Saturday, February 11, 2017

Review: Summer Hearts and Paper Kisses

Title: Paper Hearts and Summer Kisses
Author: Carole Matthews
Publisher: 22 December 2016 by Hachette Australia
Pages: 432 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: womens fiction, chick lit
My Rating: 4 cups


I keep my eyes closed in the shower so that I can hold onto the pretence of sleep for just a little while longer.”

Christie Chapman is a single working mother who spends her days commuting to her secretarial job and looking after her teenage son, Finn. It can be tough just getting through the day but Christie has always found comfort in her love of crafting and any spare time she has is spent working on her beautiful creations. From intricately designed birthday cards to personalised gifts, Christie's flair for the handmade knows no bounds and it's not long before opportunity comes knocking. All of a sudden Christie sees a different future for her and Finn - one full of hope and possibility, and if the handsome Max Alexander is to be believed, one full of love too. It's all there for the taking.

And then, all of a sudden, Christie's world is turned upside down.

Christie knows something has to give, but what will she choose? Will she give up her dreams and the chance of real love? What price will she pay for doing the right thing? Can Christie find her happy ending in Paper Hearts and Summer Kisses?

My Thoughts

I’m always up for a Carole Matthews tale, you can rest assured you are in for a satisfying read. For anyone interested in crafting/scrapbooking, there is an added bonus here.  The main character Christie, is a mad paper crafter and that is a nice added dimension for us ‘crafty scrappers’ out there. This is a definite appealing aspect because this could (in some respects) be a tale about anyone from the suburbs who finds themselves in the humdrum of life and looking for a creative outlet.  A forty something heroine also makes a nice change:

‘My forty-odd-year-old face takes quite a lot of time to reassemble itself into the right symmetry after being reshaped by the pillow all night. Seriously, it’s a good half-hour these days before the creases go.’

A single parent, Christie spends her evenings, weekends and any spare moment she finds crafting and watching the Crafting Channel - ordinary and relatable.  A challenge to always make ends meet is proven that more difficult when a couple of dramatic bombshells push Christie to her limits - but she shows great strength and resolve when dealing with them. In fact, these circumstances force Christie into making some radical and life changing decisions. There is also a good cast of supporting characters I especially loved Christie’s devoted parents.

‘I’d always dabbled with crafts, but I guess I started doing it in earnest when Liam first left. What can you do at night on your own when you’ve got a child upstairs in bed?’

My only criticisms were that it was a tad long and could have done with some good editing. At times it got somewhat repetitive and that led to it getting bogged down and a bit dull. I also found the ending to be a bit too neat, that took it from being relatable to unrealistic. However, if you love crafting, family and happy endings with a splash of forty something realism then Carole Matthews new book is for you.

‘And I’m still not interested. Besides, I like crafting. You can rely on paper hearts much more than love-struck ones.’

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted

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