Friday, September 5, 2014

#REVIEW - The Hatmaker's Heart by Carla Stewart


For Nell Marchwold, bliss is seeing the transformation when someone gets a glimpse in the mirror while wearing one of her creations and feels beautiful. Nell has always strived to create hats that bring out a woman's best qualities. She knows she's fortunate to have landed a job as an apprentice designer at the prominent Oscar Fields Millinery in New York City. Yet when Nell's fresh designs begin to catch on, her boss holds her back from the limelight, claiming the stutter she's had since childhood reflects poorly on her and his salon.

But it seems Nell's gift won't be hidden by Oscar's efforts. Soon an up-and-coming fashion designer is seeking her out as a partner of his 1922 collection. The publicity leads to an opportunity for Nell to make hats in London for a royal wedding. There, she sees her childhood friend, Quentin, and an unexpected spark kindles between them. But thanks to her success, Oscar is determined to keep her. As her heart tugs in two directions, Nell must decide what she is willing to sacrifice for her dream, and what her dream truly is.

My Take:
3.5 Stars
I loved how this story really portrayed sweet, young Nell's love of creating hats. She was extremely brave at this young age, coming from London, England, here to New York City to fulfill her dream of becoming a Milliner, designing and owning her own milliner store one day. First it meant she had to work somewhere for experience, such as this department store to get her work and her name out there. The unfortunate thing is the man she worked under. I kept reminding myself that this was 1922, but even so, we still had some pretty strong women back then. Nell was not strong when it came to confrontation, and I just did not like seeing this character being portrayed almost as a doormat for her boss to stomp all over on. She would not speak up for herself, and she took the verbal abuse without fighting back. 
The problem was she had a lisp. She was afraid her lisp would come out more under anxiety and she would be teased even more cruelly had people heard it, especially when they were angry. I just wanted her to stand up to her boss a little bit at least, and put him in his place! Nope. Nel learned at a young age to not talk back during a confrontation and just accept any brutal attack on her character because if anyone heard her lisp, they brought that to the table as well by teasing her horribly. Not fair of them, and not fair Nel didn't feel she had the opportunity to stand up for herself. 
On the bright side, I loved how the writer was able to get us to feel how she felt as she touched the fabrics for the hats, molded the hats, and the overall satisfaction that everything all came together into what is her final design. She had a gift, always knowing what hat would look the best on any woman, and she pretty much designed the hat that popped into her head. The clients LOVED her! Soon her MEAN boss would notice this, take the credit for HER work, and put her down because of her lisp. Little did he know she had a very caring customer give her a business card for a specialized speech therapist. She went to that person for lessons and her speech improved immensely, except still when she was extremely anxious again.
Nel's company got the opportunity to go to London, specifically Nell, to make hats for the Royal family's wedding that was coming! What an opportunity! Nel excelled at what she does best, and she even ran into an old friend she knew since school, Quentin. Her boss does not like how popular her designs were, and I believe out of fear of losing her, he does some very mean and drastic things. Finally Nel finds her voice and stands up to him!
What bothered me the most about this book is the ending. The author saved everything at the end for the last 5% of it. So many things happened and were crammed into this tiny amount of time. The author should have taken at least a good 10% and not rushed everything like she did. There was no reason to do so, in my opinion.
I received this book for FREE from the Publisher, FaithWords, and NetGalley, in exchange to read and write a review about it. "Free" means I was provided with ZERO MONIES to do so, but to enjoy the pure pleasure of reading it and giving my own honest opinion no matter whether it is positive or negative. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the law set here:, The Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, 16 CFR 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising Federal Acquisition Regulation.

ebook: $  9.99
print:   $15.00

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