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- Summer Daydreams by Carole Matthews
Saturday, 2 March 2013
Nell McNamara leads a simple life. She works in the local chip shop with friends and the owner who she considered her family. She lives in a humble home with her partner Olly and their little girl Petal and they just get through life as best they can. However, Nell has dreams of doing something different with her life. Nell wants to be a success and give her daughter a better life. However, it's not going to be easy. With the support of her friends and a large dose of resentment from Olly, Nell sets about changing the course of her life - with handbags! Nell begins designing and creating them with a passion. But, this passion is not without its price and soon Nell's dream starts to unravel into a nightmare. Is it possible to have it all? Is it possible to be a successful business woman and a mother? And, what of the financial cost? Nell soon discovers help comes in the most unlikely of places. And so do people who want to see her fail!
I adored this book. Carole Matthews has created a whole host of wonderful characters with great personalities. Its even difficult to dislike the bad guys too much too. Many readers will recognise themselves in Nell McNamara as Nell definitely represents the struggle that many working women deal with. A desire to have a career but also the need to be all things to all people and juggling work, home, children and a partner. Not an easy task! I adored the character Petal, Nell and Olly's daughter. What a little madam! Reminded me of one or two children I know! However, in the most desperate of situations Petal always brought humour to the situation and I loved that.
Carole Matthews has a writing style that is draws the reader in. I found myself cheering for Nell and having a good old grumble at Olly! Nell's struggle almost became my own and I was willing her to succeed. To me, this is the sign of a great writer. One who makes the reader feel they have a vested interest in a character and becomes entangled in their struggle. This was the first book by Carole Matthews that I have read and I will definitely be reading everything I can by her from now on. This book was a lovely easy read with the right amount of romance, dubious characters and comedy sprinkled in. I passed the book onto my mother in law who read the entire thing in a single sitting. She simply could not put it down.