Fabulous multi-generational fashion themed family saga DRESSING THE DEARLOVES by Kelly Doust (@KellyDoust) #BookReview

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DRESSING THE DEARLOVES by Kelly Doust

Goodreads Description

One crumbling grand manor house, a family in decline, five generations of women, and an attic full of beautiful clothes with secrets and lies hidden in their folds. Kelly Doust, author of Precious Things, spins another warm, glamorous and romantic mystery of secrets, love, fashion, families – and how we have to trust in ourselves, even in our darkest of days. One for lovers of Kate Morton, Belinda Alexandra, Fiona McIntosh and Lucy Foley. Failed fashion designer Sylvie Dearlove is coming home to England – broke, ashamed and in disgrace – only to be told her parents are finally selling their once-grand, now crumbling country house, Bledesford, the ancestral home of the Dearlove family for countless generations. Sylvie has spent her whole life trying to escape being a Dearlove, and the pressure of belonging to a family of such headstrong, charismatic and successful women. Beset by self-doubt, she starts helping her parents prepare Bledesford for sale, when she finds in a forgotten attic a thrilling cache of old steamer trunks and tea chests full of elaborate dresses and accessories acquired from across the globe by five generations of fashionable Dearlove women. Sifting through the past, she also stumbles across a secret which has been hidden – in plain sight – for decades, a secret that will change the way she thinks about herself, her family, and her future.Romantic, warm, and glamorous, moving from Edwardian England to the London Blitz to present day London, Dressing the Dearloves is a story of corrosiveness of family secrets, the insecurities that can sabotage our best efforts, and the seductive power of dressing up. 

400 pages
Published August 20th 2018 by HarperCollins
ISBN 1460705645 (ISBN13: 9781460705643)
RRP $16.99 AU (Kindle) $26.99 AU (paperback)

My Review 

Fabulous multi-generational fashion themed family saga! DRESSING THE DEARLOVES the second fashion themed novel by Australian author Kelly Doust, and you can really tell that she has a great love for vintage fashion and the stories they hold.

Sylvie Dearlove failed spectacularly in the cut-throat New York fashion design world. With her company bankrupt and her reputation in tatters she has no choice but to return to her family’s upper crust ancestral home in the English countryside. She is shocked to discover that Bledesford is even more run down than she remembered, her grandmother and family matriarch, Lizzie, is terribly ill and her parents seem to have no choice but to sell up and make way for boring and generic sub-divisions.

While helping her parents clean out the overflowing attic with the help of her best uni girlfriends Sylvie discovers more than just the high fashion of  five generations of her enigmatic and successful female ancestors. She also stumbles across a shocking family secret that  changes the way she feels about her family, what it means to be a Dearlove, and will alter her future plans irrevocably.

I loved the way that Doust tied the stories of the Dearlove ladies in with their clothing. I think it’s so true that the clothes we wear for special occasions do hold onto our stories and the way Doust writes about vintage fashion with such love is a wonderful reminder of the power of dressing up. 5 stars!

About the Author 

 

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Kelly Doust, author of DRESSING THE DEARLOVES

 

Kelly Doust is author of the novels Dressing the Dearloves (September 2018) and Precious Things, both published by HarperCollinsAlso A Life in Frocks, vintage fashion bible Minxy Vintage: how to customise & wear vintage clothing and The Crafty Minx series of craft books.

With a background in book publishing and publicity, Kelly has worked in the UK, Hong Kong and Australia, and has freelanced for Vogue, Australian Women’s Weekly and Sunday Life Magazine. She lives in Sydney with her husband and daughter, and works as a Lifestyle Publisher for Murdoch Books.

Website I Goodreads I Amazon US I Amazon UK I Amazon AU

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A Belated March Wrap-Up and April TBR List

As I predicted, March was a bit of a crazy month for me. The good news is that I’m one month down in my final year at university. The bad news is I wasn’t able to finish my entire March TBR List 😦 I did enjoy every book I read, so I can’t complain about that! Lady Chatterley’s Lover inspired a lot

Lady Chatterley’s Lover inspired a lot of conversation. No matter what you think of the novel itself, it’s safe to say Lawerence managed to produce an extremely controversial novel which I think was his main goal. I love every single word I’ve read by Terry Tyler, so it’s no surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed her latest, Best Seller. And Precious Things was a wonderful surprise from an Australian author new to me, Kelly Doust.

At university I’ve been learning all about play and games and lots of interesting theories about video games plus working very hard on a group web project, Bookstagram Wiz.

And on a personal note, I’m over the moon that footy is back in Australia. Go Cats! I’m a little bit disappointed that Summer is over and the weather is starting to cool down, but we can’t have everything exactly how we would like it all of time. Although an endless Summer would be kind of nice in a perfect world where climate change was not an issue.

Books I read in March

Lady Chatterley’s Lover chatterley

Description

LADY CHATTERLEY’S LOVER was banned on its publication in 1928, creating a storm of controversy. Lawrence tells the story of Constance Chatterley’s marriage to Sir Clifford, an aristocratic and an intellectual who is paralyzed from the waist down after the First World War. Desperate for an heir and embarrassed by his inability to satisfy his wife, Clifford suggests that she have an affair. Constance, troubled by her husband’s words, finds herself involved in a passionate relationship with their gamekeeper, Oliver Mellors. Lawrence’s vitriolic denunciations of industrialism and class division come together in his vivid depiction of the profound emotional and physical connection between a couple otherwise divided by station and society

My Review

 

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This book is part of the David Bowie Reading Challenge #DBowieBooks

Best Seller by Terry Tyler bestseller

Description

Three women, one dream: to become a successful author.

Eden Taylor has made it—big time. A twenty-three year old with model girl looks and a book deal with a major publisher, she’s outselling the established names in her field and is fast becoming the darling of the media.

Becky Hunter has money problems. Can she earn enough from her light-hearted romance novels to counteract boyfriend Alex’s extravagant spending habits, before their rocky world collapses?

Hard up factory worker Jan Chilver sees writing as an escape from her troubled, lonely life. She is offered a lifeline—but fails to read the small print…

In the competitive world of publishing, success can be merely a matter of who you know—and how ruthless you are prepared to be to get to the top.

BEST SELLER is a novella of 40k words (roughly half as long as an average length novel), a slightly dark, slightly edgy drama with a twist or three in the tale.

My Review

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Precious Things by Kelly Doust precious

Description

In the tradition of gloriously absorbing, lush and moving women’s fiction by authors such as Kate Morton, Lucinda Riley and Joanne Harris comes PRECIOUS THINGS.

Normandy, France, 1891: a young woman painstakingly sews an intricate beaded collar to her wedding dress, the night before her marriage to someone she barely knows. Yet Aimee longs for so much more …

Shanghai, 1926: dancing sensation and wild child Zephyr spies what looks like a beaded headpiece lying carelessly discarded on a ballroom floor. She takes it with her to Malaya where she sets her sights on a prize so out of reach that, in striving for it, she will jeopardise everything she holds dear …

PRECIOUS THINGS tells the story of a collar – a wonderful, glittering beaded piece – and its journey through the decades. It’s also the story of Maggie, an auctioneer living in modern-day London, who comes across the crumpled, neglected collar in a box of old junk, and sets out on an unexpected mission to discover more about its secret and elusive past.

Maggie has a journey of her own too. Juggling a demanding job, a clingy young child and a rebellious stepdaughter, and with her once-solid marriage foundering under the pressure of a busy life, Maggie has to find out the hard way that you can’t always get what you want… but sometimes, you’re lucky enough to get precisely what you need.

This is a wonderful, absorbing and moving novel about desire, marriage and family, telling the story about how we so often reach out for the sparkly, shiny things (and people) we desire, only to realise – in the nick of time – that the most precious things are the ones we’ve had with us all along.

My Review 

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April TBR List

apriltbr

 

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Description

From the David Bowie Reading Challenge#DBowieBooks

When Emma Rouault marries Charles Bovary she imagines she will pass into the life of luxury and passion that she reads about in sentimental novels and women’s magazines. But Charles is a dull country doctor, and provincial life is very different from the romantic excitement for which she yearns. In her quest to realize her dreams she takes a lover, and begins a devastating spiral into deceit and despair.

Flaubert’s novel scandalized its readers when it was first published in 1857, and it remains unsurpassed in its unveiling of character and society.

Broken Sky by L.A. Weatherley brokensky

Description

Welcome to a “perfect” world. Where war is illegal, harmony is enforced, and your date of birth marks your destiny. But nothing is perfect, and in a world this broken, who can Amity trust? Friends? Family? Her one true love? An electrifying new series of heartbreak and deception from L.A. Weatherly, bestselling author of the ANGEL trilogy.

 

 

 

 

Conjuror by John and Carole E. Barrowman conjuror.jpg

Description

Sixteen-year-old twins Matt and Em Calder are Animare: they can bring art to life, and travel in time through paintings. They work for Orion – the Animare MI5 – protecting the secrecy of their order and investigating crimes committed by their own kind. It’s dangerous work. But when they are sent to Edinburgh to find a teenage boy who can alter reality with his music, they are drawn into something more dangerous still. For this boy, Remy, is the Conjurer’s Son. And he carries something that could change humanity for ever…

 

 

F*ck Love by Tarryn Fisher fucklove

Description

Helena Conway has fallen in love.
Unwillingly. Unwittingly.
But not unprovoked.
Kit Isley is everything she’s not—unstructured, untethered,
and not even a little bit careful.
It could all be so beautiful … if he wasn’t dating her best friend.
Helena must defy her heart, do the right thing, and think of others.
Until she doesn’t.

Review: Precious Things by Kelly Doust

Have you ever gone vintage shopping and wondered about the history of the precious  preciousthings you find? That’s the main idea behind Precious Things by Kelly Doust.

The story is centred in the present day around Maggie who loves her job at an auction house. She gets to spend her days finding precious things. The only problem is she is finding it difficult to keep up with her job and her family life at the same time.

When she finds a gorgeous hand-made beaded piece she winds up playing detective to try and trace the origins of her latest acquisition for a lady, Francesca, who is certain that it holds the key to finding the truth about her birth parents.

Maggie manages to trace the origins of the piece from its origins in Normandy, France, where it was made by Aimee to wear as a collar for her wedding dress. The collar becomes a head-piece when it finds its way to Lexi the trapeze artist in Paris, 1926. Zephyr the dancer takes ownership of it in Shanghai, 1926 only to have it stolen from her and taken to the family of artist, Christian Hunt where it falls into the hands of his ill-treated muse, Isabella. The final destination of the piece is with Ulrika the supermodel who wears it as an adornment on her dress in Istanbul, 1974.

While the majority of the novel focuses on Maggie, her family and work life, and her quest to find out the mystery surrounding Francesca’s heritage, each of the owners of the piece have their own chapters to tell their stories. I really love a good time slip novel and this one had such a wide range of times and places included.

Description

In the tradition of gloriously absorbing, lush and moving women’s fiction by authors such as Kate Morton, Lucinda Riley and Joanne Harris comes PRECIOUS THINGS.

Normandy, France, 1891: a young woman painstakingly sews an intricate beaded collar to her wedding dress, the night before her marriage to someone she barely knows. Yet Aimee longs for so much more …

Shanghai, 1926: dancing sensation and wild child Zephyr spies what looks like a beaded headpiece lying carelessly discarded on a ballroom floor. She takes it with her to Malaya where she sets her sights on a prize so out of reach that, in striving for it, she will jeopardise everything she holds dear …

PRECIOUS THINGS tells the story of a collar – a wonderful, glittering beaded piece – and its journey through the decades. It’s also the story of Maggie, an auctioneer living in modern-day London, who comes across the crumpled, neglected collar in a box of old junk, and sets out on an unexpected mission to discover more about its secret and elusive past.

Maggie has a journey of her own too. Juggling a demanding job, a clingy young child and a rebellious stepdaughter, and with her once-solid marriage foundering under the pressure of a busy life, Maggie has to find out the hard way that you can’t always get what you want… but sometimes, you’re lucky enough to get precisely what you need.

This is a wonderful, absorbing and moving novel about desire, marriage and family, telling the story about how we so often reach out for the sparkly, shiny things (and people) we desire, only to realise – in the nick of time – that the most precious things are the ones we’ve had with us all along.

Details

Title: Precious Things

Author: Kelly Doust

ISBN: 1460750977 (ISBN13: 9781460750971)

Published:  April 1st 2016 by HarperCollins – AU

Genre: Romance, Historical Fiction, Time Slip

Pages: 320

Source: Review copy from publisher

My Rating: 5/5 stars

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