25 September 2013

Book Review: Amelia Grey's Fireside Dream by Abby Clements

"Amelia has a dream: toasting chestnuts by the fire with her husband Jack in their own cosy cottage. Their real life is another world - a cramped one-bedroom flat in Hackney. But when life takes a surprising turn, removal vans are soon heading to the Kent countryside.

They soon realise the cottage makeover is a far bigger project than they'd anticipated. On top of that, there's Amelia's newly loved-up mum and her tearaway half-sister, Mirabel, to contend with - pushing Amelia and Jack's marriage to breaking point.

Amelia begins to strip back the wallpaper and fittings in the cottage and discovers the story of the cottage's previous owner - and a hidden secret. As Amelia's ideas about love and family change, will her fireside dream finally come true?"

Rating: 5/5

You can buy Amelia Grey's Fireside Dream as a paperback or an eBook now.

Abby Clements is quickly becoming one of my must-read authors, and I was thrilled to see she is back this autumn with another brand new novel, her second book out in 2013! I adored her summer read, Vivien's Heavenly Ice Cream Shop which was released earlier this year, so I was looking forward to settling down with an autumnal read. I really like the cover, the colours work so well together and it's a pretty look that works well alongside her other 2013 book cover, and I just knew it would be a perfect read and I eagerly got stuck in.

Amelia Grey loves her job as a teacher and is happily married to her husband Jack. The pair live in a small flat in London, near Amelia's school. Now she's turning 30, Amelia is determined to make some serious changes in her life, and wants a nice house to live in, not their poky flat. When the pair find a gorgeous cottage in a quiet country village, Amelia and Jack decide the renovations it desperately need will be worth it, and decide to take a gamble and move in. However, Amelia doesn't count on her much younger half sister rocking up on her doorstep, and her tricky relationship with her mother playing into everything. Soon, Amelia and Jack find their marriage is being stretched - the cottage is more work than they thought, and it's making them realise they might have different life plans. Will Amelia be able to make her cottage home dream come true, or is it all over before it's begun?

Straight away, I warmed to the main character of Amelia. She's very realistic, you can believe that she could be living next door to you, or teaching your children. I really liked her, she was kind, warm and most of all, very normal. She was determined to get her cottage and she got there, I liked that she was determined to make her dream come true, and her friendships in the book were genuine too, and nice to read. Her husband Jack was nice enough, but I didn't like his stubborn streak, he seemed a bit disrespectful of Amelia's feelings regarding certain issues in the book, and it's a shame he reacted as he did. Of course, it served to help Amelia develop more as a character, but still it was annoying to me he acted as he did, I had expected more of him as he was so lovely in the beginning!

I really liked the sub plots in this book as well. There's the story of Amelia's friends starting a family, her teacher friend trying to work out her complicated relationship with her new boyfriend, and the plot of the arrival of Amelia's half sister Mirabel. This was interesting, and added a new slant to the book and I really enjoyed this part of it, it also exposed more of Amelia's own family problems, especially with her father. It all cleverly comes together to make a wonderful story that I really enjoyed, and found myself getting lost in in the evenings whenever I picked this book up.

I can't review the book without mentioning the gorgeous cottage though, can I?! It sounds just idyllic, even though admittedly it did need a lot of work putting into it! Clements writes it so beautifully though, from the small thing such as windows and floors, to the gorgeous rambling garden with its own stream to the countryside views, and general village life. It all sounds perfect and you can see why Amelia was drawn to it so much. I really liked the inclusion of the mood boards at the start of chapters too, really letting you get the mood of the house in your head, and it let Amelia unleash her creative side! Everything seemed to go so well together, and I loved the descriptions of the newly decorated rooms and garden, it sounded just lovely.

This is probably my favourite of Abby Clements' books to date, and that's no mean feat considering how much I haved loved her previous two books. There's something so comforting and cosy about this story, how Amelia and Jack go from a rundown old cottage to creating a home for themselves, and the trials and tribulations they have to fact along the way. Amelia is the perfect star of the book, I loved her and was sad to leave her behind as I turned the final page. I know this is one book that will be staying on my keepers shelf, and I can't urge you enough to run out and get a copy as soon as you can, you won't regret it. A charming read, I can't wait for Clements next!

No comments:

Post a Comment