By: Michael Baron
Publisher: The Story Plant
Publishing Date: September 2012
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: September 21, 2012
Mr. Baron’s other novels remind one very much of Sparks, with the amount of emotion and compelling looks into real people’s lives. Leaves is - yet again - one of those truly great novels.
Now, for a born and bred Connecticut girl, after the first three lines of this story I was basically home. In fact, my hometown, the Inn that always stood and probably still does on Main Street, along with the leaf-peepers who came every year from ‘the city’ to see the fall colors - are offered here in full-color sweetness and hilarity.
Joseph and Bethany Gold have been a huge part of their small town for a good, long time. A very loving couple raising five children, they ran the Sugar Maple Inn in the town of Oldham, located in the Connecticut River Valley. However, times have changed and now the Gold parents have passed away, leaving the siblings to deal with the Inn and its issues.
The one thing that the Inn has always been known for is their famous Halloween party, and once the kids decide that they are going to sell the Inn to a large chain so that none of them have to deal with the problems that come along with running it, this year becomes the last time that Oldham and ‘The Gold’s Halloween Party’ go hand-in-hand.
It is almost as if they’re laying their parents to rest once again, because the Inn was a highlight of the town for years - but this party will be the last big gasp before the family breaks up and goes their separate ways.
All the children; Tyler, Corrina, Deborah, Maxwell and Maria - and their spouses, children and significant others - are looking forward to this big change and what it will mean to their lives. Some are filled with glee, while others are upset to see this tradition and their home disappear. It is the end of an era, and this last party is a challenge for the siblings as they struggle to let the past go and head into an unknown future.
To say this is a fascinating and, at times, really hysterical read, is not enough. Every page, in fact, shows the very real world of small town New England, and the author, thankfully, plans to make a series of novels about this family.
Quill Says: Whether a native or a leaf-peeping visitor, a good time is had by all when this author releases yet another great title.