Cover Image: Make Do and Mend at Applewell

Make Do and Mend at Applewell

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Member Reviews

I have visited the town that this book was set in. I expected it to be some form of a revisit, but almost everyone I met I met for the first time, and one does not need to have read any other books set in this place without prior knowledge.
The narration was quite brilliant, and I only planned to listen to it in parts while I worked my way through several audiobooks that I have pending. Once I got into the story, it was so simple and involved that I had to see it all the way through before moving on.
I have to use the word simple once again as I talk about this audiobook since the plot is of a couple with ambitions and thoughts that they feel shy about sharing with each other for different reasons. This story is about how they find themselves back to each other over differences of opinion, taking care of their three kids as well as the hopes they harbour.
It is not exactly a profound story, but it has its own impact. I had tears in my eyes at times, and at others, I wanted to yell at them to just talk it out, but the situations were realistic enough to understand why talking did not happen when it should have.
I highly recommend this book to fans of the family-focused genre. The narrative style and the ease of listening (that had me deeply involved, like I was actually watching the images make their way across a screen) are the main reason this book went from a four-star read to a full five-star listen.
I would definitely be trying out more by the author and recommend this to others who want to read something straightforward but involved.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.

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Depicted as a holiday romance knitted with tingled threads of thriftiness, secrets, and second chances, "Make Do and Mend in Applewell" by Lilac Mills unfolds against the cozy backdrop of the Welsh village, Applewell. Lottie's knack for upcycling and keeping family finances afloat has always been her forte, but when Henry's job loss remains concealed, their marriage becomes a patched quilt of misunderstandings. As Christmas approaches, can the warmth of the season mend their fractured bond?”

The book presents an engaging narrative set in the picturesque village of Applewell, radiating cozy holiday vibes and an eco-conscious theme of upcycling. While the story delves into Lottie's creativity and the charming Welsh village, it tackles the strained dynamics between Lottie and Henry. The dual point of view storytelling provides insights into the couple's challenges, yet the lack of communication between them felt frustratingly repetitive. Lottie's suspicions and Henry's silence created a tense atmosphere that seemed stretched too thin, affecting the narrative's depth. The book offers a charming portrayal of Applewell, a place that feels cozy and environmentally conscious. Despite its position as the second installment in the series, it stands well as a standalone read. The Christmas setting adds warmth to the story, setting a festive tone for the narrative. Having gone through the story in an audiobook, I’m happy to praise Claire Morgan for her dual POV storytelling, and giving the characters their own voice.

Overall, "Make Do and Mend in Applewell" is a heartwarming holiday tale focusing on thriftiness, family bonds, and second chances. While it exudes a cozy atmosphere and portrays the struggles of a family during the holiday season, the repetitive nature of certain themes and the strained communication between the main characters might impede some readers' enjoyment.

Special thanks to NetGalley, Saga Egmont Audio, and the editorial team for giving me the opportunity to review the ARC in audiobook format and to you, my reader, for taking the time to read this honest personal book review.

If you are interested in other of my book reviews, make sure to follow me on GoodReads! #MakeDoandMendatApplewell #NetGalley #LifeLongLearning

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While this seems like it's meant to be a modern-day retelling of the Gift of the Magi, that story is filled with love and respect for one's spouse. This one, on the other hand, is filled with deceit, disrespect and suspicion.

I really didn't like the way Henry went about lying to his wife. It wasn't just a white lie, but an all-out deceitful lie that he perpetuated for well over a month.

And while I appreciated Lottie's ingenuity and how she saw the best in things others would pass by, it didn't make sense to me that the two of them would go from this wonderful relationship both characters thought they had to her immediately suspecting he's having an affair. Even when she looked for the signs of an affair and didn't find any, she was quick to believe her husband was capable of cheating.

It just didn't make sense to me. So I found it hard to want to cheer for anyone in the story, and it seemed like it dragged on way too long.

Thank you to Lilac Mills, Saga Egmont Audio, and NetGalley for an advance review copy.

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Bio: Can their marriage be mended in time for Christmas?
Lottie has always been thrifty. As a mother of three, it's even more important that she stretches the household budget as far as possible. Luckily, Lottie’s penchant for taking broken items and upcycling them has worked wonders for living on a shoestring.
Henry can’t face telling Lottie he’s been made redundant. Instead, he pretends to go to work as usual while frantically job hunting. The race is on to find another role before Lottie discovers he’s another useless item for her collection – one that is beyond repair.
Christmas is a time for giving, but will Lottie give Henry another chance if she learns about his lies? And can Henry give Lottie and their kids the life he so desperately wants them to have?

Post Date Recap: This book date was a setup. Translation: This is an ARC of Bookshops and Bonedust that I received from NetGalley to provide an unbiased review. Thank you to the team for allowing me this opportunity.

This was an audiobook and I have the same feelings about the narrator that I do about the overall book honestly. The narrator was okay. A single narrator for a dual POV story which is a little bit of a struggle for me because I do love to have a dual POV told in two voices.

This is a slightly more socially acceptable time of year for a holiday story, so at least I can say that. But really, I am a rulebreaker at heart (if you knew me you’d KNOW how completely unbelievable that particular statement is) so if Hallmark can broadcast Christmas stories all year long I certainly can read them.

I feel like this story had A LOT of potential that was never realized. Lottie, our female lead, upcycles furniture for her family. Somewhat because she enjoys it and somewhat because she tries to make her husband’s paycheck stretch so that they can put an addition on their home. She has an Instagram with a modest number of followers (something I feel like could have been inflated a bit and created a new facet to the story) who are invested in watching her before/during/after transformation of different items for personal use or for friends.

When her husband, Henry, is laid off from his job (and we learn that this is the second job this has happened with as the market for his career is shrinking) he is too proud to actually discuss it with his wife and, instead behaves in odd and suspicious ways that lead Lottie to believe he is cheating.

Here’s where this book missed the mark for me personally:
Lottie’s Instagram could have easily been inflated a bit to have a growing following which would give her a bit of social media influencer status. The breadcrumbs for this were all there, but it was never actually realized on page which was disappointing to me.
One word: REPETITION. Oh. Emm. Gee. Seriously I felt as though I was beaten over the head with Henry’s self-loathing and Lottie’s suspicions and their financial issues. Let’s be honest, in 2023 I am pretty sure nearly everyone who isn’t a Bezos, Gates, or Musk has some financial issues. Let me escape that in my reading, not relive it.
Lack of communication. I completely understand that miscommunication tropes are popular and completely understandable. Men and women have very different communication styles and a lot is missed along the way HOWEVER when the stage is set for a married couple, this deep of a level of miscommunication/lack of communication/dishonesty is concerning and, truthfully, the quick, easy resolution feels REALLY wrong given the depth of their communication issues.

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Lovely audiobook read. The book follows a miscommunication theme which can be frustrating but this was enjoyable and easy to listen to during my day. Great!

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4/5 stars! I typically don't enjoy the lack of communication/miscommunication tropes but this was an exception. I loved the little life lesson woven throughout and how Lottie and Henry grew and changed.

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This was a lot of fun and just what I was in the mood for. I was able to listen to it all in one go while I worked

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Lottie is thrifty and as a mom of 3 she needs to make sure she stretches her budget as far as possible. Henry pretends to go to work every day while he is frantically looking for another job because he can't face telling her the truth.

Make Do and Mend in Applewell is the first book I have read by Lilac Mills, and I enjoyed it! I received this book as an audiobook ARC and the narrator did a great job at bringing the story to life. This one gave me all the feels and I couldn't help but feel what Lottie was feeling, both good and bad. Books with relationships that lack communication because of insecurities, always pulls at my heartstrings. I found Make Do and Mend in Applewell a heartwarming story and I am open to read more books by this author.

Thank you so much NetGalley and Saga Egmont Audio for the ARC and giving me the chance to read and review this story honestly.

Happy reading!

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It's a sweet and gentle book that transports us to a family that is going through some problems, but solves them with dedication and love.

I really enjoyed the book, especially the family dimension it had. I loved the family moments, but I also appreciated when they made time for themselves and what they wanted. I felt the characters and their emotions, their affection, their concern, their frustration and their desire to protect those they love.

Of course, in order to protect, secrets accumulated and only caused problems, but even so, they demonstrated their support and willingness to fight for each other, with small gestures or even as big as a door and a piano.

I really liked the narrator, I think she did an excellent job bringing a voice to each character and individualizing them.

I really liked the book. It grew on me. Super sweet.

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A really lovely story that follows on beautifully from the previous book I read.
It felt truly realistic, dealing with very current and real scenarios that people are facing.
The relationships between the characters were easy, they gelled well and it really did feel like you were a fly in the wall in the community.
I loved the plot, it wasn't quite typical of these kinds of books. Not exploring new relationships but watching a couple overcome trials of married life.
It was narrated really well, I feel like the reader had a good grasp on the Welsh theme and it truly felt like they were telling us about a local village.
A brilliant listen, I look forward to more from this author.

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Absolutely awful. Poorly written, with a story line that meanders and characters it is impossible to care about. Give it a pass!

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Sorry DNF.

I couldn't get through the Male characters lying and woe me, I love my children but they are annoying! But I am not a parent so maybe its just not relatable for me.

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Narrated by Claire Morgan ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
by Lilac Mills ⭐⭐ 2.5

While I really enjoyed the premise of this book (the up cycling, finding a new path) I was disappointed in the is he/isn't he story line. It went on way too long and the story would have been so much more uplifting and engaging if that was alot shorter and it focused more on their relationship with the new roles/ job opportunities.

Due to my negative review of this book I will not be leaving a public review for this as I have not paid for it.

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This was such a cute little story! It has some really good themes - recycling an re-using, the importance of family - and the most of the characters and settings were lovely.

I did find Henry's behaviour to be a bit problematic, however, I suppose I can understand the reasons for how he behaved.

The Christmas theme was also a little welcome element, as I love descriptions of snowy days, and snuggling in with some hot chocolate, or decorating the Christmas tree, and they really get me excited for the upcoming festive season.

I enjoyed the narrator - she had a voice that was well suited to the feelings generated by this book. Her different voices and tones for different characters made it easy to identify whose part of the story we were listening to.

Definitely a good read to get myself starting to feel the Christmas excitement.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of “Make Do and Mend at Applewell” in exchange for an honest review. I did enjoy the author’s writing and the setting. I’m not a huge fan of the miscommunication trope. To me this is not a love story and is more of a cautionary tale and just a really good example of people who need therapy. That being said, I did feel happy for the family at the end of the book. This feels like something that would translate well on the screen. 2.5

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I'm absolutely loving this cute series set by the coast in Wales. Such gorgeous escape read about Lottie and Henry. Henry has been made redundant and is reluctant to tell his wife. He's acting suspicious in Lotties eyes, so she thinks he's having an affair.

I just love this couple, but I wish they would talk to each other! Narrated by Claire Morgan, I just love her Welsh accent, I could listen to her all day long.

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A very sweet family in trouble tale set in an idyllic Welsh coastal town. I do wish the couple was better at communication, but I enjoyed the DIY project aspect as a crafter

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Make Do and Mend in Applewell - Lilac Mills
Narrated by Claire Morgan

I received an advance review copy for free thanks to NetGalley and Saga Egmont Audio and I am leaving this review voluntarily

Lottie has always been thrifty. As a mother of three, it's even more important that she stretches the household budget as far as possible. Luckily, Lottie’s penchant for taking broken items and upcycling them has worked wonders for living on a shoestring.

Henry can’t face telling Lottie he’s been made redundant. Instead, he pretends to go to work as usual while frantically job hunting. The race is on to find another role before Lottie discovers he’s another useless item for her collection – one that is beyond repair.

This is a lovely, heart-warming, Christmassy read. In a very realistic novel, Lottie and Henry struggle to communicate about his redundancy which leads to Lottie growing very suspicious. The chapters alternate between Henry and Lottie.

A well-written, engaging book that is such a sweet read. I would highly recommend this book, during the upcoming festive season.

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A modern version of the Gift of the Magi, where a couple wants only to please their partner, mistaking physical objects with the things that matter most; love, respect, and trust. A lovely Christmas story

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