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VOTE ON OUR BOOK CLUB READ FOR MARCH

Happy March ladies!! Lovely to have you here with us.

Here are the choices for this month’s read. Have a read through and see what you think. You can then cast your vote on the pinned post on our Facebook group HERE

We will then get together online in the group at the end of the month in our Facebook group to discuss the chosen book.

 

MISS BENSON’S BEETLE – RACHEL JOYCE

It is 1950. London is still reeling from World War II, and Margery Benson, a schoolteacher and spinster, is trying to get through life, surviving on scraps. One day, she reaches her breaking point, abandoning her job and small existence to set out on an expedition to the other side of the world in search of her childhood obsession: an insect that may or may not exist–the golden beetle of New Caledonia. When she advertises for an assistant to accompany her, the woman she ends up with is the last person she had in mind. Fun-loving Enid Pretty in her tight-fitting pink suit and pom-pom sandals seems to attract trouble wherever she goes. But together these two British women find themselves drawn into a cross-ocean adventure that exceeds all expectations and delivers something neither of them expected to find: the transformative power of friendship.

 

 

OUR WIVES UNDER THE SEA – JULIA ARMFIELD

Miri thinks she has got her wife back, when Leah finally returns after a deep sea mission that ended in catastrophe. It soon becomes clear, though, that Leah may have come back wrong. Whatever happened in that vessel, whatever it was they were supposed to be studying before they were stranded on the ocean floor, Leah has carried part of it with her, onto dry land and into their home.

To have the woman she loves back should mean a return to normal life, but Miri can feel Leah slipping from her grasp. Memories of what they had before – the jokes they shared, the films they watched, all the small things that made Leah hers – only remind Miri of what she stands to lose. Living in the same space but suddenly separate, Miri comes to realize that the life that they had might be gone.

Our Wives Under The Sea is the debut novel from the critically acclaimed author of salt slow. It’s a story of falling in love, loss, grief, and what life there is in the deep, deep sea.

 

HAMNET – MAGGIE O’FARRELL

Drawing on Maggie O’Farrell’s long-term fascination with the little-known story behind Shakespeare’s most enigmatic play, Hamnet is a luminous portrait of a marriage, at its heart the loss of a beloved child.

Warwickshire in the 1580s. Agnes is a woman as feared as she is sought after for her unusual gifts. She settles with her husband in Henley street, Stratford, and has three children: a daughter, Susanna, and then twins, Hamnet and Judith. The boy, Hamnet, dies in 1596, aged eleven. Four years or so later, the husband writes a play called Hamlet.

Award-winning author Maggie O’Farrell’s new novel breathes full-blooded life into the story of a loss usually consigned to literary footnotes, and provides an unforgettable vindication of Agnes, a woman intriguingly absent from history.

New York Times Notable Book (2020), Best Book of 2020: GuardianFinancial TimesLiterary Hub, and NPR

 

ANXIOUS PEOPLE – FREDRIK BACKMAN

In a small town in Sweden it appears to be an ordinary day. But look more closely, and you’ll see a mysterious masked figure approaching a bank…

Two hours later, chaos has descended. A bungled attempted robbery has developed into a hostage situation – and the offender is refusing to communicate their demands to the police.

Within the building, fear quickly turns to irritation for the seven strangers trapped inside. If this is to be their last day on earth, shouldn’t it be a bit more dramatic?

But as the minutes tick by, they begin to suspect that the criminal mastermind holding them hostage might be more in need of rescuing than they are..

 

THE NESTING – CJ COOKE

The woods are creeping in on a nanny and two young girls in this chilling modern Gothic thriller.

Architect Tom Faraday is determined to finish the high-concept, environmentally friendly home he’s building in Norway – in the same place where he lost his wife, Aurelia, to suicide. It was their dream house, and he wants to honour her with it.

Lexi Ellis takes a job as his nanny and immediately falls in love with his two young daughters, especially Gaia. But something feels off in the isolated house nestled in the forest along the fjord. Lexi sees mysterious muddy footprints inside the home. Aurelia’s diary appears in Lexi’s room one day. And Gaia keeps telling her about seeing the terrifying Sad Lady…

Soon Lexi suspects that Aurelia didn’t kill herself and that they are all in danger from something far more sinister lurking around them.

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Snuggle up with us this Feb and join in with our Book Club!

Happy February ladies!! Lovely to have you here with us.

Here are the choices for this month’s read. Have a read through and see what you think. You can then cast your vote on the pinned post on our Facebook group HERE

We will then get together online in the group at the end of Feb to discuss the chosen book.

 

THE RAPTURES – JAN CARSON

When several children from the same village start succumbing to a mysterious illness, the quest to discover the cause has devastating and extraordinary consequences.

It is late June in Ballylack. Hannah Adger anticipates eight long weeks’ reprieve from school, but when her classmate Ross succumbs to a violent and mysterious illness, it marks the beginning of a summer like no other.

As others fall ill, questions about what – or who – is responsible pitch the village into conflict and fearful disarray. Hannah, ever the outsider, is haunted by guilt as she remains healthy while her friends are struck down. Isolated and afraid, she prays for help. What happens next will force her to question everything she believes.

Bursting with Carson’s trademark wit, profound empathy and soaring imagination, The Raptures explores how tragedy can unite a small community – and tear it apart. At its heart is the extraordinary resilience of one young girl. As the world crumbles around her, she must find the courage to be different in a place where conforming feels like the only option available.

 

THE MAID – NITA PROSE

Molly Gray is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misreads the intentions of others. Her gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by.

Since Gran died a few months ago, twenty-five-year-old Molly has been navigating life’s complexities all by herself. No matter—she throws herself with gusto into her work as a hotel maid. Her unique character, along with her obsessive love of cleaning and proper etiquette, make her an ideal fit for the job. She delights in donning her crisp uniform each morning, stocking her cart with miniature soaps and bottles, and returning guest rooms at the Regency Grand Hotel to a state of perfection.

But Molly’s orderly life is upended the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself dead in his bed. Before she knows what’s happening, Molly’s unusual demeanour has the police targeting her as their lead suspect. She quickly finds herself caught in a web of deception, one she has no idea how to untangle. Fortunately for Molly, friends she never knew she had unite with her in a search for clues to what really happened to Mr. Black—but will they be able to find the real killer before it’s too late?

Clue-like, locked-room mystery and a heart warming journey of the spirit, The Maid explores what it means to be the same as everyone else and yet entirely different—and reveals that all mysteries can be solved through connection to the human heart.

 

THE TWYFORD CODE – JANICE HALLETT

Forty years ago, Steven Smith found a copy of a famous children’s book, its margins full of strange markings and annotations. He took it to his English teacher, Miss Isles, who became convinced it was the key to solving a puzzle – that a message in secret code ran through all of Edith Twyford’s novels. Then, Miss Isles disappeared on a class field trip, and Steven’s memory won’t allow him to remember what happened. Now out of prison after a long stretch, Steven decides to investigate the mystery that has haunted him for decades. Was Miss Isles murdered? Was she deluded? Or was she right about the code? And is it still in use today? Desperate to recover his memories and find out what really happened to his teacher, Steven revisits the people and places of his childhood. But it soon becomes clear Twyford wasn’t just a writer of forgotten children’s stories. ‘The Twyford Code’ has great power, and he isn’t the only one trying to solve it.

 

 

FEMLANDIA – CHRISTINA DALCHER

The explosive new thriller from the bestselling author of VOX and Q
Welcome to Femlandia… It’s no place like home.

The United States has sunk into total collapse.

Men in positions of power have wrecked the economy and left women to suffer and pick up the pieces.

Miranda Reynolds has lost her husband, her job and her home. There’s only one place left that she and her daughter Emma can go. Femlandia.

Femlandia is a female-only community. A utopia for women. There’s a reason Miranda never joined before. Now she has no choice.

With what Miranda knows about Femlandia’s founder, she’s right to be wary. While life outside the gates is fraught with danger, there’s something just as sinister going on within.

 

MAGPIE – ELIZABETH DAY

She has almost everything. The rest she’ll take.

Marisa may have only known Jake a few months, but she has never felt this certain about anyone. When he asks her to move in with him and they start trying for a baby, she knows she has finally found the steadfast love and support she has been looking for all her life.

But their relationship is tested when they take in a lodger, Kate, who has little regard for personal boundaries and seems to take an uncomfortable interest in Jake – as well as the baby they are hoping to have.

Why is Kate so obsessed with the couple? And, more worryingly, why doesn’t Jake share Marisa’s concern?

In her determination to find the answers, Marisa risks losing everything she holds dear…

Magpie is a tense, twisting, brilliantly written novel about mothers and children, envy and possession, and the dangers of getting everything you’ve ever dreamed of.

 

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Cutting Through the Crap

💪 C U T T I N G  T H R O U G H  T H E  C R A P 💪
No ‘new year new me’ vibes here . . . for all the women out there that need to hear this, you are ENOUGH as you are! ❤
This ‘New year, new me’ always makes me so sad & a little anxious with all the pressure and people doing themselves down!! What’s wrong with the current you?!? Nothing is the answer to that! Sure polish up around the edges but don’t put your life on hold until you are perfect . . . YOU ARE AMAZING AS YOU ARE!!
I would NEVER usually put myself out there, well, not until I had lost lots of weight, got my hair done, bought new clothes, redecorated the whole house but today, I just thought, why not!? This is me, earlier today, no make up, sweaty hair, bedroom a tip as we are decorating and a size 16.
Then this year, I lost a couple of people very dear to me and had life changing knee replacement surgery. This all gave me the jolt I needed to just get on and live life! I understand the new year new me sentiment, I was the Queen of it . . . who else scoffed all the ‘bad food’ in the house before starting their diet . . . not just me and Geri Halliwell, I’m sure!!
I started Elsie’s Attic out of a passion for wanting women to feel good in what they wear. I spend all day encouraging women to wear what they want, convincing them they are fabulous and can look good in clothes whatever their size but all along I was hiding behind the scenes until I lost weight, got my hair done blah blah blah!
But now I see how damaging and counter productive it can be and now my new mantra is, I am better than yesterday! My knee is better, my mood is better, my health is better & I am slowly working towards where I want to be but in the mean time, why can’t I, as a forty something size 16 woman be seen?! So here is me, no make up, PT session just done, with wobbly bits and all but I’m blummin happy!! The PT is not so I can be thin but so I can be fit, strong, healthy and here for my kids!
I’ll say it again . . . you are fabulous, amazing and just perfect as you are now get out there and do what YOU want to do!!
Much love Amanda xxx
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ELSIE’S ATTIC BOOK CLUB IS BACK!

Hi there book worms!  After an extended summer break we are back and raring to go for 2022!

Below is a quick summary of the five choices for you to vote on for the book we read in January.  I hope there is something there for everyone. To cast your vote, hop on over to our Book Club Facebook page here.  Big love, Amanda xx

 

TWILIGHT – PETER JAMES

The premise of this book is horrifying and fascinating in equal measure!

Three muffled thuds ring from the partially filled grave of the newly wed girl.

Only the verger hears them and he dismisses the noise as his imagination. But over the next few days others also hear faint sounds.

An exhumation order is granted. Reporter Kate Hemingway sneaks into the small suburban churchyard when the coffin is opened, and the scene she witnesses is so horrific she can never forget it. As she starts work on the story, Kate finds herself caught up in a sinister and macabre cover-up.

At the centre is a respected anaesthetist who has a secret obsession. He believes people can exist outside their bodies and that if he can prove it he will provide the answer to the question that has haunted mankind through the ages: is there life after death?

Nothing – and no one – is going to stand in the way of his driving ambition . . .

 

THE MAN BEHIND CLOSED DOORS – MARIA FRANKLAND

What could be so bad that a six-year-old stops talking?

Domestic violence isn’t only perpetrated by men. Ask Paul Jackson who is on remand, accused of stabbing his wife, Michelle.

As he reveals his reality behind their troubled marriage, it seems that only his six-year-old knows what really happened. But she’s trapped in her own world of silence.

Paul is arrested after calling for help following a vicious marital row. Given the severity of his wife’s injuries, he is remanded into custody, despite his protestations of innocence.

His defence centres on his heart breaking backstory of being an abused husband. This, he says, has been going on for many years. Paul insists that behind closed doors, he is the victim of his vengeful and insecure wife.

Ultimately, who is the victim and who is the perpetrator is for the judge and the jury to decide. Yet maybe, there is someone other than Paul and Michelle who knows the truth… Someone who knows the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

 

 

THE COUPLE AT NO. 9 – CLAIRE DOUGLAS

It was the house of their dreams. Until the bodies were found . . .

BODIES FOUND UNDER PATIO

When pregnant Saffron Cutler moves into 9 Skelton Place with boyfriend Tom and sets about renovations the last thing she expects is builders uncovering a body – two bodies, in fact.

POLICE INVESTIGATE

Forensics indicate the bodies have been buried at least thirty years. Nothing Saffy need worry herself over. Until the police launch a murder investigation and ask to speak to the cottage’s former owner – her grandmother, Rose.

OWNER QUESTIONED

Rose is in a care home and Alzheimer’s means her memory is increasingly confused. She can’t help the police but it is clear she remembers something.

A KILLER AT LARGE?

As Rose’s fragmented memories resurface, and the police dig ever deeper, Saffy fears she and the cottage are being watched.

What happened thirty years ago?

Why did no one miss the victims?

What part did her grandmother play?

And is Saffy now in danger?

 

 

MAGPIE LANE – LUCK ATKINS

When the eight-year-old daughter of an Oxford College Master vanishes in the middle of the night, police turn to the Scottish nanny, Dee, for answers. As Dee looks back over her time in the Master’s Lodging—an eerie and ancient house—a picture of a high achieving but dysfunctional family emerges: Nick, the fiercely intelligent and powerful father; his beautiful Danish wife Mariah, pregnant with their child; and the lost little girl, Felicity, almost mute, seeing ghosts, grieving her dead mother.

But is Dee telling the whole story? Is her growing friendship with the eccentric house historian, Linklater, any cause for concern? And most of all, why was Felicity silent?

Roaming Oxford’s secret passages and hidden graveyards, Magpie Lane explores the true meaning of family—and what it is to be denied one.

 

THE SANATORIUM – SARAH PEARSE

You won’t want to leave. . . until you can’t.

Half-hidden by forest and overshadowed by threatening peaks, Le Sommet has always been a sinister place. Long plagued by troubling rumors, the former abandoned sanatorium has since been renovated into a five-star minimalist hotel.

An imposing, isolated getaway spot high up in the Swiss Alps is the last place Elin Warner wants to be. But Elin’s taken time off from her job as a detective, so when her estranged brother, Isaac, and his fiancée, Laure, invite her to celebrate their engagement at the hotel, Elin really has no reason not to accept.

Arriving in the midst of a threatening storm, Elin immediately feels on edge–there’s something about the hotel that makes her nervous. And when they wake the following morning to discover Laure is missing, Elin must trust her instincts if they hope to find her. With the storm closing off all access to the hotel, the longer Laure stays missing, the more the remaining guests start to panic.

Elin is under pressure to find Laure, but no one has realized yet that another woman has gone missing. And she’s the only one who could have warned them just how much danger they are all in. . .

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WANNA JOIN THE ATTIC GANG? WE ARE EXPANDING OUR TEAM AGAIN!

After another amazing year (thank you to all of our fantastic customers), we are expanding our team and recruiting again!

We are a small, friendly team, looking for more outstanding individuals to join us!

We have vacancies for Customer Magic Makers – AKA Order Fulfilment!

37.5 hours per week. 8.30am – 4.30pm Monday to Friday. (Hours and days NON-NEGOTIABLE).

Salary – £17 375 PRO RATA – will increase after initial six months.

INITIAL SIX MONTH CONTRACT THAT COULD LEAD TO PERMANENT FOR THE RIGHT PERSON.

About You . . .

Do you have a passion for fashion? Oodles of drive & enthusiasm? Attention to detail? Do you love folders and post it notes? Can you wrap a mean parcel? Do you have a passion for high levels of customer satisfaction?  Are you a good all rounder, not afraid to get stuck in and love working as part of a team. Would you cope if you broke a nail shifting some boxes? Can you make a decent cup of coffee? Do you promise to indulge in cake on full fat Friday in the office? If you can honestly answer yes to all of these then we’d love to hear from you!

As a small team we need people who are committed to working hard and the ethos of Elsie’s Attic.

About The Role . . .

We are a small company and we need real team players who aren’t afraid to get stuck in.  We believe that we should all be prepared to get stuck in to ensure we can deliver the best possible products in the best possible way for our customers and provide the best service. And by we, that includes us, Amanda & Steve the Founders and CEOs.

As a busy team member you would join us in doing the following: –

Download orders from our website for processing

Pick and pack orders for amazing customers and send them off with love

Unpack incoming deliveries and put away stock in the Attic

Process customer returns and represent stock for sale

Answer customer emails and phone calls

Participate in regular team meetings and one to one development meetings

Eat cake on Fridays

and much more!

Please be aware, this is a physical role and you will spend most of your day moving around the Attic.

What we can give you . . .

A comparable competitive salary with six monthly reviews and the opportunity to progress if you can really work hard and knock our socks off!

Company pension

A super cool place to work with amazing work mates

PS – you must love dogs as the Attic dogs are established members of the team and we have no plans to sack them!

To apply please email steve@elsiesattic.co.uk with a covering letter and CV.

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Elsie’s Attic Book Club – Vote on What we Will be Reading in June

Hola book worms!  Below is a quick summary of the five choices for you to vote on for the book we read in June.  I hope there is something there for everyone. To cast your vote, hop on over to our Book Club Facebook page here.  Big love, Amanda xx

A YEAR OF MARVELLOUS WAYS – SARAH WINMAN

Cornwall, 1947. Marvellous Ways is a ninety-year-old woman who’s lived alone in a remote creek for nearly all her life. Recently she’s taken to spending her days sitting on the steps of her caravan with a pair of binoculars. She’s waiting for something – she’s not sure what, but she’ll know it when she sees it. Freddy Drake is a young soldier left reeling by the war. He’s agreed to fulfil a dying friend’s last wish and hand-deliver a letter to the boy’s father in Cornwall. But Freddy’s journey doesn’t go to plan, and sees him literally wash up in Marvellous’ creek, broken in body and spirit. When Marvellous comes to his aid, an unlikely friendship grows between the two. Can Freddy give Marvellous what she needs to say goodbye to the world, and can she give him what he needs to go on?

 

 

 

 

THE MISEDUCATION OF EVIE HEPWORTH – MATSON TAYLOR

It is the summer of 1962 and sixteen-year-old Evie Epworth stands on the cusp of womanhood. But what kind of a woman will she be?
Up until now, Evie’s life has been nothing special: a patchwork of school, Guides, cows, lost mothers, lacrosse and village fetes. But, inspired by her idols (Charlotte Brontë, Shirley MacLaine, the Queen), she dreams of a world far away from rural East Yorkshire, a world of glamour lived under the bright lights of London (or Leeds). Standing in the way of these dreams, though, is Christine, Evie’s soon-to-be stepmother, a manipulative and money-grubbing schemer who is lining Evie up for a life of shampoo-and-set drudgery at the stinky local salon.

Luckily Evie is not alone. With the help of a few friends, and the wise counsel of the two Adam Faith posters on her bedroom wall (‘brooding Adam’ and ‘sophisticated Adam’), Evie comes up with a plan to rescue her future from Christine’s pink and over-perfumed clutches. She will need a little luck, a dash of charm and a big dollop of Yorkshire magic if she is to succeed, but in the process she may just discover who exactly it is she is meant to be.

Moving, inventive and achingly funny, with an all-star cast of bold-as-brass characters, The Miseducation of Evie Epworth is a perfectly pitched modern fairy tale about love, friendship and following your dreams while having a lot of fun along the way.

 

THE LAST THING HE TOLD ME – LAURA DAVE

We all have stories we never tell.
Before Owen Michaels disappears, he manages to smuggle a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her.

Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers: Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother.

As Hannah’s increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered; as the FBI arrests Owen’s boss; as a US Marshal and FBI agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity—and why he really disappeared.

Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth, together. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen’s past, they soon realize they are also building a new future. One neither Hannah nor Bailey could have anticipated.

 

THE BOY FROM THE WOODS – HARLAN COBEN

In the shocking new thriller  . . . a man whose past is shrouded in mystery must find a missing teenage girl before her disappearance brings about disastrous consequences for her community . . . and the world.

The man known as Wilde is a mystery to everyone, including himself. Decades ago, he was found as a boy living feral in the woods, with no memory of his past. After the police concluded an exhaustive hunt for the child’s family, which was never found, he was turned over to the foster system.

Now, thirty years later, Wilde still doesn’t know where he comes from, and he’s back living in the woods on the outskirts of town, content to be an outcast, comfortable only outdoors, preferably alone, and with few deep connections to other people.

When a local girl goes missing, famous TV lawyer Hester Crimstein–with whom Wilde shares a tragic connection–asks him to use his unique skills to help find her. Meanwhile, a group of ex-military security experts arrive in town, and when another teen disappears, the case’s impact expands far beyond the borders of the peaceful suburb. Wilde must return to the community where he has never fit in, and where the powerful are protected even when they harbor secrets that could destroy the lives of millions . . . secrets that Wilde must uncover before it’s too late.

 

THE WHISPER MAN – ALEX NORTH

In this dark, suspenseful thriller, Alex North weaves a multi-generational tale of a father and son caught in the crosshairs of an investigation to catch a serial killer preying on a small town.

After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes a fresh start will help him and his young son Jake heal. A new beginning, a new house, a new town: Featherbank.

But Featherbank has a dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Until Frank Carter was finally caught, he was nicknamed “The Whisper Man,” for he would lure his victims out by whispering at their windows at night.

Just as Tom and Jake settle into their new home, a young boy vanishes. His disappearance bears an unnerving resemblance to Frank Carter’s crimes, reigniting old rumors that he preyed with an accomplice. Now, detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis must find the boy before it is too late, even if that means Pete has to revisit his great foe in prison: The Whisper Man. And then Jake begins acting strangely. He hears a whispering at his window.

 

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VOTE FOR OUR BOOK CLUB CHOICE FOR MAY’S READ

Hello book lovers.  Below is a quick summary of the five choices for you to vote on for the book we read in May.  I hope there is something there for everyone. To cast your vote, hop on over to our Book Club Facebook page here.  Big love, Amanda xx

UNSETTLED GROUND – CLAIRE FULLER

What if the life you have always known is taken from you in an instant? What would you do to get it back?

Twins Jeanie and Julius have always been different from other people. At 51 years old, they still live with their mother, Dot, in rural isolation and poverty. Their rented cottage is simultaneously their armour against the world and their sanctuary. Inside its walls they make music, in its garden they grow (and sometimes kill) everything they need for sustenance.

But when Dot dies suddenly, threats to their livelihood start raining down. At risk of losing everything, Jeanie and her brother must fight to survive in an increasingly dangerous world as their mother’s secrets unfold, putting everything they thought they knew about their lives at stake.

This is a thrilling novel of resilience and hope, of love and survival, that explores with dazzling emotional power how the truths closest to us are often hardest to see.

 

KING OF RABBITS – KARLA NEBLETT

A stunning debut about the magic and confusion of childhood. A beautiful, painful, at times funny novel about how a little boy perceives the world, and how his environment leads him on a path to manhood he doesn’t want to follow.

Kai lives in a mixed-race family on a rural council estate in Somerset where he and his three older sisters have three different dads, and his mum is being led into crack addiction by his petty-thief father. He idolises his dad, adores his friend Saffie and the school rabbit Flopsy, and is full of ambition to be the fastest runner in Middledown Primary – like Linford Christie. He and Saffie build a secret world of friendship in the school garden. But Kai’s natural optimism, imagination and energy run up against adult behaviour he doesn’t understand: his parents’ on-and-off romance, his dad’s increasing addiction and the limitations of poverty. Despite the people who try to look out for him, notably his loving Nanny Sheila and his big sister Leah, Kai’s life drifts towards a tragedy from which it is hard for him to recover. The refuge he seeks in his love of nature, and the wild rabbits who have made their burrows in the woods, may not be refuge enough.Drawing on her own upbringing but turning lived experience into compelling narrative, Karla Neblett has created a vivid language that is both crafted and raw to tell a story of class, race and how our society fails working class young men.

THE IMMORTALISTS – CHLOE BENJAMIN

If you knew the date you were going to die, then how would you live your life? asks this bestselling, critically acclaimed novel.

It’s 1969, and holed up in a grimy tenement building in New York’s Lower East Side is a travelling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the date they will die. The four Gold children, too young for what they’re about to hear, sneak out to learn their fortunes.

Over the years that follow, the siblings must choose how to live with the phrophecies the fortune-teller gave them that day. Will they accept, ignore, cheat, or defy them? Golden-boy Simon escapes to San Francisco, searching for love; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician; eldest son Daniel tries to control fate as an army doctor after 9/11; and bookish Varya looks to science for the answers she craves.

A sweeping novel of remarkable ambition and depth, The Immortalists is a story about how we live, how we die, and what we do with the time we have.

CONTACTS – MARK WATSON

James Chiltern boards the 23:50 sleeper train from London to Edinburgh with two pork pies, six beers and a packet of chocolate digestives. At 23:55 he sends a message to all 158 people in his contacts, telling them that he plans to end his life in the morning. He then switches his phone to flight mode. He’s said goodbye. To him, it’s the end of his story – and time to crack open the biscuits. But across the world, 158 phones are lighting up with a notification. Phones belonging to his mum. His sister. His ex-best friend. The woman who broke his heart. People he’s lost touch with. People he barely knows. And for them, the message is only the beginning of the journey.

Funny and wise, tender and deeply moving, Contacts is a beautiful story about the weight of loneliness, the importance of kindness – and how it’s never too late to reach out.

 

 

THE SUBURBS – CHLOE KENT

So this is rather exciting – Chloe Kent is actually part of our epic group and this is now her second novel.  The Suburbs is based around a woman called Mia in her mid-thirties who is a sports journalist and newly divorced from her ex-rugby player husband, Alex. Her marriage to Alex was happy and glamorous, as the pair often attended parties, sports events and travelled to exotic places together. All that changed when a motorcycle accident left Mia’s husband unable to continue with his rugby career and subsequently their marriage eventually broke down after Alex turned to alcohol to deal with his pain. After feeling dejected that her life hadn’t gone to plan, Mia decided that a fresh start on her own and away from the fast-paced bustle of London would be the best choice for her. She flee’s to the countryside to bask in a new relaxed lifestyle of peace and serenity. However, all that is thrown into disarray when Mia finds herself falling for Jacob, the successful married man next door all whilst befriending his eccentric wife, Elle. Mia battles with her head and her heart. She wants to be a good person and do the right thing, but her feelings for Jacob are like none other. In turn, Jacob is learning that the successful life and status he fought so hard to achieve to appease his parents is not actually the life for him. Together they must somehow manoeuvre around an ex-husband and a difficult wife. But if that wasn’t challenging enough, Mia discovers that Jacob isn’t entirely who she thought he was and their affair leads her into dangerous territory.

 

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Meet our New HQ . . . It’s a CHURCH!

Elsie’s Attic has a new HQ and it’s an old church! We have long wanted a space that is more than just a warehouse; somewhere with character and style where we can also hold events and invite our gorgeous customers in for 1:1 styling sessions!  So, you can imagine how excited we were to find this amazing old building, for sale and just up the road from us in Leicestershire!

This building is an old Wesleyan Chapel, which has for the last 50 years, been an old church hall, in a small village in the North West of Leicestershire, Whitwick.  The hall was no longer needed by the Church Council so has been unused for some time and was in need of some love and restoration.

Here she is! Both buildings you can see are the old church, the part that looks like a face is the oldest part!

We came back from  the Somerset coast to view it as soon as possible in July 2020 and as soon as we saw it we put in an offer which was accepted. We started dreaming of restoration projects and began to channel our inner Angel and Dick  . . .  (you watch Escape to the Chateau, right?!). Little did we know,  we had months ahead of us of to get planning permission to use it for a place of work! We had to convince the planners that this was no longer a community facility (it had been closed up and unused for years!) and that we would save and restore this building. Eventually the planners gave us permission to use the hall for work purposes and we literally nearly burst with excitement, what a fab Christmas present that was – yes, it too that long!!

It still took a few more weeks to finalise the sale as the pandemic has just thrown everything off!  But on Friday the 19th February we finally got the keys to our very own church!!

There are many nooks and crannies inside the buildings. There is one large hall where we will store our stock and the Customer Magic Makers will pick and pack all of the orders. Our Customer Happiness Team will also base themselves there too, to be on hand to answer all queries and questions.  There is also a room at the back of the main hall that Mr Attic and I will use as our base.  Along with a large kitchen we also have two big toilets blocks and a large foyer. It is this area we have designs on to turn it either into some sort of outlet shop or a space for styling sessions!

The smaller building (the one that looks like a face) is the oldest part and is over 200 years old.  There is an upstairs space on that side of the building and, once renovated, it will be a beautiful space for us to hold events such as meet ups for our Book Club, arm knitting workshops, fashion events and much more!!

No doubt we will post a gazillion updates over the next few weeks and months as we renovate and restore the property. The removal vans are booked for the 25th of March so wish us luck!!

Much love Amanda & Steve xxx

Mr Attic measuring up the main hall!
Excuse our silly faces & wind swept hair – we were very excited to have the keys!

 

 

 

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HAVE YOUR SAY ON OUR BOOK CLUB’S READ FOR APRIL

 

Hello book worms, so lovely to have you with us.  Here are the five choices to vote on for APRIL’S read.  I hope there is at least one option there for everyone.  Please hop on over to our Facebook group to cast your vote.  We will get together in the online group the last Sunday of the month to chat over the winning book.

Happy reading! Big love, Amanda xx

 

The Deep – Alma Katsu

Someone, or something, is haunting the Titanic.
This is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the passengers of the ship from the moment they set sail: mysterious disappearances, sudden deaths. Now suspended in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone during the four days of the liner’s illustrious maiden voyage, a number of the passengers – including millionaires Madeleine Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim, the maid Annie Hebbley and Mark Fletcher – are convinced that something sinister is going on . . . And then, as the world knows, disaster strikes.

Years later and the world is at war. And a survivor of that fateful night, Annie, is working as a nurse on the sixth voyage of the Titanic’s sister ship, the Britannic, now refitted as a hospital ship. Plagued by the demons of her doomed first and near fatal journey across the Atlantic, Annie comes across an unconscious soldier she recognises while doing her rounds. It is the young man Mark. And she is convinced that he did not – could not – have survived the sinking of the Titanic . . .

 

Hold Back the Stars – Katie Khan

‘We’re going to be fine.’
He looks around, but there’s nothing out here: nothing but the bottomless black universe on their left, the Earth suspended in glorious technicolour to their right.

Carys and Max have ninety minutes of air left.
None of this was supposed to happen.
But, perhaps this doesn’t need to be the end…
Adrift in space with nothing to hold on to but each other, Carys and Max can’t help but look back at the well-ordered world they have left behind – at the rules they couldn’t reconcile themselves to, and a life to which they might now never return.
For in a world where love is banned, what happens when you find it?

Hold Back the Stars is a love story like no other.

 

The Enchanted – Rene Denfeld

Even monsters need peace. Even monsters need a person who truly wants to listen – to hear – so that someday we might find the words that are more than boxes. Then maybe we can stop men like me from happening

A prisoner sits on death row in a maximum security prison. His only escape from his harsh existence is through the words he dreams about, the world he conjures around him using the power of language. For the reality of his world is brutal and stark. He is not named, nor do we know his crime.

But he listens. He listens to the story of York, the prisoner in the cell next to him whose execution date has been set. He hears the lady, an investigator who is piecing together York’s past. He watches as the lady falls in love with the priest and wonders if love is still possible here. He sees the corruption and the danger as tensions in ‘this enchanted place’ build. And he waits. For even monsters have a story…

 

The Starless Sea – Erin Morgenstern

Far beneath the surface of the earth, upon the shores of the Starless Sea, there is a labyrinthine collection of tunnels and rooms filled with stories. The entryways that lead to this sanctuary are often hidden, sometimes on forest floors, sometimes in private homes, sometimes in plain sight. But those who seek will find. Their doors have been waiting for them.

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is searching for his door, though he does not know it. He follows a silent siren song, an inexplicable knowledge that he is meant for another place. When he discovers a mysterious book in the stacks of his campus library he begins to read, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, lost cities, and nameless acolytes. Suddenly a turn of the page brings Zachary to a story from his own childhood impossibly written in this book that is older than he is.

A bee, a key, and a sword emblazoned on the book lead Zachary to two people who will change the course of his life: Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired painter, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances. These strangers guide Zachary through masquerade party dances and whispered back room stories to the headquarters of a secret society where doorknobs hang from ribbons, and finally through a door conjured from paint to the place he has always yearned for. Amid twisting tunnels filled with books, gilded ballrooms, and wine-dark shores Zachary falls into an intoxicating world soaked in romance and mystery. But a battle is raging over the fate of this place and though there are those who would willingly sacrifice everything to protect it, there are just as many intent on its destruction. As Zachary, Mirabel, and Dorian venture deeper into the space and its histories and myths, searching for answers and each other, a timeless love story unspools, casting a spell of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a Starless Sea

 

The Hoarder – Jess Kidd

The spellbinding tale of a lonely caregiver and a cranky hoarder with a house full of secrets.

Maud Drennan is a dedicated caregiver whose sunny disposition masks a deep sadness. A tragic childhood event left her haunted, in the company of a cast of prattling saints who pop in and out of her life like tourists. Other than visiting her agoraphobic neighbor, Maud keeps to herself, finding solace in her work and in her humble existence–until she meets Mr. Flood.

Cathal Flood is a menace by all accounts. The lone occupant of a Gothic mansion crawling with feral cats, he has been waging war against his son’s attempts to put him into an old-age home and sent his last caretaker running for the madhouse. But Maud is this impossible man’s last chance: if she can help him get the house in order, he just might be able to stay. So the unlikely pair begins to cooperate, bonding over their shared love of Irish folktales and mutual dislike of Mr. Flood’s overbearing son.

Still, shadows are growing in the cluttered corners of the mansion, hinting at buried family secrets, and reminding Maud that she doesn’t really know this man at all. When the forgotten case of a missing schoolgirl comes to light, she starts poking around, and a full-steam search for answers begins.

Packed with eccentric charms, twisted comedy, and a whole lot of heart, Mr. Flood’s Last Resort is a mesmerizing tale that examines the space between sin and sainthood, reminding us that often the most meaningful forgiveness that we can offer is to ourselves.

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WE ARE HIRING!

After a real roller coaster of a year, we are on the move again as we have bought our own premises, an old Church in Whitwick, North West Leicestershire! We are now on the hunt for an excellent new team to help keep our amazing customers happy and keep the dream alive!

We are a small, friendly team, looking for more outstanding individuals to join us!

We have vacancies for Customer Magic Makers – AKA Order Fulfilment!

25 hours per week. 10am – 3pm Monday to Friday.

Salary – £17 375 PRO RATA

About You . . .

Do you have a passion for fashion? Oodles of drive & enthusiasm? Attention to detail? Do you know who is who on Instagram world of Mummy fashion? Do you love folders and post it notes? Can you wrap a mean parcel? Do you have a passion for high levels of customer satisfaction?  Are you a good all rounder, not afraid to get stuck in and love working as part of a team. Would you cope if you broke a nail shifting some boxes? Can you make a decent cup of coffee? Do you promise to indulge in cake on full fat Friday in the office? If you can honestly answer yes to all of these then we’d love to hear from you!

About The Role . . .

We are a small company and we need real team players who aren’t afraid to get stuck in.  We are a small company we believe that we should all be prepared to get stuck in to ensure we can deliver the best possible products in the best possible way for our customers and provide the best service. And by we, that includes us, Amanda & Steve the Founders and CEOs.

As a busy team member you would join us in doing the following: –

Download orders from our website for processing

Pick and pack orders for amazing customers and send them off with love

Unpack incoming deliveries and put away stock in the Attic

Process customer returns and represent stock for sale

Participate in regular team meetings and one to one development meetings

Eat cake on Fridays

and much more!

What we can give you . . .

A comparable competitive salary with six monthly reviews and the opportunity to progress if you can really work hard and knock our socks off!

Company pension

A super cool place to work with amazing work mates

PS – you must love dogs as the Attic dogs are established members of the team and we have no plans to sack them!

To apply please email amanda@elsiesattic.co.uk with a covering letter and CV. CLOSING DATE MONDAY 1ST MARCH 12 NOON. Interviews will follow quickly afterwards.