Autumn Leeves is born to a single mother who struggles to raise her. When she graduates from nursing school in 1970, she gets her first job as a caregiver to the wife of Cyril Landon, a terminally ill woman. Cyril owns the Landon Lawns Stables, one of the most successful thoroughbred racing stables, located in Lexington, Kentucky. Duff Taylor lives above the track rooms at Landon Lawns, a world-renowned jockey with a very dark secret. He will stop at nothing to keep his secret hidden. As secrets start getting revealed, Autumn finds herself caught in the strong tide. Can she find a foothold in a world falling apart?
The Perils of Autumn by Rusty Blackwood has an irresistible appeal to readers who enjoy well-plotted historical fiction with characters that are vividly drawn. The author brings to life the world the female protagonist evolves through in the 1970s, writing deftly about the equestrian culture and creating a conflict that melts existential realities with the challenges of interpersonal relationships to create a page-turning reading experience for readers. The opening pages immediately present the circumstances in which poor Autumn was born. Her mother, struggled alone, having lost her fiancé on a way to their April wedding. Her mother was three-month pregnant with Autumn. Readers are immediately moved to sympathize with a proud mother who was determined to live a decent life and create a better future for her daughter. The relationship between Autumn and Cyril is cleverly crafted and it drives the suspense in this spellbinding tale, exploring the emotional tension while brilliantly capturing the climates of the hearts of the characters. Rusty Blackwood has the uncanny ability to capture subtle emotions in the characters and the author writes about a world that readers can easily imagine. The characters are placed in situations that are realistic and conditions that inspire pathos. This is an ingeniously plotted novel that is brimming with family drama and realism; it is written in gorgeous prose and punctuated with dialogues that feel real.