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Things to Make and Mend
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Things to Make and Mend

2.96  ·  Rating details ·  83 ratings  ·  18 reviews
This long-awaited first novel from one of Scotland's most admired short story writers tells the story of Sally Tuttle and Rowena Cresswell, school friends whose lives were changed at the age of fifteen by a shocking event. Now in their late thirties, they are estranged, both single mothers, both haunted with memories of their intense friendship. Sally is an embroiderer, a ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 7th 2008 by Faber and Faber (first published January 1st 2007)
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2.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  83 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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Aug 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. Each chapter alternates between the two main female characters and tells you about their lives, how they were friends in the past and how events lead to their circumstances now. It is a fairly slow story, delving into their feelings but this in no way detracts from how good it is. A thoughtful story.

(Oh, and BTW it has an under current theme of sewing, embroidery and textiles, so if this is an interest of yours you will enjoy the story even more!)
Nov 01, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually quite enjoyed this book so I am surprised that it gets a lot of rather negative reviews here. I do agree that the ending was a tiny bit disappointing but all in all, I found it a good book. I also did not experience problems when the narrator changed.

To me, it was not a great book, but it did stand out a little. I liked the theme and I liked the way the story was told.
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of two women who were great friends as girls in the UK, bonding over shared silliness in needlework class in school until the arrival of boys in their lives leads to a split. The story goes between their past and the present, where Sally is an embroidery specialist and has won a prize for her art and an invitation to present a lecture to a conference in Edinburgh. She feels very uncomfortable about it, feeling that she is nothing special, and she is also nervous about leaving h ...more
Ann Boytim
Sep 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Two childhood friends going their own way after school years one married and successful in her career and the other one who has just won a needlework competition is happy in her simple job repairing clothing etc. Fate decides that this two will meet once again and will this be possible to go back in time when they were once best friends?
Jan 13, 2009 rated it liked it
Guh, where to start with this book. Something about it originally reminded me of Sandra Dallas's book Alice's Tulips, but not as good.

It's the separate stories of two women, now in their 40s, who were best friends in their teens and had a falling out. It's told very oddly, starting out in 3rd person with the main character, Sally, and then switches every now and then to 1st person narrative with her old friend Rowena, who oddly enough doesn't seem like the main character (even though she gets th
Jan 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
This book rambled it's way through to the end.It was also quite hard to follow who was 'talking' in the beginning- as the 'narrative' changed with no obvious change of direction. I was expecting it to be a warm and cosy read. Two teenage girls lose touch after one falls pregnant at 15. Although they both messed about in the school needlework lessons, Sally later becomes an established embroiderer. They meet again about 30 years later at an embroidery event. It wasn't one of my favourite books.
Jul 25, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A gentle, quiet, British, foggy exploration of life and friendship and mistakes, interlaced with needlework and Edinburgh settings. Doesn't gather up in a complete ending, lots of (pardon the pun) threads of plot left dangling and alluded to. It's rare I say a book could be longer - but in this case, it may have been nice.
Jun 10, 2009 rated it liked it
A gentle-paced English story about intense friendship and the consequences of misunderstandings and assumptions. Loving all things craft, the underlying embroidery theme of the novel suited me perfectly.
Feb 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
"Vaardigheden voor meisjes" is de Nederlandse titel.

Dat zie je niet veel: een boek met sterke rol voor borduren / handwerken. Leest heel prettig, goed geschreven. Werd aangekondigd als humoristisch, maar waar hem dat dan in zit weet ik eigenlijk niet.
Jan 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Reading Group Selection.
Feb 13, 2012 rated it liked it
It was a nice little book. Not spectacular. Just nice.
Jul 17, 2011 rated it did not like it
Very scattered writing ruined a nice little plot - Thomas could have made a bit more of the ending...
Angela Biggar
Feb 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
Very hard going - the chapters are a little bit disjointed and just a really hard bok to follow.

Never managed to lumber my way to the end!
Nov 20, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mildly entertaining.
It's entirely written in the third person and my brain keeps getting confused as to which of the two women are speaking.
May 25, 2009 rated it did not like it
The author changed the first person characters frequently and I found it hard to know who was "speaking." The story line seemed to go somewhere and yet it seemed unfinished.
Jan 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pleasant, gentle novel about two women in their forties who used to be best friends at high school. Lots of interesting themes, many of them revolving around embroidery. Enjoyable.
Feb 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-books
book 17 of 2011 - aim 133 books for 2011
Corina Xin ai
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Mar 31, 2013
Sue Wykes
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Jo Harvey
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Librarian note: There is more than one author with this name in the Goodreads database.

Ruth Thomas is a British writer of novels and short stories.