Cover Image: The Imperfect Art of Caring

The Imperfect Art of Caring

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Member Reviews

Violet, is forced to move back home to care for the mother she’s not spoken to for 14 years, bringing her face to face with the people and place that she has been running from all that time. The terrible mistake she made haunts her every minute of the day and has left her feeling that she is bad News and better off alone.

This is a story of friendship, community and forgiveness. A story about loving yourself and how there is a joy to be found in helping those around us. This book warmed me from the inside, it is uplifting, heartwarming and tender. It is a quick, weekend, easy read and very enjoyable. 

This is a first for me by the author and one I enjoyed and would read more of their work. The book cover is eye-catching and appealing and would spark my interest if in a bookshop. Thank you very much to the author, publisher and Netgalley for this ARC.

3.5/5.
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If you believe the world to be a cruel and uncaring place, I have the antidote. Read The Imperfect Art of Caring and have your faith restored.

An absolutely beautiful story with the most gorgeous cast of characters. The sign of an amazing book is when you immediately want to re-read it after turning the last page. As I did here.

Violet Strong has been leading a solitary life for fourteen years. She believes she is bad news and should stay away from people. When she is forced to return home to care for her Mum, she is reluctant to say the least. Home is haunted by bad memories.

But home is also the place where Adam lives. Her best friend. Her first and only love.

And while things don't go smoothly at first, Violet begins to rebuild her relationship with her Mum, and along the way she finds a way to enable and support the gorgeous Tammy, a girl who has kindness running through every vein in her body. We should all be more Tammy.

This is a story of second chances, of forgiveness, of love. Of family and community. But most of all, it is a story about the power of kindness. Quite simply, kindness can change lives.
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Violet has distanced herself from her hometown, her family and her upbringing. She's not a natural open book but isn't standoffish either. 
When her estranged mum takes ill, Violet returns home to take care of her, but it's not as easy as she'd like. Can she find her caring side, and even learn to love herself in the process?
A heart warming story, I loved the wide range of characters from young to old, and it was a great read.

Thanks so much to NetGalley and the publishers for letting me access an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest feedback.
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Not my usual kind of read however as I’m currently caring for my mum I was interested to see how it resonated.

Violet is forced to return to her home town to care for her mum, at her sisters request, after an absence of many years.  The reasons why she left become apparent as we read on, and a large range of endearing characters bring a welcome lift to what is a stressful and heart wrenching situation.  Violet’s belief in herself develops and she begins to forgive herself for past mistakes and make amends.  An uplifting read.

Thanks to Netgalley the author and publishers HQ for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you so much to @hqstories for my #gifted copy of this e book. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved the main characters of Violet and Tammy, and loved to see their relationship grow and develop throughout the story. The other characters that formed the Helping Hands group, all added to the story as well and I just found myself easily immersed in each and every one of their lives. And of course, I loved the overarching romance between Violet and Adam! Predictable, but it added to the story. For me, I really enjoyed the links to book blogging, that Violet demonstrated more at the start of the book. I even highlighted (on my kindle - calm down) quite a few quotes and passages that did make me smile as I was reading. I also found the inclusion of ‘carers’ interesting and how the book explored their experiences and feelings. 

I’m going to leave you with a few of the phrases I highlighted! 

‘There’s temporary comfort to be found in digitally indulging your own bullshit, even for just a little while’

‘Books are safe places where you can become someone else for a while’ 

‘Reading for pleasure instead of achievement is the point’
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Really enjoyable. Can you ever truly love somebody if you don't love yourself? Is Glenys really as difficult as she first appears to be? Will Adam turn out to be the man for her?
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Having worked as a Carer or Care giver in past years & now having to be Cared for due to health issues I developed after retiring this Book so beautifully & very sympathetically written resonated with me hugely in many , many ways. 
The characters remined me of many people I have know over the years so I could empathise with people such as Violet ,& also with Claire who's husband Abbas has invisible health issues ( Mental Health ) as does Violet's mother . I have health issues physical ones that are also invisible so if people saw me they couldn't understand why my husband was caring for me , but on days when the Pain was so bad I can hardly walk . During the Pandemic we are all too aware of Loneliness & alone-ness , & these are issues that are growing daily in our society . This is a Book I will recommend to so many as excellent reading . #FB, #Instagram,#GoodReads,#NetGalley, #Amazon.co.uk, #<img src="https://www.netgalley.com/badge/358a5cecda71b11036ec19d9f7bf5c96d13e2c55" width="80" height="80" alt="100 Book Reviews" title="100 Book Reviews"/>, #<img src="https://www.netgalley.com/badge/ef856e6ce35e6d2d729539aa1808a5fb4326a415" width="80" height="80" alt="Reviews Published" title="Reviews Published"/>, #<img src="https://www.netgalley.com/badge/aa60c7e77cc330186f26ea1f647542df8af8326a" width="80" height="80" alt="Professional Reader" title="Professional Reader"/>.
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Violet hasn’t been back to her hometown or seen her mother in 14 years, when her sister Jodie announces that she’s moving to the other side of the world. Their mum needs someone around, so it now falls to Violet to move back home and take care of a woman who really doesn’t want her around. Her new life as a carer has more than its fair share of challenges, so Violet seeks help amongst the other local carers, including her childhood friend Adam. Can Violet finally face the past and realise that perhaps she isn’t quite the Bad News she believes she is? This is a heartwarming story of community, friendship and found family with spots of romance and heartrending emotion. There are so many loveable characters who highlight real social issues that need attention. The lack of resources and support that real carers face is all here on these pages and you’ll feel inspired to make a change on their behalf.
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This is a charming and heart-warming story of friendship, the trials and tribulations of family life and the role of a carer told beautifully and honestly.

When Violet drops everything to come and take care of her mother she returns to her home village, which she had left under quite a cloud. Things had happened in the past and we gradually learn why she was so nervous to return to Lowerstone and why she’s anxious about how she will be received.

Some things haven’t changed; the corner shop, the library and the locals – all with long memories and not necessarily ready to greet her with open arms. Violet has all of this to contend with as well as taking on a whole new role caring for her mother, whom she hasn’t even seen for 14 years and now needs live-in care.

Not only does Violet assume the role of carer for her mother but, she also befriends neighbours too, one of whom in particular, Tammy, really needs help. Tammy has been fending for herself without her mother, she’s slipped between the gaps of care and is struggling. Violet helps her with the bigger things like arranging a care assessment but, also the little things like learning to use a kettle. She re-introduces Tammy to the joy of libraries and writing, with the introduction of their own local newspaper.

Violet is warm, charming and a real delight, she has a real heart of gold and for her it’s all about the little things, the small wins and the chance to prove what a good and genuine person she really is.

Tammy wants to help Violet too, to repay her for the help she has so generously given, in doing so she opens up old wounds which Violet is forced to confront head on. We see Violet’s vulnerability exposed and how she just wants to make amends and make her return to Lowerstone a positive change for the future. Whilst she can’t change the past she can improve the future, and particularly so for those who need help the most.

This is warm, charming and captures the essence of caring and the role of carer; the many hurdles faced and the difficulty in getting through the red tape to get to the help that is really genuinely needed.

There are also some moments when the carers take a step back and realise that they are not the parents who need to look after a young child, they have to take some time out for themselves too and I enjoyed these special shared times.

Violet is a real character and I so much enjoyed meeting her and getting to know the lovely inhabitants of Lowerstone village.

I can’t fit this into any one box of ‘feel-good’, or ‘uplifting fiction’ or ‘inspirational fiction’ but, it encompasses all of these into a beautifully brought together story of trust, compassion and hope and is eye-opening, thought-provoking and a joy to read.
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I really enjoyed The Imperfect Art of Caring it's a heartwarming read.

This is a story of friendship, community, forgiveness and much more. 

A story about loving yourself and how there is joy to be found in helping those around us. 

The main character is Violet who isn't really living she's just existing and then her sister comes to visit and everything changes. 

Violet is forces to move back to her childhood home to care for her estranged elderly mother who she hasn't spoken to for 14 years. 

She feels that she's bad news and has been running from her family, her friends and the whole village pretty much her whole life. 

Can Violet really care for her mother and make a home for herself in the community she ran away from? 

And can she learn to forgive and love herself? 

I really felt for Violent for all that she had went through and the fallout following the fire. 

It was so heartwarming to see the community come together and rally for one another.

There's twists and turns and knock backs and even some romance as well as some really sad moments.

The Imperfect Art of Caring shines an important light on the hard work that the millions of carers do day in and day out and the many uphill battles they have to fight just to provide the care to their loved ones that they deserve. 

Mental health is also explored within the story and done so really empathetically and well. 

I'd love to have a support group like theirs in my own life. 

A touching and heartwarming read I absolutely recommend.
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Thoroughly enjoyed this touching story of Violet Strong who is called back to care for her elderly mother when her sister moves to New Zealand.  We follow Violet as she leaves Manchester and embarks on a journey of self-discovery and forgiveness as she moves back in with her mum after leaving home 14 years ago after an accident which she believes she caused.  She has to become a carer to her mum, but it's difficult as her mum doesn't want her around.  Violet's former home has been divided into flats in the meantime, and it's her job to get the house sold so her mum can go into a care home and Violet can go back to her own life in Manchester.  

Let's meet the tenants: One of the tenants is her first love Adam and his dad Bill, who are also in a similar situation as Violet, caring for an aging parent.  Tammy is a young lady in one of the flats, has just lost her mum and finding it difficult to do things for herself as her mum had done it all for her.  With Violet's guiding hand Tammy discovers she can do more for herself than she thinks.  Mrs. Robson, the third tenant works in the local library and sets up a neighborhood watch group that people don't attend as she is a bit bossy even though she has her heart in the right place.  

With Violet set on selling the house, she types out letters to the tenants but delays giving them notice, only to put them in her handbag until a further time when she is ready to deal with that part.  Of course, you can imagine things won't go well when the tenants receive the letters by accident.

It overall a really nice story dealing with the day-to-day lives of people who are carers and their wards, along with others around them that are affected by the situation and those that need help and stepping up to the plate.  

I received this book from Netgalley in return for an honest review.
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This was a lovely story - I especially enjoyed the characters of Violet and Tammy. Violet has to come back to the village she left 14 years ago to care for her mother who she has a very difficult relationship with - Being a carer is hard work, especially to someone who you are related to. Violet helps to bring the village back to life and she helps Tammy, along with others to live an independent life.

A good insight to caring for a family member while trying to maintain your own life and dreams.
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A warm affectionate tale with good well rounded characters.  It is a feel good story but does have an underlying message which is important and with which a lot of people will identify.  Maybe a shade predictable but well worth a read.
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A book about carers which gave a flavour of what it's like to suddenly find yourself catapulted into a new job that you have no real preparation for. i enjoyed the set up at the beginning, but it fell a little flat for me from the middle onwards and I ended up skimming the last 30% because it all got a little predictable and things fell into place unbelievably easily. Also I found the hospital scenes unrealistic. Overall though, a great, heartwarming read.
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This book has made me think about the role of a carer, the unsung heroes that are working away making a huge difference to other peoples lives. 
Violet thinks she’s ruined the village that she grew up in and really does not want to return to care for her mother, however she comes to realise that she needs the help of her new and old friends to help her achieve her dreams. 
Such a heartwarming story that had me crying on more than one occasion.
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I had previously read and enjoyed 'The extraordinary hope of Dawn Brightside' by Jessica Run so I was intrigued to see what the author's new book 'The imperfect art of caring' had to offer. Both of these books had characters that you just really end up caring for and worrying about their outcomes. From the start, I was intrigued to meet Violet and to find out why she was 'bad news'. The story was interesting and I wanted to know what would happen to the residents of Malvern House. Thank you for the opportunity to read this!
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Realistic, identifiable and heartwarming. The Imperfect Art of Caring shows so much in its character's lives. Find the full review below the blurb. Thanks first to HQ Stories for gifting me the book and for having me on the blog tour.

Caring, it's a position so many people find themselves in and there are the challenging conversations to have with family for what to do for best. This is the situation sisters Violet and Jodie find themselves in, when it comes to the time to chat about what to do with their mum, Glenys. Then there's also the added complexity that Violet hasn't seen Jodie for years and what to do with her mum's house, thinking of residential care and also caring for her in the interim period, whilst they decide what to do for best and sort out necessary arrangements. There's also the assessments, when Violet, ends up looking into care homes and the way that Glenys is feels true to life.

There is some humour and some lovely descriptions and book series titles, blogs, life to be lived, which gives it a 3 dimensional feel, because when you're dealing with caring there are other things going on too and the world doesn't just stop. This book is heartwarming and shows kindness within its characters.

The book moves onto Tammy, who is also needing care. There's only her and her mum and Tammy, who has a disability is trying to live independently, something that her mum finds a bit hard to get her head around at times. The descriptions of how silence is, is intense.
Their stories converge as they end up being neighbours. There are thoughtful, poignant moments throughout and some wise advice from a guy called Adam Croft.
It's interesting seeing Tammy trying to get on with her life, but also bearing in mind all that her mum has told her. Violet also helps a bit and gives some sound advice. There's also a search for Tammy's father, but also a bit of doubt kicks in as to whether it is a good idea or not. In the meantime, it is interesting and positive seeing Tammy progress in life.

For both Violet's and Tammy's stories of how life is playing out for them, there is strength of character through the emotions and the getting through life the best they can. There is also a bit of potential romance in the offering.

There's the highs and lows of caring that are within the book and whether you're caring for someone or not, even though this is a fictional book, there's lots both sets of people can take away with them. For carers, it is that it is an "Imperfect Art of Caring" that people try their best to muddle through, and also gives ideas of how to find some support.
For the cared for, there is the drive and determination running through life as well as support.
For those who don't care for anyone in the sense that this book is talking about, it gives a pretty good picture of the situations faced, at least from a point of view, but without being too heavy.

There's also the care shown for libraries and a campaign to support them, which is pleasing as so many are lost. It also demonstrates that they are places to ask people for help in. It's short, but really stands out.

The book is realistic and shows that caring is indeed an "Imperfect Art", which, anyone who is caring for someone in any situation will know and will have experienced some of what is in the book to a certain extent, depending on situations, including juggling their own life. I see the book as pretty realistic as I am an unpaid carer, writing a blog and juggling other life things as well as caring.
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This was a quick and easy read with real heart. I did find parts of it to be a bit 'convenient' but it didn't impact on my enjoyment of the book.

The book opened my eyes to the struggles that carers go through and there were some truly heartbreaking moments for not only the main character but the side characters too. I loved the whole cast of interesting characters and am very grateful to the publisher for the opportunity to read an early copy.
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Firstly a big thank you to the publishers for my copy to review on netgalley and apologies in my delay to reading.

I lived in Dover during my teens so it’s always a pleasure to connect with a author in that way.

This is a life affirming story of love ,loss forgiveness and caring .

A great mix of characters who each bring something to the story

I have 2 children with autism so I know all about caring and the struggles and challenges often presented. Jessica captures this effortlessly.

Relatable ,life affirming and warming.

Friendships ,family , new chances love are the main aspects of this uplifting story. I highly recommend.

Published 25th November
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The book is written in the present tense which I found hard to read. I am not sure why authors use this method as for me, it makes the book disjointed.
It’s a decent read and I liked the premise of the book
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