cover image The Last Days of Autumn

The Last Days of Autumn

Donna K. Ford. Bold Strokes, $16.95 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-63555-672-8

This optimistic lesbian love story showcases the power of vulnerability and accepting the care of others. When Autumn Landers, a 45-year-old Tennessee landscaper, learns she has colon cancer and needs urgent surgery and chemotherapy, she takes a close friend’s suggestion to hire a live-in caregiver in order to avoid depending on her narcissistic, overbearing mother for support. Caroline Cross, still reeling from the infidelity of her soon to be ex-wife, sees taking the job as a good way to restart, though she knows it will bring up feelings about her own mother’s fatal fight with cancer. Autumn and Caroline build an intimate friendship easily, but adding romance to the mix requires bravery from them both. Though Autumn’s illness is central to the story, Ford (Tennessee Whiskey) doesn’t allow it to overpower, instead off-loading the conflict in the plot to the somewhat flat foils of Autumn’s mother and Jane’s ex. The love story is mellow and mature, with the slightly older heroines bringing refreshingly level heads to their relationship. Readers will be satisfied. (June)