When Amelia wrote her things to do before she’s 30 list, it included living in the countryside, with space and fresh air. Instead she’s living in a tiny flat in Hackney with her husband Jack and cat, Dexter. She’s not exactly happy at her teaching job either, so when she unearths her list, she convinced Jack that a move to the countryside would be perfect. But nothing is ever as easy as it seems.

Amelia Grey’s Fireside dream was not the cosy read I was expecting and there were multiple things that irritated me about the main character. I don’t think anyone in their right mind would quit their job before their mortgage was finalised. And if they did, at least wouldn’t phone up and tell the bank before they’d got another job. She’s meant to be a teacher, someone you hope would have common sense.

She acts like a spoiled brat a lot of the time, incredibly selfish and Jack has the patience of a saint not to turn on her. She gets all huffy when the cottage isn’t perfect and it’s all her own fault (again with the very stupid behaviour, won’t go into details otherwise I’ll tell you the whole plot). Her senseless spending got on my nerves so much, you buy a house after quitting your job, you’re going to hold onto money, right? Not Amelia Grey! She’s a bit unfair to her mum and a wet blanket when it comes to standing up to her dad.

The storyline about not wanting a baby was the final straw. If you’ve been married for years and bought property together, more than once, you think the topic of starting a family would have been discussed? As in one person doesn’t want kids and the other does. The resolution of this conflict really annoyed me, from the point of view of someone who doesn’t want kids. You just aren’t that easily swayed.

The story of the new house in the country doesn’t start until well into middle of the book either. I thought it would be an autumnal read but it’s not really, it’s more about moving house without using your brain. There’s lots of different threads going on too, I wouldn’t have minded more on the old owner or general village life. I also quite liked her sister, although again, everything was resolved a bit too easily. A risk you take when you try and pack so much in.

I think I must have carried on reading in the hope of an unhappy ending… or maybe it’s just that I haven’t finished many books lately. But this really was a let down and not even stupidly romantic. I think you’d be much better off with something by Milly Johnson or Tricia Ashley.

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Also reviewed @ Page to Stage Reviews | Reading in the Sunshine | Jess Hearts Books

Book Source: Purchased