When Autumn Leaves

When Autumn Leaves

by Amy S. Foster


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In Avening, a tiny town on the Pacific coast, it's hard not to believe in magic.

This is a town where the shoes in the window always fit, where you can buy a love potion at the corner shop, and where the woods at the outskirts of town just might be the door to another world. And, of course, there's Autumn, Avening's beloved resident witch. From what's known of its mythical founding, Avening has always been a haven for people who are a little bit different, a place where they can come to discover what makes them so special.

When Autumn receives news that she's been promoted to a higher coven, she also learns she has to replace herself. But who in Avening is in tune enough with her own personal magic to take over the huge responsibility of town witch? Autumn has a list of thirteen women and men who just might have what it takes-but how can she get them to open their eyes to the magic in their lives?

This endlessly surprising and heart-warming debut is the story of coming to terms with the magical things we take for granted every day-our friends, our community, and, most of all, ourselves.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781590202555
Publisher: The Overlook Press
Publication date: 10/06/2009
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 805,819
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Amy Foster 's first foray into writing was coming up with some lyrics as a favor for her father, who was producing then-unknown Josh Groban. The song "Home to Stay" made it on the record, which went on to sell over 5 million copies. Since then, Amy has written songs for Diana Krall, Eric Benet, Michael Buble, Destiny's Child, and Andrea Bocelli, who performed her song at the 2006 Olympics. This is her first novel.

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When Autumn Leaves 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Christine_Emming More than 1 year ago
When Autumn, the mysterious shaman of Avening, solicits written entries from local women vying for a position as her apprentice, she's searching for her own replacement. But what, exactly, does Autumn do? the townspeople question. No one knows. Intuitively, everyone knows Autumn corrals magic. And so, one by one, curious letters arrive in Autumn's mailbox, each with a different woman's perspective on the job in question, what it might entail, and why she wants it. In When Autumn Leaves, Amy Foster permits guarded entrance into Autumn's magical world, where women are trained to harness different magical gifts only to separate, and even less insight into the true purpose of the enchanted world she's envisioned. Leaving room for a sequel? A distinct possibility, though Foster's lack of clarity here may hurt the future of the franchise. Will Autumn choose Sylvie, who recently lost her mother? Ana, a teacher in love with a married man? Ellie the invisible researcher? Stella, a healer who captures lightning in a bottle? Or another. The letters continue to arrive and, as each applicant's story twines into Autumn's, the story grows taut with suspense. Foster creates an amorphously lovely town, one that strong women find curiously inviting for no singular reason. Slightly muddled and frumpy, though beloved, Foster's characters shine with crisp edges and clear purpose. If only the plotline could stand up to her character development. A fun fall read with finely-tuned focus on the strength of women, though the real feat here is that, despite a tightly-wrapped ending, you'll wish there was more.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Avening is a small town on the Pacific coast; a magical hamlet populated by people with psychic powers. Autumn is a member of the group Jaen, who watches over humanity as they have even before mankind invented the wheel. She has spent a considerably long time in Avening, whose residents see her as a kind witch keeping track of the magical undercurrents that encourage natural gifts to bloom. Now the Jaen has promoted Autumn and directed her to select and mentor her replacement; she has one year to pick from a group of fifty seemingly worthy people. She initiates a contest starting with an essay with the winner getting her Book of Shadows that contains magical knowledge that will enable the next witch to get off to a good start because first impressions are critical. On Autumn's last day in town she has select twelve people to join the Jaen but finding the thirteenth who will be her successor and the leader proves more difficult. The clock is ticking with only hours left and Autumn doesn't have a clue where to find the thirteenth. There are many believable characters with a wide range of differing personalities and talents throughout the small town, but the star is Avening, a remarkable place that is the product of one woman's dream. Even with a thin plot, this is a remarkably enchanting fantasy as each potentially chosen one brings differing magical skills to the table adding to Autumn's dilemma. Character driven, fans who relish something dramatically different will encourage Autumn while singing the Lovin' Spoonful's "Did you ever have to make up your mind; Pick up on one and leave the other behind; It's not often easy and not often kind; Did you ever have to make up". Harriet Klausner
Readermom68 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked this, but... Amy Foster is a song writer and maybe that predisposed me to this thought, but I felt like I was in some ways reading a song. To me it seemed as though she left a lot unsaid or not really completed but other things she wrapped a little too neatly. It also had a stonger fantasy aspect than I expected. I don't mind fantasy but the type that showed up in the story was, for me, reaching. It wasn't a bad story, but l didn't feel it was as fleshed out as it could have been and should have had a better indication in the synopsis of the fantasy aspect of the story,.
msjessicamae on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I initially picked up this book because I thought the cover was so beautiful. I admit it¿I judged a book by its cover. When I read that it was a book laced with some magic, I knew I had to read it. I am very confused by the whole book. It wasn¿t the story that was confusing but my feelings about the book that I can¿t sort out. Part of me fought the story almost the whole way through and I have no idea why. I had unwarranted high expectations and I was quickly disappointed that the writing didn¿t flow as well as I was hoping. I was constantly being pulled out of the story because of some comment that didn¿t seem to fit or some phrasing that just felt off. The story is set in the town of Avening and each chapter reads like a short story. Each is about a different person. The common link between them all being Avening and magic, as well as Autumn, a woman who appears throughout the whole book. Autumn puts an ad out in the paper which causes each of these women to become more open to the magic in their lives and encourages them to think about what that means. Although this is not the best book I have read this year, it is a nice quick read if you are looking for some magic. The way Foster¿s stories unfold began to grow on me and by the end of the book I was surprisingly pleased with how the story wrapped up. However, in general, the stories are left fairly open and I can see Foster writing a sequel to the book. Even though I had my issues with the book, I did enjoy it. If she does write a sequel, I can definitely see myself buying it. I think I would enjoy it more now that I know what to expect from her writing. What can I say¿I am a sucker for books with a little magic.
bookwormygirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When Autumn, the town of Avening's resident witch, gets news that she must move away from her beloved town because of a promotion to a higher coven, she must find a way replace herself as town witch. But who in Avening is in tune enough with her own personal magic to take over this huge responsibility?Autumn has a list of likely candidates for the position, but she takes it upon herself to put an add in the paper seeking an apprentice. She has a year to find a high witch and the women who will be part of her coven - but how can she get them to open their eyes and believe in the magic in their lives?This was actually surprisingly really good. I was a little thrown off when I realized that each chapter was a (loosely related) short story. As some of you might know, I am not a fan of short stories and after recently reading Olive Kitteridge, which sadly was a massive fail for me, I honestly thought this would fall in that same category. But, to my endless surprise, this was really good. I felt that I could relate to each story and each character in one way or another.Throughout the book we encounter many of the town's gifted and unusual residents... but in the end who will she chose? Will it be Ellie the invisible researcher - who thanks to a magical pair of shoes becomes the life of the party? Ana - a married woman who falls in love with another woman's husband? Stella - a healer who needs change in her life and can only do that by capturing lightning in a bottle? The letters continue to arrive and, as each applicant's story entwines into Autumn's, the suspense begins to grow as to who her successor will be.I was initially intrigued by the title and the (oh, so pretty) cover. But the tales in this book were all heart-warming, touching and, on more than one occasion, brought a tear to my eye. Although magic plays a big part in this novel, the subject matter was anything but light. These were real women, with real everyday problems - none were perfect but each was endearing in her own way.As a woman, I felt that this book called to me. These women were brave, strong, and I saw aspects of myself as well as of my family and friends in some, if not all, of the characters. This is a heart-warming debut of coming to terms with the magical things we take for granted every day - our friends, our community, and, most of all, ourselves.All in all, this is an exceptionally imaginative story riddled with vivid and quirky characters - making it a delightfully magical escape. It is a charming, cozy and very enjoyable book that I highly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book, worth reading
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BER1 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed it.
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MrsBaileysKitchen More than 1 year ago
I was drawn to the book of course by its appearance, Its fall, and I was looking for fall flavor or books to stock our resort cottages, my guests love to curl up with a good read. Well, the title was a good trick, no autumn leaves falling here, just a name sake, very clever. This little jewel was a quick read that offers an escape to a world that is captivating and magical, reminding us how we are all so connected in our communities, wether we know it or not. It got wonderful reviews by our book club and our guests. Many have said they are buying it and passing it on to other gal pals. Thanks, Amy Wonderful first time out! Keep em coming!
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Granger_Otter More than 1 year ago
I felt like the story was all over the place. You read about so many different people that I felt I never really got to know any of the characters. I kept thinking it would return and explain more about the characters, but it really didn't. Overall I would not recommend this book.