Book Review (and a Giveaway!): The Tilting Leaves of Autumn by Robin E. Mason

December 4, 2017 Christian, giveaway, historical, Robin E. Mason 5

about the book

The southern town of Saisons lies at the crossroads between North and South, progressive and genteel antebellum life. Between East and West, between history and heritage, and new frontiers. Downton Abbey meets Gone With the Wind.

It’s 1912, in a world where slavery is dying and women’s rights are rising, and four young women who once shared a bond—and experienced a tragedy—question their own truths.

Scarlett was the shrinking violet in the group. Faithful to her friends, and hiding secrets of her own. When Mercedes steps in to rescue her, she unknowlingly plucks the thread that unravels Scarlett’s whole world.

But as Scarlett strives to hold fast to what is familiar the fabric of her life continues to come undone and secrets that are best kept hidden are exposed.

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SERIES: Seasons #2
GENRE: Historical Romance/Southern Fiction
PUBLISHER: Bird’s Nest Books
RELEASE DATE: November 22, 2017
PAGES: 544

Other Books In This Series

Robin E. Mason has a gently-dignified Southern writing voice, and the first person narrative in her Seasons series is the perfect stage on which that writing voice shines. I’m instantly immersed in the setting, each word wrapping around me like my Tennessee grandmother’s flour-coated hugs. Each of the four main characters is vividly drawn, true to the time period but still relatable to today’s readers. The flashbacks to their childhood friendship are at once sweet and poignant, even as heartbreak and grief barge in over time.

In The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, we get to hear from Scarlett – another of the friends whose situation has dramatically changed from childhood to adulthood… and then again. Scarlett’s story is truly horrifying and heartbreaking, yet she maintains an inner dignity that is inspiring. At the same time, she struggles with fear as well as duty-based guilt, and these act as shadows over her heart that keep her from resting in the peace now available to her.

My favorite scene in the novel is the discussion between Mrs. Willowby and Scarlett over the ‘ruined’ snow white gown. The way that Mason weaves the conversation naturally into the gospel message a la Isaiah 1:18 is very meaningful and well-written. The tone stays light yet the reader also gets the sense that this is life-changing for Scarlett and perhaps even themselves.

Bottom Line: The Tilting Leaves of Autumn is gripping and emotional, a study in friendship, family and transition as well as mercy. Compelling characters and a warm writing voice help the story come alive as the town of Saisons bustles around us. As in the first book, sometimes the pacing slows but it’s much improved in this 2nd novel! A tough subject matter to the plot but one handled with grace and dignity, sure to tug on your emotions and linger in your heart.

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / Love it!

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about the author

I’ve always had voices—er, stories in my head. I once said I should write them all down so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!

I have been writing since 1995, and began working in earnest on my debut novel, Tessa in 2013.  Meanwhile, I cranked out a few dozen poems, made countless notes for story ideas, and earned my BFA in Interior Design.  I lived with depression for many years, and the inherent feelings of worthlessness and invisibility; I didn’t want to be who I was and struggled with my own identity for many years.  My characters face many of these same demons.

I write stories of identity conflict. My characters encounter situations that force the question, “Who am I really?” For all who have ever wondered who you are or why you’re here, my stories will touch you in a very real—maybe too real—and a very deep way. I know, I write from experience.

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1. The first bit I got of this series was the four names of the friends: Mercedes, Simone, Scarlett, and Pearl. They became the main characters of each of the books.

2. The story, however, is not what I had first thought it would be.

3. Nor is the setting—I didn’t know it was 1912 and 1913 until I started trying to place it. For a brief moment, it was set in the ‘60’s, and they were kids.

4. This is my first go at writing in first person. I like it, and have been told I’ve “found my voice.”

5. At one point, Simone calls Mercedes “pragmatic,” and I realized each of my four main characters is one of the four temperaments: phlegmatic, sanguine, melancholic, and choleric.

6. I knew the general setting, and used Google maps to find a town to “borrow.” Saisons is based loosely on Lake City, SC—until I moved it south a little on the Edisto River rather than the Santee.

7. I didn’t know the extent of Scarlett’s abuse until I was writing it. (And no, I’ve never suffered physical abuse.)

8. I know all too well the fight to let go of wrong thinking.

9. I didn’t know Scarlett was a fashion designer until I was writing it. I can visualize her style, and did my best to find images to represent it.

10. I find sanctuary being outdoors like Scarlett did. If there are trees and a river, even better.

Prize pack includes the following: Print copy of the book, tea cup, sample of Saisons Plantation Tea, Earings, Candy, Book mark, pocket watch necklace, and a secret Christmas surprise.

Giveaway ends December 10 at midnight.

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This giveaway is hosted by SLB Tours, not RimSP.
Follow along with the tour here.

 

Carrie

5 Responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): The Tilting Leaves of Autumn by Robin E. Mason”

  1. Tracy DeLoach

    Thank you Carrie for the chance to win this book. This is my favorite genre’. I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

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