Review of ‘The Last Days of Autumn’ by Donna K. Ford
‘The Last Days of Autumn’ affected me. The reader goes through a very emotional and painful journey with Autumn. We all know cancer has been a fatal diagnosis for a long time. Fortunately, nowadays there are therapies and drugs to defeat some types of cancers. But those affected pay a high toll for it. My best friend had to go through this brutal experience last year and I had a front-row seat to watch helplessly as she almost fell apart. I could only support her morally and tried to make her recovery as comfortable as possible. Luckily she survived and her prognosis is good. But it was a very tough fight.
Autumn thinks she has her life under control with loving friends, a sometimes difficult mother, and her own thriving business. She works hard and likes it but a cancer diagnosis turns her world upside down. When her best friend suggests getting a live-in caregiver, she thinks it’s the perfect solution to avoid leaving home in this hard time.
Caroline wants to get her life back on track after losing her mother to illness four years ago and catching her wife red-handed in bed with another woman. She did not expect to put her heart at risk when she answered Autumn’s ad requesting a live-in caregiver.
The story is well written and the pace perfect. We can understand and sense the struggles of Autumn after the diagnosis as she tries to hold on to her normal life as long as possible. For Caroline, it was just a job at first, though it didn’t take her long to develop feelings for Autumn. The romance is beautiful, we witness how the relationship slowly changes from “just” a caregiver and her patient to friends and then to something deeper. The point of view is from both main characters and gives insight into their thoughts, feelings, and fears. The dialogues are good and the chemistry is tangible. I fell in love a little bit with both leads. The story feels realistic, the treatments are brutal and some side effects hard to bear.
This is a very beautifully written but also painful story about loss, illness, friends, family, standing up for oneself, and taking the risk to love anyway. It’s also about what is important in life, and that sometimes life takes something away from you only to give you something greater in return.
Not an easy read, you have to be in the right mood but it’s a wonderful lesbian love story. My rating 5 stars.
Thanks to NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books for receiving an ARC for an honest review.