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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A warm and heartening tale!
How refreshing to read a chick lit novel that doesn't assume we are gagging to find Mr Right. Instead, Laura is searching for a way to process the dramatic changes made to her life and she emerges imbued with new vigour and is ready to tackle anything, so long as she can stitch it. Laura is a lively and engaging heroine and will make many friends. She is a quirky one off,...
Published on 26 Jun 2011 by Beckyboo

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Only 40 pages in and it's proving difficult...
I was 'set' this book by a reading group I am part of and, despite not having much prior experience of chick lit books, thought this sounded like a good prospect. Unfortunately, I'm only 40 pages in and it's proving to be a real uphill struggle. Lots of exclamation marks in unnecessary places, a rather tiresome central character and a bit of a cliche in terms of the...
Published on 14 Aug 2011 by Bookworm


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A warm and heartening tale!, 26 Jun 2011
This review is from: Laura's Handmade Life (Paperback)
How refreshing to read a chick lit novel that doesn't assume we are gagging to find Mr Right. Instead, Laura is searching for a way to process the dramatic changes made to her life and she emerges imbued with new vigour and is ready to tackle anything, so long as she can stitch it. Laura is a lively and engaging heroine and will make many friends. She is a quirky one off, like her precious vintage collection of clothes and I loved the idea of her rushing up to school in her vivid red pvc mac. I felt inspired by her yearly purchase of a new pair of red shoes and shall surely add some to my shopping list! Her lovely lttle poodle, Prada was a welcome addition to the motly cast of characters.
This book was also packed with information which was being imparted to us in dainty little stitches. There was so much that was new here, such as the subversive samplers (I couldn't wait to google those) and all the info about stitches, oh and the patterns at the back.
Frankly I could have done without the Adi and Chris tension and just chuckled my way through a ripping good yarn about Laura's advenntures at college and her zany tke on life, but what can you do, those medn do muscle their way into a good story!
This is a bright and funny book that rewards the reader with both a feel good glow and also nuggets of knowledge that take root in your brain. It has inspired me to ake up my sewing and I eye up what people are wearing, thinking perhaps they might not miss a chun of fabric, which could be transformed into sooo many things....yes, thats it, this book is about transformation.! happy reading xx
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Well Crafted', 26 Jun 2011
This review is from: Laura's Handmade Life (Paperback)
In Laura's Handmade Life, Amanda Addison has created a character both engaging and convincing. Laura's efforts to adapt to village life having moved from London, combined with her struggle to balance family and work, while trying at the same time to regain her own early artistic ideas make for a most interesting read. The story in unforced, and sympathetic to its characters who combine creativity with the mundane in a most original fashion. All in all I found it an extremely enjoyable book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Upbeat in hard times, 23 Jun 2011
This review is from: Laura's Handmade Life (Paperback)
Light, determinedly cheerful take on the pleasures and pitfalls of relocating a London creative lifestyle to the countryside. I for one very much identified with Laura's frantic attempts to re-make a life while juggling home, family and career. I suspect that many happy success stories of smart women finding creative fulfilment through cottagey lifestyles are won through just the kinds of struggles Laura tackles with charm, wit and intelligence. Addison knows whereof she writes; under her narrator's disarmingly chirpy surface is some very pointed social commentary. I found it refreshing and very enjoyable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Only 40 pages in and it's proving difficult..., 14 Aug 2011
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I was 'set' this book by a reading group I am part of and, despite not having much prior experience of chick lit books, thought this sounded like a good prospect. Unfortunately, I'm only 40 pages in and it's proving to be a real uphill struggle. Lots of exclamation marks in unnecessary places, a rather tiresome central character and a bit of a cliche in terms of the whole "moving from the big smoke to the country" type storyline. I'm afraid I won't be reading this book until the end.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book, 13 July 2011
This review is from: Laura's Handmade Life (Paperback)
I loved this book. I felt like i got to know Laura really well, I wanted to invite her round for coffee and a large slab of naughty cake whilst i picked her brains on textiles and craft. She somehow managed to inspire me, yes I do know she is just a character, words on a page, but still, she made me want to go buy a sewing machine & stitch bunting for my gorgeous children. I really wanted to know what happens next for Laura & Adi, their children and the other interesting characters in the book. I hope there is a sequel Amanda, as i thoroughly enjoyed the read.

If you like tales of human life, today, looking at relationships with all their strengths, frailties and inner questions this is the book for you. Its about families juggling and hearts and heads adapting to change, all threaded through with notes on art, textiles and all things wonderfully vintage. If some or all of that is your bag, then settle down for a lovely read.

The book made me think about the multi layered ritual of the passing on & sharing of skills from generation to generation, women to women, it is so very important. Taking the time to just breathe and do this is so often lost, yet in this sleepy yet active & very pretty little village in deepest Norfolk, they make the time - next time i have my mum to stay, she will be coming armed with knitting needles and trying (again!) to teach me her magic x
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring read for craft fans, 6 July 2011
By 
DizzyC "carol36" (East Anglia, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Laura's Handmade Life (Paperback)
Laura does not take to country life as easily as she thought she would. She seems to be permanently looking backwards, into the past, instead of forwards, after losing someone dear to her, and the upheaval from urban to country life.

She is a hardworking mother of 2, designing textiles and tutoring at college. She is very critical of her own parenting skills, torn between being a good mum and having a successful career. She thinks and sees in colours, patterns and textiles in her everyday activities. Always looking for that next project. Recycling textiles is almost an obsession, a way of life.

When Laura bumps into an old flame, Chris it seems a good distraction from facing her new life in the country, which Adi seems to be taking in his stride, and it can only be a dangerous path to revisit the past where an ex is concerned.

Adi, her husband is getting on well with rural life and becoming more distant. What is he keeping from her?

I could identify with Laura to a certain degree having been a working mum myself and making a choice between work and family.
I was very wary of Chris and was eager to find out how this reunion was going to develop.

There was a mention of Thody's Fabric shop. I have vivid memories of many visits to Gordon Thoday's in Cambridge with my mum to choose fabric and pattern for a new outfit or bridesmaids dress. Sadly no longer there.

I enjoyed the recall of stitches at the beginning of each chapter and it has sparked an interest to pick up a needle again, not just to mend.

The storyline was exciting but I did find that the description of textiles, patterns and colour, too often, detracted a little from the story. It was worthwhile to discover how the story would end.

This would appeal to those who enjoy sewing, crafting and grown up chick lit.

4 out of 5 for me!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sadly not for me ..., 9 April 2012
By 
D. C. A. Price "chrissie22" (Wharfedale) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Laura's Handmade Life (Paperback)
I expected to really enjoy this book but actually found it hard work. Couldn't really take to Laura and I also felt that if her marriage seemed to be growing a bit stale it was her own fault. She seemed to worry about her husband having an affair when in fact she was the one fantasising about someone she'd known in her student days, who came over to me as pretty wet. Her husband, Adi, sounded much more the attractive of the two. Maybe the fault lies somewhere with me, because most other reviewers seem to have loved this book, but I found it long-drawn out and quite dull in places. Because of the other excellent reviews I wouldn't want to discourage people from reading it - it just wasn't one for me...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life's Tacking Stitches, 15 Aug 2011
By 
Jo D'Arcy (Portsmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Laura Lovegrove has moved to Norfolk with her husband Adi and two children Lilly and Daisy because of Adi's job. In terms of their finances everything is now suddenly becoming much harder one of the main reasons for the relocation. Laura is trying to fit into life in the country and nothing is going to plan.

Laura is trying to be a good wife but her husband Adi is withdrawing further and further away from her and she does not know why. Isolated in a village where she is slowly starting to make friends means she has no one to talk to and ask for advice then someone from her past turns up? Will he make her see what she has been missing?

Laura is trying to be a teacher at the local college and in terms of her pupils she is succeeding. From the college point of view and her boss she is somewhat lacking in preparation, avoids health and safety rules and lets the pupils craft and art just come from their hearts.

And Laura is trying to just do that, work with her crafts from her heart. Her heart lies in vintage fabrics and fashion , and her passion if not obsession for these causes much sadness in her life but it takes a long time and a near disaster for Laura to realise that perhaps vintage does not have to remain that be brought up to date. And so begins the new life for Laura.

This is a debut novel and in the main taps into the chick-lit market even more so if you are a fan of crafts, there are plenty of ideas that jump off the page and the descriptions of colours, textures and projects will hail any crafter. However the story is rather weak in parts and it was a struggle to read in parts. Adi is a very one-dimensional character and his rather annoying attitude never really making his mark in the book or with Laura. If it was me I would have quite happily strangled him with a vintage frock! More could have been made of the teacher side of Laura's life as this did have some very funny moments. For me this book needed a bit more polishing, in sewing terms the tacking stitches could still be seen and that made me cringe at parts. However, I will pick up her next novel which is currently in progress.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book to read on the beach, 2 Aug 2011
This review is from: Laura's Handmade Life (Paperback)
Well I bought the book and as a bloke from Manchester I really enjoyed it. I just saw it as WH Smith and decided to buy it, which was unlike me!
It had a nice country feel to it. As a bloke, I tried not to let the cover put me off, but i am glad i read it and look forward to the second book.
What will happen with the new business? will Chris come back and will Laura, have an affair.........
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely, 19 July 2011
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This review is from: Laura's Handmade Life (Paperback)
This book is very well written , with totally believable characters . I wont share the storyline as you only need to look at the description . What i will say is its an easy light hearted read that i throughlly enjoyed.
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Laura's Handmade Life
Laura's Handmade Life by Amanda Addison (Paperback - 23 Jun 2011)
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