Cover image for Autumn return
Autumn return
Winterbourn, Sally Brice.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Waterville, Me. : Five Star, 2000.

Physical Description:
285 pages ; 23 cm.
Format :


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Material Type
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X Adult Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



In search of a new life, Lucy Summers leaves suburban London for a village on the coast of Cornwall, but her life of seclusion is disrupted by compassionate new neighbors who help her make her hideaway a haven for healing, peace, and love.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

A lot of people liked Martinusen's first novel, Winter Passing (2000), about a contemporary woman's attempt to solve a mystery associated with the Holocaust. Though the characters change, Blue Night is a sort of sequel in that the connivings long ago of a group of German soldiers directly affect a modern woman, Kate Porter, whose husband disappears when the two are vacationing in Venice. There's no clue what happened except a small blue tile left on Kate's pillow. Five years later, prepared to declare her husband dead, Kate receives another tile in the mail. The reader knows, and Kate must discover, that the tile is from the soldiers, aged now, gathered in Phoenix to fulfill their strange plan. Pacific Hope features Mike and Kate Langston, who lead prosperous though fast-paced lives in Sausalito in Nordberg's rather quiet thriller, following her wrenching tale of spouse abuse, Serenity Bay [BKL Ja 1 & 15 01]. Mike, a computer executive, is seduced by femme fatale and blackmailer Cara Calloruso. Kate finds out about the affair, and before Mike can patch things up, she receives more bad news, that her father has had a heart attack back home in Kansas. Then the criminal doings accelerate, but none of Nordberg's heavies, including Cara, seem credible enough to inject any menace into Nordberg's pages, and her computer knowledge at best seems pedestrian. Spring Rain, the first entry in Roper's Seaside Seasons series, brings Leigh Spenser, a teacher and single mother on the Jersey Shore, once again in contact with her son's father, Clay Wharton. Clay, a career naval officer, has never owned up to fathering his son, Billy, preferring to believe that his one wild night with Leigh demonstrated her promiscuity. Clay is retiring from the navy to tend to his mother and his twin brother, Ted, who is dying of AIDS. Gay characters seldom make an appearance in evangelical fiction, and Roper carefully crafts her disapproval of Ted's lifestyle. Once that's out of the way, she presents him sympathetically and in some depth, even to the point that his fate upstages the nascent romance between Leigh and Clay. Snelling's A Dream to Follow begins her Return to Red River series, a child of her popular Red River of the North series about the Swedish settlement of North Dakota and Minnesota in the 1870s. Her hero in this first installment is young Thorliff Bjorklund, son of Ingeborg and Haaken Bjorklund, who heads off to college at St. Olaf's to study journalism, but feels guilty leaving the farm to his overworked parents and his younger brother. It's an utterly predictable tale, though Thorliff is likable enough, and once again, her strong suit, Snelling's knowledge of life on the farm, shines through. Stokes's Amber Photograph features a character who is a pun: Amber McAlister. She left North Carolina long ago under mysterious circumstances; she has had a hard time of it out on Puget Sound but at last shows signs of pulling her life together. Meanwhile, back in North Carolina, Amber's younger sister, Cecilia, stumbles onto an amber photograph of Amber that looks like herself, and she begins to press her mother and the man she has always thought of as her father for details. When her mother reveals a bit more of the secret, Cecilia heads for Seattle. The reader will have guessed the truth of Cecilia's origins long before Stokes teases out her last clue, but the McAlister women are appealing enough to carry the story. Verweerd is a Dutch writer, and The Winter Garden was her first novel, just now making its way to the U.S. Its heroine is nondescript Ika Boerema, a landscape designer who receives the news from her sister, Nelly, that their mother is dying. Nelly wants Ika to come home, but Nelly was always the favored one, while Ika was an illegitimate daughter and grew up a near-outcast. Ika's phlegmatic employer advises against it: the prodigal family doesn'st deserve her, she says. But Nelly's sense of duty runs deep, and she connects with her roots in what turns out to be both a spiritual search and a search for identity, since her mother has never revealed the name of Ika's father. Ika is herself a winter garden, in other words, striving to become a whole woman, perhaps even to flower. This is a fine, subtle story reminiscent of Barbara Pym. Sea of Glory is Wales and Poling's fictionalized account of four real-life chaplains, variously Jewish, Catholic, Methodist, and Dutch Reformed. They shipped out together in 1943 on a troop carrier called the Dorchester. The great ship went down, but not before the chaplains performed heroically, living testaments to their faiths who sacrificed their lives that others might be saved. They are almost cheerful about it, in fact, and they'sd all seem more believable if they sported a blemish or two. Still, if you haven'st wearied of tales of the greatest generation, this is a good one; the authors's re-creation of survival in frigid North Atlantic waters is particularly gritty and affecting. Widow Lucy Summers moves to a house on the coast of Cornwall in Winterbourn's Autumn Return. Although her sons and their wives--all of them in London--oppose the move, Lucy wants a new start. She was married to a missionary but never felt comfortable with church concerns and wants now to cultivate her privacy and pursue her long-suppressed artistic yearnings. Fortunately or unfortunately, the local villagers drop by, overwhelming her with kindness but also compromising her solitude. Then a lonely vicar comes calling and all bets are off in this romance that strikes an original tone and then yields to convention.