Friday, November 30, 2012

Leaves - Michael Baron

Leaves is set in the Connecticut River Valley during the month of October, when the leaves on all the trees there turn into a vivid array of assorted colours and hues as autumn arrives and they begin to fall. Here we meet the Gold family siblings who were brought to the valley from Long Island thirty two years earlier by their parents. After they arrived Bethany and Joseph Gold decided to stay in the Valley with their five children and to open The Sugar Maple Inn .

The Inn has been the cornerstone in the lives of Maria, Maxwell, Dorothy, Corrina and Tyler and all their partners and children. Now though, following the recent death of their mother and with both their parents gone they jointly decide to sell the Inn to an organisation which operates country inns all along the Eastern Seaboard. The inn will be officially handed over on November 1st. So as October begins the brothers and sisters prepare for the last days of ownership of the place which has played such a huge role in their lives and holds so many memories and ghosts from the past.

October is traditionally a very busy month in the Valley, especially as tourist (locally known as “tree peepers”) come from all over the country and indeed the world, to see the phenomenon of the beautiful Autumn leaves. The rooms at the Sugar Maple Inn are usually all taken way ahead of time and this year the restaurant, which is run by Deborah Gold, is fully booked too. Deborah is renowned for her culinary skills, particularly her sauces which always surprise and delight. Since the Gold’s opened the Inn, all those years ago, they have hosted a Halloween Party for all the people in the town as well as their guests. It is a tradition that has never been broken and this year is no exception. The show will go on even though head organiser, Mrs Gold, is no longer there. The children join together to make it happen, but, tempers fray and tensions rise as the event gets closer. We join the Gold’s on October 6th, 25 days before the party.

This is a lovely story of love and loss and family ties. It looks at people experiencing various stages in their life and relationships and examines how these events affects them. The Gold family have always been close and Michael Baron explores what happens to that closeness when the pivotal anchors are no longer there. The story does have a large cast of characters but because the focus stays on them, it is easy to keep track of who’s who. I really wanted to know what happened next by the end of the story and was delighted to read that Michael Baron plans to write more books about the Gold’s. As each of the siblings is at the beginning of something when this first book ends, is it easy to see where the material might come from.

Intriguingly, Michael Baron is the pseudonym of a well known author whose work is of a different genre than the books penned by Michael Baron. On his website he doesn’t show a photo of himself and says that the work he writes under his real name is much at odds with this work. I REALLY want to know who he is.............

I did enjoy reading this book. It is mostly warm and feels good. An ideal story to read sitting in front of the fire in late autumn or winter, especially as it also has a little touch of magic thrown in.


1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed it.