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Some Enchanted Autumn    by Linda Andrews order for
Some Enchanted Autumn
by Linda Andrews
Order:  USA  Can
Zumaya, 2005 (2005)
*   Reviewed by Belle Dessler

Avalon 'Lonnie' Lynch has spent the past ten months trying to escape her family's witching legacy. She fled Pumpkin, Arizona for Phoenix, where she landed a job at Prior-Tea Clinic and got engaged to Dr. Orren Prior. Well, almost engaged. When she was unexpectedly called back for a family emergency, Lonnie failed to give Orren an answer to his marriage proposal. But she will ... just as soon as she figures out what it's going to be.

Unfortunately for Lonnie, Orren follows her and learns that her family emergency is really an escalation in the centuries-old feud between the two neighboring towns of Pumpkin and Holly. To make matters worse, a sinister being known only as The Prankster has been wreaking havoc in both villages and has managed to injure two people in the process.

What starts out as a simple homecoming quickly turns into much more for Lonnie when she drops a plastic skeleton on Nicholas Dugan, descendant of The Dugan, a creature whose mere mention sends Pumpkin's children scurrying behind their mothers' skirts. Nicholas is the only Holly resident to step foot in Pumpkin in a hundred years. Who better to find The Prankster than a man who can come and go between the towns? But Nicholas can't get the cooperation of Pumpkin's citizens on his own, so Lonnie's quickly tasked with helping him.

Successfully creating a lighthearted paranormal story without slipping into the absurd is a hard task for any author to pull off, but Andrews manages to accomplish this most of the time. Although events do sometimes slide into the absurd, the characters' quirky banter and often humorous encounters helped bring me back to the narrative without too much difficulty. The descriptions of Pumpkin and Holly are colorful and enchanting, as are the townsfolk who inhabit these two magical places.

Though not a complex story, Some Enchanted Autumn manages to engage the senses while eliciting smiles and the occasional chuckle throughout. However, I found the first few chapters hard to follow as I tried to figure out the intricacies of the feud and get to know the multitude of characters the author introduces at once. This slow, unsteady start eventually develops into an easy-to-read story about trust, secrets and the pitfalls of holding a grudge. Andrews' ending is somewhat predictable but nevertheless satisfying, and I found myself encouraged to reflect on my own hometown and all its wonderful quirks as I turned the last page.

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