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The Spoon Stealer

4.55  ·  Rating details ·  353 ratings  ·  95 reviews

Born into a basket of clean sheets—ruining a perfectly good load of laundry—Emmeline never quite fit in on her family's rural Nova Scotian farm. After suffering multiple losses in the First World War, her family became so heavy with grief, toxicity, and mental illness that Emmeline felt their weight smothering her. And so, she fled across the Atlantic and built her life in

Kindle Edition
Published September 30th 2020 by Vagrant Press
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Average rating 4.55  · 
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Genevieve Graham
I loved The Spoon Stealer so much, for so many reasons. Emmeline and Vera were the most delightful lead characters I have read in a long time. I laughed, I cried through scenes both charming and horrifying, and I was emotionally attached to every character. Like with every one of Ms Crewe’s books, each scene and character was expertly crafted, and though the ending was perfect in every sense, I was left wishing the story would never end. An absolutely wonderful, heartfelt story of family and red ...more
Atlantic Book
Jul 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading a novel by Lesley Cynthia Crewe is like covering yourself in an old quilt. You know you can settle in and get cozy, wrap yourself in the words and let the characters and their memories keep you company as you read.

Emmeline Darling, the book's main character, revisits her past as she reads aloud from her memoir at a writing class she takes in her retirement years. Mental illness and loss are the themes running through the book, but the author deals with these subjects with the grace, humo
ʚϊɞ Shelley's ʚϊɞ Book Nook

Ordinary lives are just as glorious as great lives lived by great men and women. We are all as important as each other.

Lesley Crewe is a Canadian author I love. being Canadian myself It is important to me to support author's from Canada and Ms. Crewe never disappoints. My favourite book of hers is Shoot Me and this title tops that.

This book is such a feel good story, which surprised me because there is also a lot of heartache throughout. One minute I'd have tears in my eyes and the next I'd
Aug 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Spoon Stealer is a beautiful gem of a novel that I absolutely loved. Emmeline, the main character, is a loveable, brave, kind, funny woman in her 70s who I absolutely adored. This is the story of her life, from a young girl in the 1890s to her later years in the 1960s. It is a story about love, loneliness, family, friendship, heartbreak and the unwavering belief in the value of « a spoonful of kindness » and compassion to others (and can’t we all do with that especially now). I laughed, crie ...more
Shannon Rochester
Thank you to Netgalley and Vagrant Press for my digital copy in exchange for an honest review.

And honestly? This was one of the best books I have ever read. I am pretty sure that no book having to do with humans has ever made me feel so much. Books like Marley and me and A Dog's Purpose made me cry so hard but they both have to do with dogs. So does this one in a roundabout way...but it is mostly about Emmaline and her family and friend dynamic both in the past and the present. I originally req
I received this from

"Born into a basket of clean sheets—ruining a perfectly good load of laundry—Emmeline never quite fit in on her family's rural Nova Scotian farm. "

What a perfectly charming story. I especially enjoyed Emmeline reading her memoirs to the other ladies. Some slow sections in the middle but overall a very enjoyable read.

Originally reviewed at Books Etc.

You all know I love Genevieve Graham's books. So when she told me I had to read Lesley Crewe's The Spoon Stealer, well, I trusted her judgement. I'm so glad she recommended this historical fiction (written by another Canadian!) to me because I absolutely, completely, totally loved it.

Oh, this book. It made my heart so full. Emmeline was such a joy to read about. Her storytelling (and therefore Crewe's) was so amazing and I really felt like I was following Emmelin
Feb 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this latest story that Lesley Crewe has crafted. With some family history playing in the story telling she has written a story that keeps you turning pages to see what direction it will turn. The second to last ending was expected but the final ending was fantastic.
Aug 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Emmaline found comfort in spoons......her favourite brother once told her that everyone deserves a spoonful of kindness.

I don't want to summarize the plot, that has already been done by other reviews and the publisher.

This is a book about Emmaline (a lady of certain years) who steals spoons for comfort and lives with her dog. She carries on conversations with her dog....he answers. Sometimes very sarcastically and with attitude. And, no, it is not weird.

Emmaline is a lady who thinks she lacks co
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

First sentence: EMMELINE DARLING SUFFERED A TWINGE OF DISCOMFORT IN HER right hip as she reached over to pull the heavy floral draperies across the paned windows in her sitting room.

Premise/plot: Emmeline Darling, our heroine, is preparing to go to an event at a library when the novel opens. She's signed up for a four week class on memoir writing. In the class she'll meet a few kindred spirits and a few UN-kindred ones as well. Some people just can't be appeased or pleased. Some people seem pers
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
Sep 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: ehbooklover, booksandchinooks, laura

This is a story about friendship, family, adversity, perseverance and the power of kindness.

The Spoon Stealer is a charming story filled with humour and heart about the life of Emmeline Darling, a septuagenarian who has lived an interesting life and now, in her later years, she shares excerpts from her memoir with a writing class in her small town.

It's through these recitations in the first half of the book that we learn about Emmeline's early years growing up in eastern Canada in the 1
Oct 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Spoon Stealer is historical fiction, inspired loosely by some events in the author’s family around the time of World War I. In this story, the current day is 1968, Emmeline is 74 years old and takes a memoir-writing class at the local library in a small town on the southeast coast of England. Emmeline’s memoir goes back to the 1890s, to when she was born in Nova Scotia, Canada. This memoir writing class winds up bringing together a small group of women who become great friends.

Emmeline’s lif
Beckey Boudreau
Dec 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dear Lesley; I loved this book! Not only did I appreciate and relate to Emmaline's family story I was also impressed by the author's note at the end of the book about the inspiration for this story.
I started reading your book as a distraction when I was sitting with my dying mom (I had the daily midnight - 7am shift).... and honestly, you brought me comfort and entertainment when I needed it. You made me want to sit up and stay awake to see what was next despite exhaustion! So, I say thank you f
Diane Merritt
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I could give this book all the stars I would!!
Heartfelt and wonderful book. Tears at one point. Even the authors notes at the end were touching. Keep reading. When I first started thus and saw how long it was i had my doubts.. but wow what a fantastic book... take your time with this one and breathe it all in. It's just wonderful.

Thanks to the author, the publisher, and Net Galley for an early release of this book.
This book comes highly recommended from a number of sources and sometimes that’s not always a good thing, expectations are elevated.

The location drew me right in, a Canadian setting by a new-to-me Canadian author, that’s bonus points right off the bat. It wasn’t hard to like Emmeline, the story opens with her attending a memoir writing class. The Spoon Stealer is her story told in dual time periods. Making new friends is a bonus from this class that highlights how important having good friends i
Michelle MacLean
One of my favourite books I read this year - a reread for sure.

Interesting story that gives you lots to think about
Feb 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Omg.....such an amazing book! I think it may be my favourite! I laughed, cried, giggled and bawled......I could not stop thinking about it, the characters were so lovable.....well most of them. It was a true reminder that a spoonful of kindness goes a long way!!!!
Dec 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Libby read. Classic Leslie Crewe, endearing, heartfelt, and fun.
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC of this book.

The Spoon Stealer is an absolutely wonderful historical fiction novel set between England and rural Nova Scotia. The story is about Emmeline (who is in her 70’s) and her looking back on her life through a memoir she has written and is sharing with other women in a writing class at the local library In England. This leads Emmeline to try and repair her relationships with her family in Nova Scotia that she hasn’t had contact with in many decades.

The ch
Lisa Forsen
Mar 07, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a delightful little read. Emmeline, the only daughter in a brood of 5, has never fit in with her family or her environment. She is big boned and speaks her mind. When two of her brothers head off to war, she stays home until word comes that Teddy, her favourite, has been injured by gas, and she decides to head to the UK to be by his side. She arrives too late but decides to remain in the UK.

Emmeline has recorded her memoirs, which she decides to share with her friends, so the book alternat
1968- When retired Emmeline Darling signs up for a memoir writing class, she is unprepared for the fanfare from the other participants for her personal story. They decide on a weekly gathering to hear it all – the epic story of an amazing girl who rides the emotional tidal waves of life and is strong and stubborn enough to do what it takes to make things right. With each weekly class, her life’s heartbreaking story unfolds.

Born in 1894 in a basket of clean linens (which her mother would never le
Oct 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘Everyone thinks their own lives aren’t very special, but that is so far from the truth. Ordinary lives are as glorious as great lives’ ..Emmeline attends a memoir writing course at the library and begins to read out the first pages of her life story. Her audience is completely mesmerised by the tale that unfolds and asks for more. That’s how I felt about this book - this is story writing at its very best. I chose this book because I’d read so many good reviews but from the unusual title I wasn’ ...more
Kelly  Anne
Dec 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Oh my, my heart is full; I am in love with a character named Emmeline Darling and her best friend Vera! What an absolute brilliant work of character development this book is. 74 year old Emmeline recounts the first part of her life by reading her memoir to a small group of women, a select few of which become her close friends. I really enjoyed this way of storytelling rather than just starting the book with Emmeline’s rather humorous (and later poignant) birth and moving through the years. The d ...more
Oct 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every few years a book comes along that resonates with your soul and The Spoon Stealer is that book for me. I couldn’t put it down and I was so sad to have it end. I felt like I had lost a best friend or an amazing family member. When a book feels like this to you , you know you have found an amazing author. Lesley Crewe writes exquisite books and while I have really enjoyed her books, nothing prepares me for The Spoon Stealer. I laughed out loud so many times at Emmeline’s and Vera’s antics, fe ...more
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Feb 08, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very different novel from what I would normally read. Enjoyed it immensely. Brought forth good memories of country visits to my mother’s family in rural Nova Scotia, my grandmother wearing full aprons, the fresh smells and sounds of sheets hanging on the clothesline, the scents of wildflowers, helping in the garden, picking berries, and just ... simpler times.

Although, this novel reveals that simpler times, may not be so simple, after all. The years pass but the social issues and stig
What a wonderful, beautifully written book. It’s the story of Emmeline, who at the age of seventy four joins a memoir writing class at her local library where each week the members read their memoirs to the rest of the group. Its obvious from the start that Emmeline has a very interesting tale to tell and as the classes come to an end the group, who have become good friends, decide to continue meeting to hear more from her memoirs. Through these readings we hear about her extraordinary life – he ...more
Sep 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
I received a free digital advance review copy of this book from Nimbus Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Spoon Stealer is a captivating story of the extraordinary events in the life of a seemingly ordinary woman. The book spans two continents (set in rural Canada and small town England) and nearly 8 decades (from the early 1900s through both world wars and into the culture change of the 1960s. The story really took off for me with the book within a book, presented wh
Feb 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At its heart, this is a story about family. It’s about love and forgiveness and and about how the course of ones life can sometimes depend on one small decision.

Emmeline decscribes herself as just an unwanted country girl from Nova Scotia. In reality she is a selfless woman who makes so much difference in the lives of others. When she was a child Emmeline was taught that a spoonful of kindness is all anyone needs.

I fell in love with Emmeline and her dog, Vera and their exploits. I laughed and I
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Lesley grew up in Montreal, PQ. After graduating from Concordia University with a degree in English and Education, she and her hubby settled down in Homeville, Cape Breton and raised a family.

From 2000-2005, Lesley was a features writer and columnist (Home Fires) for Cape Bretoner Magazine, and from 2005-2009, a columnist (Lesley's Letters) with the on-line magazine, Cahoots.

In 2005 her first no

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