Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Ivy Lane: Spring: Part 1 - Cathy Bramley

About the book...
Friendship blossoms at Ivy Lane...
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?
Ivy Lane is a serialised novel told in four parts - taking you from spring to summer, autumn to winter - which tell a charming, light-hearted and moving story you won't want to put down.
Each part of Ivy Lane is approx 100 pages in length.
About the author...
After four years of flinging herself round the dance floors of Nottingham's nightspots, Cathy somehow managed to get an honours degree in business.

She then plunged herself into the corporate world of marketing, working on high-powered projects such as testing the firing range of SuperSoaker water guns and perfecting the weeing action of Tiny Tears. After making it onto Timmy Mallet's Christmas card list, she realised it was time to move on and so in 1995 set up her own marketing agency.

She now lives in an idyllic Nottinghamshire village with her husband, two daughters and a dog called Pearl.

Random Facts about Cathy Bramley

Lucky charm: pottery frog out of a Christmas cracker
Favourite tipple: Polish cherry vodka
Best ever Christmas present: Potter's Wheel (toy version)
Hates the expression: Compliments to the chef

You can get in touch with Cathy via her website www.CathyBramleyAuthor.com 
or her Facebook page Facebook.com/CathyBramleyAuthor

My thoughts...
I had a copy of this short story from Cathy's editor at Transworld and couldn't wait to read it. I was drawn by the blurb and the cover was/is just stunning - it really does depict happy, spring days outside in the garden.

I devoured this on a car journey and was left chomping at the bit - I'm wishing the year away now - roll on July for part two!!

The story revolves around Tilly Parker who has moved to the area looking for a fresh start - from what, we're not told but it does involve a man called James.  She is due to start a new job and takes on an allotment as a way of seeking the outdoors and some solitude.

I could have told her that would be difficult - my husband had an allotment for several years and his 'allotment friends' as I called them were all different characters and ages from all walks of life - privacy and solitude don't go together when you're outside on an allotment.

I'm sure Cathy or someone close must have an allotment as the characterisations are so accurate.  Our (that's the 'royal our') allotment was in the same condition as Tilly's when we took it over and all the surrounding allotment owners came and gave their advice, pitched in with tools and gossiped the day away :) Each person Tilly met I could draw on my memories of allotment life and say 'oh, she/he is just like....', or 'do you remember that day when....'.

This was perfect, enjoyable read that is uplifting and I feel can only get better and better with each instalment. Cathy has successfully showcased Ivy Lane and it's characters who all seem to have depth and a story to tell. There's lots of humour,  friendship and intrigue and this bite sized story is just like good chocolate - satisfying, dreamy and delicious but leaves you wanting just a little bit more.

I gave this book 5/5 stars

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