Autumn Softly Fell
Although very different, this book is obviously inspired by Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden, with an abandoned heroine of eight becoming friends with a crippled, bed-bound boy. However, the resemblance ends there. In the early 20th century, Dorothea, from the slums of London, is left at her wealthy uncle’s house in the country by her father, with no explanation, and finds it difficult to fit in. She asks herself ‘Where is my place?’ and the theme of the book is her search for the answer over the next seven years.
Written from the child’s point of view, there is enough information given for the reader to understand the events surrounding her, which the child does not. So there are sub-plots within the main plot which are indistinct and the reader has to fill in what has happened for herself.
Although well-written, there are a few quibbles; because it is episodic, some events are not carried to their conclusion. And the ending, while answering Dorothea’s original question, leaves several questions about other characters and events up in the air, which leads me to suppose that a sequel is planned.