Review – Cross Stitch by Amanda James

By | December 21, 2014

A stitch in time may save nine but a cross-stitch spells disaster … 

It should be the happiest day of her life. Despite past heartache, Sarah Yates is finally marrying her true love, John Needler.

But Sarah and John can’t pretend they’re an ordinary couple. They’re time travellers and where time travel is involved, nothing runs smoothly. One minute Sarah is saying her vows and the next she is hurtled back in time to a country that is on the cusp of war, and into the company of the bad-tempered Veronica Ratchet. 

Newly-wedded bliss is certainly not on the cards for Sarah as events see her travelling from the British punk era to 1950’s America. And even when she returns home she can’t escape Veronica. But when the past and the present collide, that’s when the real problems start …

Back in March 2013, I reviewed A Stitch In Time by Amanda James and made no secret of how much I enjoyed it (my review is here) – great fun, the product of an exceptional imagination, highly original, and a book that left me with a smile on my face. After a brief detour to produce the equally excellent – but very different – Somewhere Beyond The Sea (you’ll find my review here), the author is back with a second book in the Time Traveller series, Cross Stitch.  Published for Kindle by Choc Lit on 9 December, I’m delighted to report that I loved it every bit as much as the first.

This book takes up the story of Sarah (a Stitch) and John (a Needle), joining them as they prepare for their wedding – the controllers (the Spindly Ones) have made an exception for them, not wiped their memories, and they’re preparing for a happy future.  But there’s a small cloud over their happiness – Sarah has agreed to continue working as a Stitch in Time, repairing problems in the past that can affect the future – and her first mission happens on her wedding day. I won’t spoil the book for others by describing the missions, but there’s some vivid historical detail around (among others) Second World War Southampton, 1960s and 1970s Britain and some quite perfect links to characters we met in the earlier book.

At the centre of it all is Sarah’s quite lovely relationship with John – complete with all the obvious problems caused by Sarah’s disappearance, and they develop into a couple you really care about.  But there’s a new character introduced in this book in the magnificent Veronica Ratchet – a Stitch from an earlier time with whom Sarah’s travels become inextricably linked. She’s wonderfully drawn – there are some particularly entertaining exchanges as Veronica remains a product of her time an upbringing at the most inappropriate times, and her interactions with feisty Sarah are ever so well written.  She becomes a more fully rounded character as the book progresses, and there’s a beautiful scene near the end of the book… no, I’m not saying more, you need to read the book!

As entertaining and tongue in cheek as the earlier book, full of some really clever and original ideas, and exceptionally readable and well-written, I’d recommend Cross Stitch most highly as an escapist and fun read, but one with a real heart.  I really loved it.

My thanks to Lusana at Choc Lit for sending me my e-copy for review. The preparation for Christmas in the wake of my Vietnamese adventure prevented me doing it this time round, but I’ll be looking more closely at Amanda’s books with a special feature in the New Year.  And I must mention that – for a limited time – A Stitch In Time is available free for Kindle (please check before clicking). Go on, give it a try – then read this thoroughly enjoyable sequel.  

Amanda James was born in Sheffield and now lives in Bristol with her husband and two cats. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, singing and spending lots of time with her grandson. She also admits to spending far too much time chatting on Twitter and Facebook – she also has a really excellent blog.  Amanda recently left her teaching role (teaching history to sixth form pupils) to follow her ambition to live her life doing what she most enjoys—writing.     

4 thoughts on “Review – Cross Stitch by Amanda James

  1. Unknown

    I thoroughly enjoyed A Stitch in Time and am looking forward to the sequel. Veronica Ratchet sounds a wonderful character!
    Angela Britnell

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