Thirty-year-old Tilly Parker has been through a lot and she is ready to start anew and try to leave the past behind. She has moved to a new town where she hopes to build up a new peaceful life for herself. In order to give her something to do, she has got herself her own plot at Ivy Lane allotments. After her first few visits there, Tilly quickly realises that the Ivy Lane community wants nothing more than to welcome her with open arms and let her become a part of their group. Question is, is Tilly really ready to step away from the past and focus on the here and now? I loved everything about Ivy Lane and I honestly couldn’t get enough of the characters and everything they go through together. Tilly is incredibly easy to like and I loved joining her on her journey and seeing her develop as a character. There is also a great collection of colourful characters, each with a different personality, ranging from all ages, who all come together at Ivy Lane allotments. I fell in love with quirky and outspoken Gemma, who owns the plot next to Tilly’s; handsome fire-fighter Charlie, and cute and friendly Alf. The author’s writing style is so warm, engaging and easy to read. I went through all kinds of emotions while reading this story, from laughing out loud to frustration to sadness. Even though I’m not the gardening type myself, I enjoyed the idea of an allotment and seeing how it brings people together. I also loved the different seasons and how this was reflected in the allotments and the different events taking place, such as Halloween, Christmas, bake sales in the sun. Ivy Lane is an incredibly warm, uplifting, charming read about friendship, family, and not giving up on life, even when the times get rough. Cathy Bramley is an author to watch and Ivy Lane is a read you do not want to miss! (JoH)
Tilly Parker has been through a lot and she is ready to start anew and try to leave the past behind. She has moved to a new town where she hopes to create a peaceful life for herself. In order to keep her busy, she gets her own plot at Ivy Lane allotments. However, after her first few visits to her new plot, Tilly quickly discovers the Ivy Lane community wants nothing more than to welcome her with open arms and let her become a part of their group. Question is, is Tilly really ready to step away from the past and focus on the here and now? The story inside fits the gorgeous cover perfectly, because this is the beginning of a wonderful tale. Ivy Lane will be released in four different parts, each fitting the four seasons, starting with Spring. I warmed to Tilly immediately; even though not too much is given away about her and her past just yet (I'm sure the story will unfold more and more with each part). Tilly already seems like an absolutely lovely character and I can't wait to discover more of her story. The book is also filled with other colourful characters, each with a different personality, ranging from all ages. Even though I'm not the gardening type myself, I fell in love with the idea of an allotment and the way it brings people together. The first part of Ivy Lane promises a warm, charming and uplifting story and the only thing I can complain about when it comes to this book is the fact that we have to wait so long before we can join Tilly on her summer adventures! (JoH)
Cathy Bramley's Ivy Lane series is being released throughout 2014 as four novellas divided into seasons. The synopsis of part one (spring) says: "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 settles in to a new town seeking peace and solitude, taking on her own plot at Ivy Lane allotments seems like the perfect solution. But the vibrant, friendly Ivy Lane community has other ideas and endeavour to entice Tilly into seedling swaps and Easter egg hunts. Can Tilly let new friends into her life, or will she stay a wallflower for good?" The story continues in part two (summer): "Tilly Parker is feeling happier than she has done since her life completely changed a year ago, though she's still keeping some secrets to herself. As she flourishes under the summer sun, she attracts the attention of not one, but two suitors. Excitement reaches fever pitch at Ivy Lane as a TV crew descends to capture life inside a modern-day allotment, bringing out the best (new wellies and lipstick) and the worst (parsnip rivalry) in them all. The Annual Show marks the end of summer and the end of filming, but is Tilly ready for romance - and if so, who will be the pick of the bunch?" Each part of Ivy Lane has about 100 pages.