Sunday, 1 March 2015

5* Review: Ivy Lane by Cathy Bramley

(Ivy Lane is currently in Amazon's 3 paperbacks for £10 deal!)

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?
Ivy Lane was originally published as a four-part serial. This is the complete story in one package.

Tilly Parker moves to the small market town of Kingsfield in desperate need of a fresh start. She's clearly been through something traumatic which remains a mystery until later in the book. I attempted several theories of what had happened to Tilly, none of which turned out to be correct which I loved, I get bored easily with predictable plots. 

Tilly finds a part time job teaching at a local infant school, and also feels the need to embark on a new hobby to get her out of the house. After a serendipitous moment when a flyer comes through her door advertising a vacant allotment, she decides to take the plunge. She assumed that gardening might be an easy, solitary pass time, one which she hopes that no-one will ask any awkward questions about her past.

The gardening fraternity quickly welcome her and she begins to forge new friendships, some keener than others! The Ivy Lane community is wonderful, each member with their own quirks. Their own stories weave nicely in with Tilly's first person narration; some sad, some funny, all heartwarming. 

As the seasons change we learn the tragic secrets of Tilly's past and follow her on her journey to rebuild her life, which is helped along when reality TV show Green Fingers come to film at Ivy Lane Allotments, along with dishy producer, Aiden. Through the seasons, The Ivy Lane allotments hold many functions and parties in which Tilly plays an active roll, it is like watching a friend rebuild their life which is quite wonderful.

I loved Ivy Lane, and I love Cathy Bramley's writing, I find her the most effortless of storytellers with total knack of drawing the reader in, her dialogue is so 'true', genuine and witty and her characters are extremely well developed. 

She has rapidly become one of my favourite authors, I could read her books every day, forever.

Read what other bloggers think of Ivy Lane and join in the rest of the tour:

Many thanks to Sarah at Transworld books for sending me a copy of Ivy Lane in exchange for an honest review.

Read my 5* review of Cathy Bramley's Appleby Farm part 1 here:


  1. Donna Trinder, my lovely chum, it's brilliant to see you blogging again and I'm thrilled that Ivy Lane was the book that got you restarted! Thank you for such a wonderful review, you're a star! xxx

    1. How could I have resisted? I think it was your plan ;)
      No, seriously, you know how I adore your charming writing. I am thrilled to have Ivy Lane as my inspiration to restart blogging! There could be nothing better xxx

  2. Why on earth haven't I read any of Cathy's books yet Donna? I think I'll have a 'Cathy fest' in the summer! : ) x

    1. Good question!? My recommendation would be to start with Conditional Love, that is Cathy's first book & so lovely. Have fun with your CathyFest! X