Monday, 3 August 2015

Review of Ivy Lane by Cathy Bramley

 The bit on the back…

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, organizing 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?

Firstly thank you to Cathy and Corgi for sending me a copy of this novel which was previously published in four parts. I had only read Part 1: Spring so I was eager to get back to the allotments.

From what I had already read I knew I would quickly become hooked on the story again thanks to Cathy’s ability to create a story and main character that is really easy to relate to. I started from the beginning again and found myself liking all the same things as I had before from the cast of characters to the sense of community in the allotments and the promise of something better to come.

Tilly is the main character and narrator throughout and she is easy to empathise with. Her new allotment is her fresh start and from the snippets of information you’re given initially you begin to understand that Tilly has been through a life changing and difficult period in her young life so far. The allotment and the other owners feel like just what she needs even though she can’t quite see it yet.

Having previously only read the first part I wasn’t sure what to expect because I’d already made my mind up about the characters and had formed my own idea of what might happen. As the story continued to unfold through the seasons I was pleasantly surprised by the path that it took and loved the growth in Tilly’s strength throughout. Her character really develops over the four seasons and you get a sense of who she was before mingling the person she is growing into. Tilly’s own allotment is a bit like her life with new beginnings and setbacks and it played along quite nicely throughout the story.

We are also introduced to Freya who is the main character of Cathy’s second four part series which is due to be released as one, in paperback, on the 13th of August. I have yet to read any of this series and I do have it on pre-order although I was incredibly lucky to receive a beautiful copy in the post. I have also started reading Cathy’s third four part series Wickham Hall and I already have high hopes for it!

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