Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Hatmaker's Heart by Carla Stewart

This is one of those books where I'll invariably feel torn if I have to give it a rating. I enjoyed the story, but I felt it was quite different from what the blurb was. So, ignoring the blurb, here's my synopsis of the story:

Nell Marchworld may be related to English nobility, but in New York, she's just a lowly hat-maker. However, one of her hats catches the eye of a wealthy client and she's introduced to more and more opportunities. However, her boss is so terrible that she wonders if she'll ever achieve the success she wants. Oh, and there's something in there about a romance too.

For me, the enjoyable part of the story would be reading about Nell's struggle to make a success of herself. She's clearly a talented hatmaker, but way too unassertive (I feel her pain, I'd probably be unassertive in her case too). The problem is that her designs are too modern for her stuffy old-school boss, who happens to be a quit. The obvious thing to do would be to quit, but the chance of having her own label means that Nell will slog through whatever hardships her boss puts in her way.

And that childhood friend Quentin? Well, she definitely pines for him the whole novel, but I never saw a hint of him liking her. I mean, that guy has a girlfriend and, at one point, was engaged to said girlfriend. As far as the I could tell, he wasn't interested in her.

But an even bigger disappointment than the "love story" would be the ending. There's supposed to be a twist, but personally, it felt very forced and unbelievable. Nell spends the whole book being mentally abused by her boss, but she leaves because of... something her boss did (and not something he did to her, or a friend). I can't say that I was convinced by the ending.

Overall, I enjoyed most of the novel. I didn't even mind the lack of love story, since that's never a main pull for me. However, the forced ended let me down.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

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