I’m absolutely thrilled to say that it more than lived up to its promise. Ivy Lane is one of those special books that, within just a couple of pages of starting, you know you’re in completely safe hands- as a reader you can relax and go with the flow of the book because the author knows exactly what she’s doing. That sounds like a simple thing, but it’s actually a rare and precious feeling when you read as many books as I do!
Ivy Lane is a beautifully told, gently funny story about a character who is trying to reconnect the pieces of her shattered life, and she’s about to get plenty of help (whether she wants it or not) from the members of the Ivy Lane (allotments) community. As Tilly brings her little plot back to life, her personal life begins to do the same- but it’s not all plain sailing and there are plenty of downs as well as ups to contend with.
I did wonder whether the book would scan well as a whole having been originally released in the four separate parts, and the simple answer is- yes, it does. The story moves along nicely and there are some fantastic cliff-hangers where each part comes to an end- but I was very pleased to be able to delve straight into the next section!
Ivy Lane is the ultimate feel-good read, but I have to warn you that I did some serious sobbing (and I’m talking full-body, messy, breathless blubbing here) over the course of the book, as well as quite a lot of chuckling. If you read and enjoyed Alexandra Brown’s The Great Christmas Knit Off, then you’ll love Ivy Lane. This is one to curl up with and enjoy in your favourite place- just make sure that you’re not going to be disturbed as you really will struggle to put it down!
I currently have an ebook version, however, I’ll be grabbing myself a paperback to have out with me in the garden shed so that I can enjoy a leisurely alfresco re-read over the summer months. This one is definitely going on the ‘to keep’ shelf!
Find Cathy on Twitter @CathyBramley
From spring to summer, autumn to winter, a lot can happen in a single year . . .
Tilly Parker needs a fresh start, fresh air and a fresh attitude if she is ever to leave the past behind and move on with her life. As she seeks out peace and quiet in a new town, taking on a plot at Ivy Lane allotments seems like the perfect solution.
But the friendly Ivy Lane community has other ideas and gradually draw Tilly in to their cosy, comforting world of planting seedlings, organising bake sales and planning seasonal parties.
As the seasons pass, will Tilly learn to stop hiding amongst the sweetpeas and let people back into her life – and her heart?
A charming and romantic story certain to make you smile - perfect for fans of Carole Matthews, Trisha Ashley and Katie Fforde.
Ivy Lane was originally published as a four-part serial. This is the complete story in one package.