Friday, 25 October 2013

Review for Amelia Grey’s Fireside Dream by Abby Clements

Amelia Grey’s Fireside Dream by Abby Clements
Publisher: Quercus
Release: 26th September 2013
Genre: Chick-Lit, Romance, Autumn
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads Summary:
"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. They soon 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?"

I’ve read all three of Abby Clements’ books so far and Amelia Grey’s Fireside Dream is my favourite yet! As soon as I read the synopsis I knew that I’d love this one with the cosy cottage in the countryside, Autumnal setting, and house renovation. I too have always dreamed of living in an old little cottage in the middle of nowhere and so I loved living vicariously through Amelia – a heroine after my own heart! I also loved the inclusion of each chapter being named after a location or room in the house and the mood board snippets at the start that really brought Amelia’s ideas for the cottage to life as well as sparking my own imagination for when I decorate!

Amelia Grey’s Fireside Dream was a cosy autumn read that I loved snuggling down with in front of the fire. Amelia and her husband Jack live in a cramped flat in London and on her thirtieth birthday Amelia decides that enough is enough and that it’s time to create the dream home she’s always wanted. The book has a very realistic take on moving house and the big renovation of an old cottage with Amelia and Jack missing out on ideal homes whilst searching, struggling to create their dream home on a budget and the strain the stress has on their relationship. I loved the message placed throughout the book that a house is not a home; it’s the people who fill it.

In Abby Clements last two books there has been a shared narrative between two leading ladies so I was surprised to find that this book was only told from Amelia’s point of view. However, I quickly liked her and found that her journey was more than enough to keep me invested in the story. I also quickly fell in love with the wide range of secondary characters from Amelia’s friends Sunita and Carly to her mum and tearaway younger sister Mirabel. Every character was likeable and developed and I loved being in their company. The cottage also tells its own story as we get to find out about Eleanor (the houses previous owner) through her left behind belongings that Amelia comes to find.

In chick-lit it’s often quite predictable as to whom the heroine will end up with in the end but with ‘Fireside Dream’ I honestly couldn’t call it and couldn’t decide what Amelia should do! Although I liked how everything concluded in the end I would have liked a bit more insight into Amelia’s thought process when she was making her decision because to me it felt a bit out of the blue and too easy of an ending. It is my one small niggle with this book.

Overall Amelia Grey’s Fireside Dream was a lovely, warm, autumn treat that makes a perfect read for this time of year. In my opinion this is Abby Clements best book yet and after enjoying all three of her novels over the past twelve months she has fast become one of my must read chick-lit authors!

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