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Sunday, 19 June 2011

Laura's Handmade Life by Amanda Addison

Laura Lovegrove is leaving behind her seamless life in London. Architect husband Adi has been relocated to rural Norfolk, a far cry from ultra-urban Ealing. Though Laura knew village life would be different, she didn't foresee a pokey cottage, nosey neighbours, errant poodles, and even an ex turning up. Chris had been her big love at art college and seeing him again is utterly confusing. Is she really so different from the impulsive student who once trawled charity shops for vintage treasures? When a fire all but destroys Laura's collection of vintage clothes, she's heartbroken. And seriously lacking in outfits. But, salvaging what she can, Laura makes do and mends - sewing purses, bags, even dog leads (which should solve the poodle problem). Soon, she's inundated with orders. But Adi is becoming more and more distant; it's like there's something he's not telling her. Can Laura make a stitch in time and pull her family back together again?

This book was one of the many that I have been looking forward to this year and it has not disappointed. A great read but also informative with regard to embroidery/stitching techniques.

Laura Lovegrove has moved, along with her family, from London to a small village. Leaving behind the hustle and bustle of city life, Laura initially finds life difficult but soon begins to embrace the slower life and work on her crafts, alongside her part time job at a high school. Following an accidental fire at the family home which damages many of Laura's vintage clothes, she joins the village sewing club and begins to create a range of products for sale.

The story may be categorised as chick lit; with laura finding her life changing direction, problems at home etc however the story is more than just that. Laura completely changes her way of life and takes what life throws at her in two hands. I really enjoyed reading the book and there were times of joy and other times when I wanted to shout at Laura or her family in times of trouble. THere were also humerous times, especially the naming of the poodle, Prada, a little out of place in a country village

This book is right up my street. I am a great fan of cross stitch and other 'handicrafts'. The chapters each begin with a description of a stitch which I found very informative, however I would of prefered it if the picture was that of the stitch rather than line drawings of stitching paraphenalia. The story is well written and I enjoyed reading it. The village life was one which I would love to be a part of and sounds like a great place to live. The whole idea of using vintage clothes or clothes which have specific memories are a great idea and one which I would love to try, however I think I would have worries about ruining them with my attempts at sewing.

I did enjoy the book, however I found that the story occasionally wandered off line a little, before pulling back to the main story again. The story is a great one of where things are against you, just follow your heart and dig deep! The story is one which reflects the modern day, with costs going up and everyone trying to make do or develop ways of making a bit of money from existing resources.

The book also contains two patterns from Amanda Addison; Laura's Spring Chicks and Laura's Norfolk Lavendar Bags, both of which are contained in the story. I will definitely be trying out the chicks.

I think this book would be prefered by readers who have a crafty background, it is not one of great chick lit, with romance and daily life, but one where someone uses their craft to provide a better oppurtunity in life.

Thank you to the publishers, Sphere, for sending me this book to review.

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