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Laura's Handmade Life

3.06  ·  Rating details ·  179 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
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 utte
Kindle Edition, 430 pages
Published (first published 2011)
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Community Reviews

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Rating details
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Mar 22, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-review, dnf
I just couldn't finish it. It is one of the worst books I've ever attempted to read. I'm even going to review it properly, but here's some of the reasons I gave up after 100 pages (Please be aware my review may seem harsh, but God, reading should not be that much of a struggle and as I type this I'm so angry with how bad it was!):

- The novel jumps from scene-to-scene. For example, Laura starts painting her kitchen (randomly, as you do) and falls off a ladder and bangs her head. The next thing we
May 18, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Chick Lit is not something i read much of and this book just reminded me why.
Laura is one of the worst female characters i have come across, she is selfish, whingy and shallow and i had to keep reminding myself that this was a woman in her thirties and not some neurotic teenager or at times over excited child.
What i found really annoying though were the definitions of the types of stiches you can find with a generic picture of a needle and thread or buttons under it - i would have loved it if
just couldn't finish this. have it 100 pages and I just couldn't engage with the pathetic wishywashy nature of the character. I found my self huffing my way through the narrative. sorry but no this wasn't for me. sorry to my book group that I chose this! (oh look an exclamation there wasn't enough of them in the 100 pages.....
Apr 21, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I got over half way through this book but found that I had no interest in any of the characters and did not care what happened next and I could not finish it.
I found the writing style quite annoying, at times it was confusing and seemed to skip forwards without explanation, at one point I had to check to make sure I had not turned 2 pages at once as I felt that I had missed something.
I also found the main character quite annoying and unlikeable. But it was the sowing storyline that I really had
Jan 10, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I desperately wanted to like this book because of it's focus on all things handmade, vintage fabrics and a young woman starting a small business in adversity. Those parts, and the focus on stitching I really liked. My main issue was a relatively intense dislike of the protagonist and the constant whinging about her terrible life (owns a beautiful cottage, has two gorgeous daughters and her own dressing room) in the country. Generally I'm the sort of person who wants nothing but good things for e ...more
I enjoyed this book, predominately because I love fabric, sewing, art and vintage clothes ( as does protagonist, Laura). I am also interested in English village life (fictitious or not), and have a yearning to start my own cottage business. I am not sure if my interest would have held if the subject matter been different, but as it happens, I sped through the novel enjoying our shared interests. I would recommend this book as a very gentle read for stitchers.
Jun 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
I picked this book up in the library where they had a local book display. Living in Great Yarmouth, and a love for sewing and creativity meant this was a no brainer. I really enjoyed this book, but if it wasn't for the local references and my interest in rural life and sewing I may have thought otherwise. A good read non the less.
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
From my Shelf of Shame, at first it showed good promise, as the description of the teaching scenes at the college in winter was a hell of a lot better compared to a lot of the other chick lit I have read this year. However, it soon fell down and about half way through I had to start skimming which is a shame!

Laura as well is such an irritating character, the whole co-dependent without my kids and husband that I complain about but would fall apart without just bugs me to distraction!

Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
One of my favorite books - related well with the main character and her life filled with home made crafts.
Tamara Epps
This review is also posted on my book blog Captivated by Books.

When Laura Lovegrove has to move from London to rural Norfolk (due to her husband being transferred), she finds herself at a bit of a loss what to do without her busy social life. On top of feeling like she doesn’t belong, her college boyfriend’s presence adds to her confusion. Laura decides to join a sewing class to learn some skills and meet new people. When others start complimenting her on her handmade items, Laura has to make th
Carol W
Jun 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Laura does not take to country life as easily as she thought she would. She seems to be permanently looking backwards, into the past, instead of forwards, after losing someone dear to her, and the upheaval from urban to country life.

She is a hardworking mother of 2, designing textiles and tutoring at college. She is very critical of her own parenting skills, torn between being a good mum and having a successful career. She thinks and sees in colours, patterns and textiles in her everyday activit
Lucy McCarraher
Jun 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Laura Lovegrove’s life has moved from urban Ealing to rural Norfolk and it looks like it’s starting to fall apart. She’s lost her circle of city friends and the village mums don’t seem interested; her husband works all hours in his architectural practice and allotment; her part-time teaching job at the local college is under threat; and a fire (caused by Laura’s’ scattiness) in their damp cottage destroys her treasured vintage clothes collection – but salvation comes, to her surprise, in the sha ...more
Philippa Smith
May 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. I felt like i got to know Laura really well, I wanted to invite her round for coffee and a large slab of cake whilst i picked her brains on textiles and craft. She somehow managed to inspire me, yes I do know she is just a character, words on a page, but still, she made me want to go buy a sewing machine & stitch bunting for my gorgeous children. I really wanted to know what happened next for Laura & Adi, their children and the other interesting characters in the book. ...more
Aug 16, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book, it wasn't great and wasn't particularly well written.
There's quite a few instances where a 3 year-old's dialogue reads like an adult rather than a 3 year-old (not even a precocious 3 year-old.
There's inconsistencies and other snippets that really could have done with a re-write.
The scenes jump about a lot with little in the way to lead the reader from the end of one to the beginning of the next. Sometimes you have to stop, think, fill in the blanks for yourself and then carry
Rebecca Shields
Jun 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Despite initially looking like yet another chick lit offering, this book is packed with surprises. Its an interesting if not original premise, when your life unravels, stop moaning, do something about it but what makes this stand out is the amount of interesting stuff that the author manages to include. I frequently had to put my book down to reach for Google, being instantly grabbed by the idea of subversive samplers. I also felt creatively stimulated, to the point where I started to eye up ite ...more
Helen Moss
Oct 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. A lovely light read with a heroine who is very easy to identify with. Laura finds it difficult to adapt to life in Norfolk and leave behind her familiar world in London. She is not written as a perfect character - she is often negative and rather self-pitying - but this makes her a lot more realistic than a permanently cheerful and perfect woman - in fact her thoughts and behaviours were often uncomfortably close to the truth. I enjoyed the story of a woman struggling ...more
Jun 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Light, determinedly cheerful take on the pleasures and pitfalls of relocating a London creative lifestyle to the countryside. I for one very much identified with Laura’s frantic attempts to re-make a life while juggling home, family and career. I suspect that many happy success stories of smart women finding creative fulfilment through cottagey lifestyles are won through just the kinds of struggles Laura tackles with charm, wit and intelligence. Addison knows whereof she writes; under her narrat ...more
Zanna Mackenzie
Jul 23, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the idea of this book and for starters it had a lovely rural feel to it and some nice quirky touches. I thought I was going to love the story but then, sadly, I found that things went rapidly down hill after that. The lead characater became, I felt, irritating and selfish, and rather disconnected from her husband and family. Reluctantly I gave up on the book half way through.

Tastes and opinions though are so subjective so I'm sure some will love the book and I did want to myself because
Jan 15, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
This was such an irritating book to read. It felt like reading the diary of a conceited housewife. The characters were either so flat you often forgot who was who, or caricatures of a stereotype. The story felt like it was meandering aimlessly and I quickly lost interest in what would happen next. The only thing that stopped me from putting it down completely was the hope that something would happen at the end to tie it all together, but it just sort of ended abruptly as if the author got tired ...more
ॐ Pixie
Mar 11, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2014
Thank the gods i'm done with this, and it's going straight into my donations bag. It read like an author's first attempt at writing, but I don't think it's her first book, so there's really no excuse for such dross. Reading her biography and seeing her photo, it strikes me that this book is possibly at least semi-autobiographical, and that's probably why the 'plot' (if you can call it that) reads like stream-of-consciousness for the most part. And not in a good way. Just. Guh...don't bother.
Cate Earnshaw
Jan 09, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
good story.
woman in crisis saves herself by discovering community and sewing. I can relate to that. sadly some bits didn't feel authentic or plausible. whilst Laura isn't perfect and isn't always likeable, her honesty is refreshing.
author should learn to use double spaced paragraph breaks and asterisks... as she currently has no way to show time has passed in the same scene. this leads to confusion and jumpy scenes.
Mar 29, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The parts about sewing and creativity were good but I found the main character impossible to sympathise with or like at all. She revels in her artistic disorganisation yet complains endlessly about it when she has to do more than one thing at a time or live with the decisions she's made. She seemed overbearing yet extremely weak inside and didn't deserve it to all work out. Yuck.
Lynne  Allister
Apr 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Laura is uprooted from her happy London life when her husband is relocated. How will quirky Laura juggle country life, the kids' new schools, her moody husband, a fire?
Then an old boy friend appears!
Can Laura hold it all together or will their lives fall apart?
And what's with all the sewing references? Laura can't sew to save her life!

Louise-A Loyal Customer!!
Jan 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
I enjoyed this book because I'm a crafty person myself. I loved reading Laura's journey in the crafting world and would recommend this to people who also like crafting. It wasn't the best writing, the scenes tended to flip between days within sentences as another reviewer pointed out. But if you're looking for a easy read that will give you some ideas on things to make the this is a good read.
Kate Pannett
Read this as a holiday read. I found it a bit magazine fiction at first, with predictable plot hooks and shallow development. The clothing and fabric theme was clunky and overdone. But as I plodded on I did get drawn in and was pleased to read it right through, becoming quite fond of the main character
Apr 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit, homemaking
I really enjoyed this book, ok so there was some minor niggles that stopped me giving it more stars but nothing that got in the way of it being a really good read. Would look for other books by this author now!
Sep 06, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: craft
Interesting plot, a bit mystified as to why Amanda wrote this book as she doesn't quite finish the story. At the end of the chapters the reader is left up in the air as to what had taken place. However, I did like the snippets at the beginning of each chapter referring to sewing stitches.
Aug 02, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the hand made aspects of it, but felt that some other parts of the story jumped around, or were a little predictable. It isn’t generally the type of book I would read, but the handmade title appealed to me.
Mar 15, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Purtroppo questa commedia romantica non mi ha conquistata: lo stile dell'autrice mi ha dato l'idea di leggere un romanzo confuso e disordinato che non è riuscito a coinvolgermi. Recensione completa qui:
Feb 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Love the descriptions of how being creative makes Laura feel. As a crafter and stitcher, it felt very relevant to me. Absolutely adored this book. Thank you so much to Jules, for such a thoughtful gift. :-) X
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Amanda Addison writes and illustrates both adult and children's fiction.
A common theme to her work is the world of art, craft and design.
Amanda is a graduate of Chelsea School of Art and more recently
completed a MA in Writing the Visual at Norwich University College of the Arts, under the supervision of award winning poet, George Szirtes. She is represented by Sonia Land at Sheil Land Associates.
More about Amanda Addison...