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Reviewed by Brenda Casto for Readers' Favorite
Autumn Dreams by Sharon McGregor tells the story of twenty-five-year-old Maggie Lawrence, a young schoolteacher who accepts a teaching position just outside the prairie town of Timber, and looks forward to staying with the Thornhills on their farm for the next year. While she immediately connects with Ellen, Ray and Emma Thornhill, it seems that Ellen's brother Marshall hates her. How could someone she just met dislike her so much, especially when her heart is drawn to him?
Sharon McGregor easily transports readers back to 1949 with Autumn Dreams. She creates a sweeter time where the pace of life was slower, some people were still using horse drawn wagons, and even attending box socials. A time when teachers taught in one-room schoolhouses and boarded with a local family for the school term. Maggie was such a strong, brave character. She did have a few fears and insecurities, but that only lent a sense of realism to her character. The author's descriptive writing allowed me to visualize Maggie in such a way that I actually felt like I stepped into her shoes as I read the story. Marshall had been hurt once; it was easy to see why he guarded his heart. The relationships that formed between Maggie and the Thornhills was honest and real; she fitted right in and seemed like family right away. Six-year-old Emma was a delightful character who was worried about her place in the family if her mother had a baby boy. Of course I have to mention Gus the cat who made a few appearances!
Autumn Dreams is a sweetly written story that provides a good wholesome feel where the characters are very easy to like and connect with. I don't often read historical fiction set in this time period, but Autumn Dreams has me rethinking that decision because Ms. McGregor created such an inviting description of the time period that I really want to visit it again.