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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 26 February 2014
Tiny Acts of Love is hugely entertaining, thought-provoking and hard to put down.

Lucy Lawrie’s clever, witty, unpretentious storytelling pulled me into Cassie’s world from page 1 – and I didn’t want to leave. Such is the strength of the writing that, even though I’m not a mum and have never faced many of the challenges and anxieties confronting Cassie, I really do feel I ‘get’ her. And the story resonates on so many other levels besides.

Some ostensibly absurd situations are rendered entirely plausible because all the characters are so well drawn; they’re so real, I feel I know them. If I lived in Edinburgh I think I’d be looking out for Cassie and family in the Botanic Gardens, or hoping to bump into Jean and Gerry Forrester in the supermarket! I know whom I’d want to direct a funeral, and whom I’d cross the road to avoid. As for ex-boyfriend Malkie, well...

I admire the author’s skill at generating emotion in her reader as well as her characters. I was laughing out loud one minute, and had a lump in my throat the next. And isn’t that what real life can be like? Cassie puts it better than me when, in a particularly moving passage, she observes: “And just like that, it can happen ... A door swings open through the back of a sunny day.”

There’s much more to this story than meets the eye. It also has a wonderful twist and a perfect ending (tissues required, though!).

I’ll be first in the queue for whatever Lucy Lawrie writes next.
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on 14 March 2014
A very graphic email entitled '48 Stitches Later' describing the birth of baby Sophie Carlisle is sent to all members of her mother, Cassie Carlise's email address book by excited husband, Jonathan. These included her friends, family, colleagues, business associates, clients of the law firm she worked for, the funeral director that arranged her great aunt's send off and Malkie, the ex love of her life. And it also contained a photo of her half naked and breastfeeding the new arrival.

From the moment Cassie brought their bundle of joy home, it was apparent that she was finding the whole thing tough and motherhood did not seem to run smoothly for her.She felt extreme anxiety for her and fears for Sophie's health too. Worries about her job were running through her mind and the other parents at the babycraft class made her feel inadequate.

I found that Cassie was lucky to have the support network around her that she did, with her mother and mother-in-law able to help out with the baby, even if it was somewhat judgemental with her own mother. But Dita, her mother-in-law seemed just the sort of granny to have around, although she did come with certain baggage of her own.
It still seemed increasingly difficult for Cassie with having no friends to really talk properly to, especially when she returned to work.
With pressure mounting and her career as a lawyer in question, it seemed that Postnatal depression had really set in, and she turned to a source that she should really have steered clear of.

Tiny Acts of Love is a gentle, funny romance set around the story of a mother who is just struggling to cope with the new adjustments in her life and relationships that a baby brings; the doubts, the fears and feelings of inferiority that all the other parents are doing a better job.

I liked how Cassie and Jonathan worked on what was wrong and eventually began to understand so much about each other along the way.

I was thoroughly satisfied by the ending and was pleased it worked out the way it did.

It's a great story to curl up with - funny, touching and romantic, and in some parts quite sad and poignant. It really has it all!
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on 28 March 2014
Someone on a local internet forum mentioned this book which her friend had written. I had a wee peek and decided to download it. The first page had me freaked out. The names of the characters were too close to home... but I continued reading because to be fair it had become one of those books which you wish the world could leave you alone to read it. The characters were beautifully written and you could identify with Cassie the main character but also the other characters. The book flowed well and the ending was tied up beautifully. I know this was a first book, but if the author continues along these lines, then I'd be happy to read more from her.
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on 28 February 2014
Tiny Acts of Love is the sort of book that you miss when it's finished. It’s by turns very very funny and very very moving, but most of all I just found it so uplifting – better than any self-help book! (You will definitely need a pack of tissues, but mainly for happy tears!) Having read it through very quickly, I’ve been enjoying dipping into it and reading a scene at random, more slowly, savouring it – and then getting on with my day feeling a little bit better about life in general.

Beautiful writing can sometimes be quite indulgent and self-conscious, and the reader’s experience seems to be of secondary importance – but here beautiful, perceptive and very witty writing is combined with a wonderfully entertaining emotional rollercoaster for the reader. I was entirely in Cassie’s world, and was never conscious, as I often am with ‘literary’ fiction, of the cogs and wheels whirring under the stage. I forgot that it was a story at all. I was there with Cassie and really wanted everything to turn out well for her and Jonathan and Sophie.

The whole cast of characters seemed very real to me – even the awful, hilarious Babycraft mums and dads.

The witty observational humour juxtaposed with very touching moments and piercing insights reminded me a little of Alexander McCall Smith, but I hesitate to make any comparison because I think Lucy Lawrie’s voice is entirely original.

Loved it!
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on 13 March 2014
Firstly I’d like to thank ED PR for sending me this book to read and give an honest review.

Straight away I was able to relate to Cassie and the post-childbirth haze she was experiencing. Her funny interactions with her husband Jonathan made me laugh, especially because he seemed to have a knack of putting his foot in it and irritating the new mum! The author described the ups and downs of parenthood accurately, honestly and humorously leaving me nodding my head in understanding and agreement.

Cassie’s ex-boyfriend gave the book an intriguing edge, the ‘will she, won’t she’ question played on my mind throughout and really kept me on my toes. When a stalker was thrown into the equation I felt rather concerned for Cassie, it brought an eerie feeling to the storyline and although I managed to come up with a theory as to who was responsible, I couldn’t have been more wrong – this was a great twist!

There were many enjoyable moments throughout the book but some of my favourites included: a very revealing email, a disastrous overnight stay with friends, a funeral home with ghostly issues and a surprise meeting at a spa day. This book really did tick all the boxes for me, I was expecting laughter but the sadness and moments of raw emotion really took me by surprise. The insightful epilogue left me looking at the world from a different, more peaceful, viewpoint.

This was a fantastic debut novel, touching and amusing with a wonderfully real feel to it.
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With thanks to the author and publisher for the Advance Reading Copy.

Surviving motherhood? It’s all about having the right network. Lawyer and new mum Cassie has a husband who converses mainly through jokes, a best friend on the other side of the world, and a taskforce of Babycraft mothers who make her feel she has about as much maternal aptitude as a jellyfish. Husband Jonathan dismisses Cassie’s maternal anxieties, but is he really paying attention to his struggling wife?

Gosh and Golly this was an amazing read. From the brilliantly hilarious but absolutely real opening few pages, where the immediate aftermath of Sophie making her debut into the world become clear to new Mum Cassie, throughout the heart wrenching, glorious intensity of the first year of childcare, this one will have you laughing out loud, shedding the odd tear, completely immersed into the ever changing maelstrom of life and nodding sagely along as Cassie and Husband Jonathon traverse the waters of that wonderfully ironic thing called Parenthood.

At turns both emotional and heart warming, the very real highs and lows of maintaining a relationship under the sheer pressure and joy of having a new member of the family are SO well described here, alongside an absolutely insightful and realistic look at how becoming parents can affect both men and women. One of the things I absolutely loved about this was the fact that, although it is mainly Cassie’s story, it avoided the pitfall of allowing it to be all about Mum. Jonathon is well drawn and just as realistic as Cassie – the hopes and fears and dreams and nightmares are just as real for him as for her.

Using a set of absurd yet extraordinarily believable set of events that see Cassie reconnecting with her first love, helping a client with a workplace safety Supernatural issue ( the night of the documentary had me in stitches) and desperately trying to live up to the expectations of the absolutely hilarious but lovely BabyCraft crew, Lucy Lawrie takes us on a journey of emotional depth, ingenious observations and absolute understanding of post natal perceptions and sensitivities. If you have ever been a new Parent every moment of this novel will resonate with you. If you have not, you are still in for a fantastic and invigorating peek into one fictional family’s life.

Really cannot recommend this highly enough.

Happy Reading Folks!
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on 17 March 2014
When Employment Lawyer Cassie returns to work after her maternity leave, she is not able to pick things back up from where she left them before having her baby daughter Sophie. This whole situation is not helped by her husband Jonathan who (accidentally) sends an email recounting her birth story to everyone in Cassie’s address book (from important work clients to her ex-boyfriend). Will Cassie and Jonathan’s relationship survive or will new motherhood, career challenges and old flames prove too much for their marriage?

As soon as I read the opening chapters of this book I took an immediate liking to Jonathan. He means so well – yes, sending this email to EVERYONE in Cassie’s address book might not have been the brightest idea, but it so completely showed his pride and innocence of becoming a first-time father. In fact, this whole story quickly became very close to me. The feelings and emotions Cassie goes through are very similar to what I experienced after the birth of my baby girl. Lucy Lawrie brilliantly described the struggles of unforeseen happenings every new mother has to cope with.

Tiny Acts of Love has a brilliant and strong supporting cast of characters. There are a few parallel small storylines that really caught my attention – from the “secrets” surrounding the funeral director (one of Cassie’s clients) to the old and endearing couple struggling with unfair treatments at work (another one of Cassie’s clients).

I loved the description of all the Babycraft events. Babycraft is the parenting group that both Cassie and Jonathan attend. The other characters in this group are downright hilarious and add so much to the whole storyline!

Tiny Acts of Love is superbly written and takes the reader on a journey of the ups and downs of new motherhood and general obstacles life throws at you.
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on 26 March 2014
I have to say that this is not my usual choice of book but it was recommended by a good friend, so I thought that I would give it a go.

From the outset, it is an attention grabber and I immediately felt that I could bond with the main character, Cassie, and her bumbling husband Jonathan. The email that starts the story is hilarious and it is worth reading the book just for that!

I loved the depth of the characters and how you found yourself rooting for them from chapter 1. Cassie's life has been turned upside-down by the birth of her daughter, Sophie, and the book is the touching, heartfelt and humorous story of a new mother adapting to the responsibilities of motherhood, trying to get to grips with the changed relationship that she has with her husband, the hilarious meetings with the Mums' group that she met at Ante-natal classes and the trials of going back to work with her misogynistic boss. Oh and just when she has to deal with all of that, her old boyfriend (“the one”) comes back…..

I have spoken to new Mums who talk about the pressure of "seeming ok" to friends and other mums and this book captures that difficult time with great clarity and wit.

The two things that made this book for me were the ever-so-real characters and the wonderful way that Lucy paints a scene on the page. You feel that you are there with Cassie, Jonathan and Malkie and you smile, laugh and cry with them throughout their moving and funny adventures.

A truly virtuoso performance from a first-time writer. Can’t wait for her next book.
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on 30 March 2014
I loved this book from start to finish . I could connect with all the places which made this book so endearing Cassie ,Jonathon and baby Sophie , Glad she stayed with Jonathon . Loved all the characters in this book specially Jean and Gerry what. lovely couple !!Such a funny book in parts with Jonathan and his one liners !!WOULD LOVE a follow up of this book ,maybe Cassie could have some more little one (boys the time )amazing
writing Lucy keep up the good work . Gave this debut novel 5 stars deserves more though loved it!!
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on 10 January 2015
I am not one of those people who recites the whole story in their review but someone who really liked this book. It could have ended so many ways. I just cried at the ending mainly cause it was so sweet and had depth to it and was really thought provoking. I was happily surprised when I discovered it was set in Edinburgh too. I would recommend this book. It is a page turner.
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