Wednesday, 11 September 2013

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


My edition: Paperback, to be published on 26 September 2013 by Quercus, 464 pages.

Description: 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.

Amelia and Jack quickly 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:



Amelia Grey's Fireside Dream by Abby Clements is a charming, inviting and heartwarming read; the perfect winter warmer!

Amelia Grey and her husband Jack decide to swap their tiny flat in Hackney for a much spacier cottage in the countryside which comes with a large garden. But it quickly becomes apparent that the impulse decision to buy Brambledown cottage without having properly seen the inside of it (in Amelia's case) wasn't the cleverest decision, and the trials and tribulations that come with an unexpected major makeover puts a strain not only on their finances, but also their relationship.

It doesn't help that Jack's absorbed by a new project at work, which takes up most of his waking hours, and when the commute turns out more troubling than he had hoped for he soon spends more time away from Amelia than ever before. And so, wanting to make the cottage liveable before the dreadfully cold winter months set in, the responsibilities for the renovations fall on Amelia alone. And as she tackles one room after another she not only turns their new house into a proper home, she also uncovers a secret that goes back decades into Brambledown's past.

Let's start with a confession... I am not a huge fan of sizzling hot summer days where people mass migrate to the beach or spend day after day tanning in the back garden - instead I am in love with autumn. The vibrant colours and crisp days make it my favourite season of the year, so when earlier this week temperatures dropped dramatically and I could finally dig out all the fleece and flannel from the back of my closet I felt like I was in a very comfy heaven. So you can imagine that the title of this book and its autumn appearance made it seem like it was written just for me.

In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that author Abby Clements had a peek into my head whilst writing this novel, as despite the setbacks the characters endure it sounded absolutely perfect to me. The idyllic countryside, the beautifully detailed descriptions of the cottage with its original features and wild English garden, and most of all Amelia getting the opportunity to let her creative side run wild with the help of mood boards (which is something that definitely appealed to the Pinterest addict in me!) and the cute little second-hand shops in the village sounded like an accumulation of all the things I love and enjoy and it made me want to move to the English countryside right now.

Abby Clements starts each new section within the book with the location of the scene, which I think is a great idea, and if set in Brambledown cottage it features a brief description of Amelia's thoughts for the room she is about to tackle in the form of a mood board, including specific colours, prints and accessories from which she draws her inspirations. The use of gingham and Cath Kidston style fabrics, shabby chic furniture and old stripped floorboards appeals to me a lot and makes me wish that Amelia's cottage is real so I can simply step inside of it and soak up the wonderfully inviting atmosphere - and possibly move in straight away, or in the very least use it for some inspiration of my own.

Finally, let's take a moment to admire the novel's gorgeous cover. The cute little drawings around the border in rich and warm colours are charming and cosy - just like autumn! It looks especially gorgeous side by side with its summer counterpart, Vivien's Heavenly Ice Cream Shop (which was released in June, see my 5-star review here), and makes me want an Abby Clements novel with matching cover for every season in the year to complete my collection (hint, hint!).

Do you too want to snuggle up under a fleece blanket with a comfy cup of hot chocolate and this wonderful novel? Pre-order your copy now from Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Waterstones or your own preferred retailer.



Would you like to know more about the author? You can connect with her online at:

Website: http://www.abbyclements.co.uk

Facebook: facebook.com/pages/Abby-Clements-Books/118387874972546

Twitter: @abbycbooks


Many thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

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