Title: Ivy Lane
Author: Cathy Bramley
Blurb: 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?
Review: I put so much pressure on this book to be good after hearing endless things about it for the past few months. I know I’m like, one of the only people left in the entire world that’s only just read it but may I just say… Better late than never because it deserves all the attention and praise it’s been getting and I wouldn’t have wanted to miss out on this delightful and charming book. Tilly Parker has just moved to a new town to start a new life and move on from her past; the Ivy Lane allotments seem to be the perfect solution for getting out and keeping busy by the Ivy Lane community and it’s quirky characters draw Tilly in to their little world where she finds much more than a means to escape.
I loved this book from page 1 and I followed Tilly with every thread of my being through her journey and the seasons. I absolutely loved the separate seasons that the book was split into and felt that Tilly definitely learnt something by the end of each one. For the first half of so of the book, I did find it quite hard to sympathise for Tilly when she was acting cold and withdrawn from the people around her – without knowing the reasons behind her actions. Her reason for moving away and starting a new life continued to puzzle me until it was revealed and when it was, I instantly felt a pang of guilt for poor Tilly and her tragic past and saluted her for how far she had come throughout the year.
I love gardening, so I was really intrigued to read a book where gardening featured so heavily in it and was surprised to the extent Cathy went to include all elements of Tilly’s allotment life, as well as her personal life, in the book. I got so invested, I even found myself rooting for her vegetables to grow! I loved everything about Ivy Lane, the community and how much it helped Tilly start afresh and as a reader, you’re made to feel like you’re a part of it yourself. The other community members are fantastic – so many different characters of all ages with various quirks – it was impossible not to smile when you’re with the Ivy Lane bunch!
I found Tilly’s story so uplifting and inspiring – the way Tilly completely takes it upon herself to rebuild her life, make friends and help the people around her. It made me laugh, it definitely made me cry but above all it gave me hope that no matter what life throws at you, the world will be there to catch you and there’s always a new adventure around the corner. An absolutely delightful and magical read that will have your heart soaring.
Rating: 5 stars 🌟