preference.

The story winds its way through autumn in this community of rural Pennsylvania. Harvests, weather, music, singing groups, motorbikes, illness and horsedrawn buggies and carriages all add to the atmosphere. The author deftly weaves Amish practices and beliefs through everyday farming activities of crops and cattle and family matters, balanced by the usual neighbourly support found in any rural setting.

A Simple Autumn is third in this series but can easily be a stand along read. You do get great descriptions of scenery and countryside “decked in red and gold.” While it is well written don't expect a cliffhanger ending – deckchair in the shade, box of chocs and glass of cool liquid and no phone is the way to relax.

A big tick for basic tips on resolving family disputed and supporting others in need.


Reviewed by Joan Angell