Amelia Grey's Fireside Dream Paperback – 26 Sep 2013
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About the Author
Abby Clements worked in book publishing before switching to writing. She lives in north London. Amelia Grey's Fireside Dream is her third novel.
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Amelia had dreams of being cosy in a cottage with her husband Jack, but in reality, they're living in a cramped one-bedroom flat in Hackney. After deciding to move, they come across a cottage that needs some work doing to it, and Amelia falls in love with it! Doing a makeover can't be that hard surely? Soon they realise that their dream home will be harder to achieve than they first thought, threatening not only their dream place but their marriage too. As Amelia throws herself into stripping wallpaper and working on their perfect home, will both home and love finally come together?
I was hoping that I'd enjoy this given I'd loved Abby's other novels and I was thrilled to say that Abby is back on form again with her latest release.
I liked how realistic Abby kept the story. Moving house is often very stressful, busy and time-consuming...I've been spending some time helping my brother fix up his new house so I know how much work and effort goes in. I feel Abby did a fantastic job of portraying this aspect in her novel, it was very realistic and true to life and at times I almost felt as though I was with Amelia pulling the wallpaper off and watching her home undergo its transformation. I loved the detail Abby put it about Amelia and Jack's home, I could imagine the changes that were happening and I could almost see the new house coming to life in front of me. I genuinely felt so much excitement for them as I saw their dream house building up bit by bit and becoming a reality...I'm now very keen to up and move to a beautiful cottage!
The characters were brilliant. Amelia is a likeable character and I warmed to her straight away. Like Amelia, I too dream of one day having a cottage in the countryside so I was really cheering her on and hoping that she managed to get her fireside dream with her husband Jack. I loved Jack and Amelia as a couple too, I could see that they loved each other deeply and the romantic in me was rooting for them throughout!
Amelia Grey's Fireside Dream is a warm read that really touched my heart, and it was such a beautiful story. This is the PERFECT novel to curl up with this Autumn and Winter!
I've never been a fan which include dates at the beginning of each chapter, but with Abby's unique sense of style and beautiful descriptions, I saw past this tiny dislike and continued to enjoy the novel. Her descriptions are picturesque and I feel a little home sick that I'm not back in the cottage with Amelia and Jack. Abby has a way of drawing her readers straight into the narrative. The sentences flow perfectly into one another and I just couldn't stop reading. One more chapter and then I'll go to sleep.. Three chapters later and I'm still wide awake!
The love between Amelia and Jack is strong yet calm. I was hoping neither of them would fall into the "I've had an affair" trap because they're one of my favourite book couples!
The subplots of careers, family, lies, secrets, new love, friendships and babies cements the narrative beautifully. I always enjoy narrative which are split up between the seasons but Abby's novel could have easily done without. Her descriptions are so simple yet effective that they season separation could have easily been taken out and it would have had the same effect.
I was forever cheering Amelia and Jack on from the side lines and I'd love to see them in one of Abby's books again. Perhaps a sequel?
But actions force Amelia to confront her dream head on and finally she is out of London and in the country. Working her way to creating the perfect cottage. It is not going to be easy for Amelia nor is it going to be perfect.
Rather than walking into the perfect place, Amelia and her husband Jack decide to makeover a cottage which needs a lot of work. Jack, is less than reluctant about the whole idea from moving to the country let alone renovating a cottage with no skills of their own.
Amelia is a determined woman and character and she begins to throw her whole energy to this one task. She has mood boards for each room, which precede a number of the chapters as we see this cottage come to life but Amelia's stability with Jack, her mother and her new-found love, a dad who owes money as well as a rather spiky teenage sister start to crumble.
This is a very light read but for me was a bit like watching a renovation programme on television from beginning to end, all the details, the stresses and strains of renovating and the problems and discoveries along the way. It felt like the characters were added in after all of that. Which is a real shame, because I thought the book had potential, especially when Amelia found something about the previous owner. But that really was rather glossed over and could have developed a lot more.
A book for fans of dreaming over interior magazines and the like. But if you want a story with a lot more substance then I would pass this book by.
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