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?
When I was asked if I’d like to receive an advance copy of Amanda Addison’s debut novel, write a review, interview the author and give away a couple of copies of the book it didn’t take me long to say yes! But then I am so the target audience for this book – it was described to me as a cross between Slummy Mummy and Kirstie’s Homemade Home and it lives up to that.
Artist Laura struggles to adapt to life in the country, juggling work, family, a new found love of craft and trying to get reception for her phone! Her work life combines designing fabric prints in their conservatory with teaching in a college – with Ofsted pending & a great bunch of characters in the class. I did particularly enjoy the increasing irritation of Laura’s husband as her sewing takes over their home, some rather familiar conversations to me there!
Laura joins a sewing group which reminded me of the Guild I was in when we lived in Streatham, I too was the youngest and least experienced and, like Laura found it a great place to learn.
The textures and designs described are so vivid, I was not surprised to learn that the author was trained at Chelsea School of Art. Art and craft run through this book from start to finish and add a lovely extra dimension to the novel, I feel that I really learnt something from the book. It’s chocked full of facts about the history of textiles and vintage fashion remnants.
At the start of each chapter is a description of an embroidery stitch, I do plan to go back through and try out some of the ones I hadn’t heard of before and at the end of the book are patterns for a lavender bags and little chicks, which look rather sweet!
Laura’s Handmade Life is available to buy, but two lucky readers can win copies by commenting on this blog post.
All you have to do is to let me know what inspires you to pick up the needles and you’ll be in with a chance of receiving a copy of this fantastic read.
Post a comment on this post and I’ll close the competition at midnight next Thursday – 30th June- and will draw 2 winners at random!
UPDATE: I just confirmed with the publisher and the competition is now open Worldwide, not just to the UK.