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?
Abby Clements has certainly been a busy lady publishing three books within the space of a year, I loved both Meet Me under the Mistletoe and Vivien's Heavenly Ice Cream Shop so had been eagerly looking forward to reading her latest book Amelia Grey's Fireside Dream which is published today.
When Amelia is reminded of a bucket list she'd created of things she wanted to do before she's thirty which included living in the country, just as she's approaching her thirtieth birthday, it gets her thinking that now might be the time for her and husband Jack to consider moving out of their miniscule London flat and consider moving to the country where they can definitely get more for their money.
This dream becomes more of a reality after things change at the school she's working in and eventually she gets Jack onside so now they just need to find the perfect cottage for them. After their offer on a dream cottage falls through they then put an offer in for a cottage in the village that Amelia's mother has moved to even though it's in need of a lot of restoration.
They say moving house is one of the three most stressful things that can happen in your lifetime and this certainly proves to be the case for Amelia and Jack when financial worries as she's not been able to get a new job, a nightmare commute for Jack and the cottage being in worst condition than they first envisaged puts their relationship to the test. Can they overcome these hurdles to get their happy ever after ending?
I love watching DIY restoration programs so as I was reading I was trying to picture what the restored rooms would look like with the descriptions of the furniture and fittings that had been purchased and the work that had been done.
Although the main story is of course about Amelia and Jack's move to the country, there are also a few minor subplots involving events in their friends lives, Amelia's relationship with her father as well as her fears for one of her former students, which all add to make this book such an enjoyable read.
All of the characters within the book, not just Amelia and Jack, were likeable there wasn't one character I didn't like even though I did think Mirabel was a bit of a spoilt brat when she first arrived.
Once I started reading this yesterday I could not put it down and if it wasn't for the fact that I needed my beauty sleep last night I would have read it in one sitting, as it was I finished it this afternoon and now feel sad that I actually finished it too soon. I can honestly say that this is my favourite Abby Clements book so far so cannot wait to see what she has in store for us next.
I'd like to thank Midas PR and Quercus for sending me a copy of this book to review.