Cover Image: The Imperfect Art of Caring

The Imperfect Art of Caring

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Member Reviews

Such important topics in this wonderful book. Being a carer the ups and downs, loneliness, mental health, abuse, vulnerability and friendship.

Violet Strong returns back to her hometown in Sussex to care for her elderly mum whom she hasn't seen for 14 years after staying away because of a tragedy that happened in the family. One that Violet blames herself for. 
But once settled back in her home town Violets life changes as she realises that she has a much bigger purpose than the life she's been living.  She realises the importance of a carer and how lonely it can be and how the person who is being cared for is also feeling guilty and helpless for the person looking after them. I have a lot of respect for carers they sacrifice so much just to care for someone they love. Also showing kindness to those around us makes a huge difference. 
I loved how Violets character developed and how she became confident in herself. We all go through times when we have no faith in our self but Violet shows us that if we have people around us then anything is possible. 
If your after a happy ending then this book is for you. Thank you netgalley for letting me having a review copy for an honest review.
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I didnt know what to expect from this book but it really impressed and suprised me. I think i expected it to be a quick and easy read that i read and then that was that but in actual fact although it was a quick and easy read it left me thinking about it long after I stopped reading. It dealt with some hard hitting issues in a beauitfully sensitive way and in some parts it was simply breathtaking. A really enjoyable read
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This book was unexpectedly beautiful. It covered such important topics in a very clever and sensitive way making them accessible to all yet raising awareness. The characters were lovable and engaging and the plot was so well thought out that I couldn’t put it down, I just needed to know more. Thank you netgalley for access to this book.
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When her sister, Jodie, relocates to New Zealand with her husband, Violet is forced to return home to care for her mother. After a tragic incident, she left home 14 years ago and hasn't been back since. She reconnects with her childhood sweetheart, Adam, who is also caring for his dad. Violet is tasked with the responsibility of selling her mother's house and asking the tenants to leave. However, when she gets to know everyone, will this still be possible?

I really liked the way the author has carefully woven in the failings of the care system- waiting lists for help urgently needed and filling in all thse forms for PIP and carer's allowance. The support group Violet sets up- Helping hands- would actually be a great charity. How wonderful ti have a helping hands group for carers to support each other in every town. 

I thought the character, Tammy, was particulary well illustrated with her vulnerabilities and inexperience of the world outside her flat. I felt completely immersed in the life of the village and invested in the characters and their journey.

Thanks indeed to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC.
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I have never read anything by this author before but I was enjoyable and I will make sure that I do again. Well done.
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A gentle insight into the world of carers. It's not a world which is well covered and certainly not one most people would like to find themselves in but this is a hopeful, uplifting story about a community coming together to lift each other up, each person finding what they need as well as giving to others. I really enjoyed this and finished it with a smile on my face.
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What a wonderful gift author Jessica Ryn has, for creating those wonderful, hapless characters, who you can't help but fall in love with. Dawn Brightside was a highlight of my year last year, and I was extremely excited to be able to read her newest offering, The Imperfect Art of Caring.
Within these pages, we are, again, introduced to a main character who has a lot going on, in her mind.
Violet Strong is a woman who has learned to keep everyone at a distance from her - for good reason, She is Bad News. Ever since she can remember, bad things happen, and they always come back to her.
Estranging herself from her family and friends, she ends up near Manchester, with a cleaning job, and a wonderful blog where she reviews books.
Things are fine until her sister drops a bombshell on her: She's leaving the country, and Violet has to come back home, to help look after her mother, and facilitate a house sale, so her mother can be put into care.
My heart went out to Violet, especially as I got to know her, and realised exactly how wrong her own opinion of herself was. She only wants to help, and sheer coincidence meant that so many awful things happened in her life, that really had nothing to do with her, yet, she had carried the burden of guilt on her own shoulders.
The cast of characters introduced through the story are wonderful, including Tammy, one of the residents in the flats her mother's house have been turned into, who has a learning disability, but no one to help her learn how to live independently, to Mrs R, the grumpy resident, who is, in fact, a rather lonely woman. To top it off, there is Adam, Violet's childhood best friend, and first love, who makes up half of the occupants in the third flat, alongside his father, Bill.
The book looks at the often lonely job of carers. What is expected of them, what they have to deal with on a regular basis, as well as the lives of those being cared for.
I was truly touched when reading this beautiful book.
Many thanks to NetGalley and HQ for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This book was thought provoking and a wonderful look at what it means to be a career which is something that hits close to home for me. It did a wonderful portrayal of loneliness as well which is something I relate to so much. Jessica was a wonderful writer and I can’t wait to  see what more they do in the future!
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This book really is here for unrepresented world of carers. The concept of a support group I hope people will see as a good idea and make this a reality. Tammy is a truly lovely character and I love how she develops. She's thoughtful, and doesn't always get it right which makes her all the more endearing. Again, great to see a learning disabilities character thrive as this is rarely portrayed. Violet's story is an interesting one and as the past unravels, even more so. The sense of community beaming out this book is uplifting, and heart warming at a time where it feels like its needed most. Adorable, emotional and I'm jealous I can't have a cuppa with these gorgeous characters.
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What a beautiful book, such a lovely read, lots of wonderful charecters who were easy to get to know, I loved every single page, a great story told well and cane to such a satisfying conclusion
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Another perfectly balanced  uplifting book from Jessica Ryn! 
Violet moved away from home 14 years ago following some unnamed incident and has never looked back, convinced that everything she does only brings bad luck and misfortune. She has made a cosy safe life for herself, cleaning in the daytime and book blogging at night, with some acquaintances but happy to keep them all at arm's length.
She is suddenly called back to her home village in Sussex to care for her estranged mother and help her sell her house to move into a care home. Moving back is every bit as hard as she thought, with awkward relationships and sad memories everywhere, Violet's convinced people won't let her forget her past mistakes. And her ex-boyfriend/ best friend is still in town - yikes!
She starts to build relationships- and although you know where the story is going to go, the journey there is a lovely one and made me think more about loneliness and carers.
I recently read The Switch by Beth O'Leary and this has a similar feel to it.
Definitely recommended
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It took me a while to get into this book as the characters didn't gel with me at first.  As I read on though I did enjoy them as the story unfolded.  It showed how everyone remembers things differently and there is always two sides to each story - we just don't always see the other side.
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I loved this book. The characters were all well-written. I felt a lot of empathy for Violet. Loved the set up of the house and its tenants. The fact the book tackled life as a carer, as well as showing how the ones being cared for felt, was refreshing: I'm glad such issues were addressed. There was a little romance too, which was sweet. Pace was just right. With thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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One small act can make a big difference
Violet Strong is strong by name but not by nature, or so she thinks. She listens but never talks about herself. She’s friendly but doesn’t have many real friends. She’s become good at keeping people at a distance ever since she left home at eighteen and never looked back.

But when Violet is forced to return home to care for her estranged mother Glenys, she quickly finds out that life as a carer isn’t easy. Feeling overwhelmed, she’s forced to turn to the other local carers, including childhood friend Adam, for help. Although returning home still feels like a mistake, maybe it will help Violet right some wrongs. After all, she can’t keep running from her past forever, and in learning to look after others, perhaps Violet can start to finally love herself.

If you are wanting a great escape this is exactly the book you will want to read.
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Jessica Ryn has done it again! A brilliant meaningful read. 

Violet, a book loving blogger, is content living in her own bubble, working  and blogging, and has managed the art of interacting that allows her to keep others at arm’s length. That way no one gets hurt. Violet has her books, that’s all she needs.

It is not until she is forced to return home to care for her mother, whom she hasn’t spoken to since she was a teenager, that Violet starts to let others into her life. The return to her childhood home forces Violet to face the past, a past that has carved out her life and dictated her every move. It is only when Violet is compelled to let others into her life that she is able to face the past and start to truly live her life.  

 We have all had or are still being held back from events from our past – The Imperfect Art of Caring highlights the fact that when the past is holding us back we need to face those demons to enable us to move forward with our lives. 

The Imperfect Art of Caring is another brilliant, meaningful story by Jessica Ryn that made me laugh, cry and evaluate my role in the community. Jessica’s writing brings the characters to life and sculptures the story in the reader’s mind.  Jessica Ryn is becoming one of my favourite authors.

I would recommend The Imperfect Art of Caring– An ideal book to take on holiday

5 stars

I received AR in exchange for an honest review
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"The Imperfect Art of Caring" is about friendship, love and support for both those needing care and their carers.  When Violet is told by her sister that she needs to move back home to care for the mother she has been estranged from for many years, her heart fills with dread.  She is giving up the independent life she has built for herself so that her sister can have a chance.  To begin with Violet comes across as a loner whose best friends are mostly books.  The story follows her self-discovery as she helps her mother and her local community.

A heart-warming read.

Thanks to Net Galley and the publishers for the opportunity to review this book.
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The Imperfect Art Of Caring by Jessica Ryn. 

Mild-mannered Violet, left home under a cloud when she was just eighteen years old. 
Now she has to return to care for her estranged mother Glenys who's struggling mentally and Physically. 
Violet meets back up with her childhood friend Adam, who is also a carer for his elderly father. 
Together they make quite a team and help each other and fellow carers along the way. 

This is a very endearing story. It speaks from the point of view of the carer and the cared for. It’s an honest story with some very real insights into how tough it can be to navigate the benefits system in the UK, the daily grind of caring and the crippling loneliness felt by so many people with poor health and disabilities. 

This is a gentle tale, tender and sweet, but also gritty in it’s portrayal of how tough life can be for people in this situation. 

An honest, but heartwarming four stars from me. 

With thanks to #netgalley and #HQ for an ARC of this charming book.
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This was a very endearing story on the struggles one faces as a carer, I found it moving and I quickly grew to sympathise with the characters. I like how we are not only given the perspective of the carer, but also the view from the people being cared. Very moving and thought provoking.

However, the story sometimes dragged. I feel this was due to the extensive and sometimes unnecessary descriptions, which I suppose is reflecting the characters’ thoughts, but makes for a boring read.

Overall, a great story with great potential that wasn’t quite met.
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★ ★ ★ ★ ★

“There’s no perfect art to caring - all we can do is our best.” 

This book was extremely personal to me. I am usually very wary about picking up any books about disabled people or carers, because I am disabled myself and my mum is my carer, and in my experience, novels about caring have never shown the full picture and have almost romanticised the situation, they also never showed the ugly sides of caring, or the embarrassing things about being disabled which can be “taboo” when they really shouldn’t be. However, I really wanted to give The Imperfect Art Of Caring a go, so I went in to it with wariness, and let me tell you, by page 30 I was hooked. 

This was everything I needed from a novel about caring, it was a beautiful, optimistic but realistic read. The details were so exact and were things that only a carer or disabled person would know, so I could tell that Jessica Ryn’s whole heart had gone into this story, and reading that she cares for her husband and wrote from experience warmed my heart and made it even more special to me.

A few examples of subjects that I never thought would be touched upon in a book are things like how hard it is to get PIP and being thought of as ”liars” when talking to healthcare professionals about conditions when applying for it, and the crippling loneliness that comes with being a carer/disabled because everybody leaves when things get hard, or even just because they haven’t heard from you in a while (which is when they should be getting in touch). 

As a romance lover, I also loved the fact that a love story between Violet and Adam was incorporated but remained a sub-plot and didn’t take away from the main story. 

But the part that made this book warm my heart the most was the sense of community in Violet’s town, everybody was just there for each other. Night or day, no matter what they were doing, they were there. It left me so emotional and I came away from this book with a warm heart and wishing we had a Helping Hands club in my town! 

An all around beautifully written book, and I am so excited to read more from Ryn in the future!

Thank you so much to Netgalley for this early read!
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As usual in my reviews I will not rehash the plot (plenty of other reviews like that out there already!)

Having read and enjoyed the author's previous book, I was delighted to be invited to read this novel. 

This started off as a bit of a slower read for me, but that quickly changed once I got to know the characters better.   I enjoyed learning the various backstories of the characters, and it brought home to me once again that we really shouldn't judge people on our first impressions alone - everyone has a reason for being as they are.

This is a heartwarming read - not without sad sections, but worth persevering.  Without giving away the plot, the book gave me a hopeful feeling - each character in the group gained a lot from working together and also from sharing their experiences; it showed what people can do for themselves without waiting for intervention from other agencies.

Recommended if you need cheering up - the book will make you feel optimistic I think.

My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for an ARC.  All opinions my own.
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