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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

4.1 out of 5
5 Stars
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All Book Reviews

  • Ivy lane

    Great book. I brought all 4 parts of the book together and really enjoyed the easy reading and the characters. Definitely worth a read.

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  • Ivy lane series

    It took some time to get into but stick with it, I took to ignoring the kids to read the next chapter good fun and lively characters

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  • Seasonal Growth

    This is quite a fun and light hearted read that I found easy to pick up in odd moments whilst on holiday recently. It is one of those strange books where nothing really happens but everything happens; if you know what I mean. Unfortunately, I found that some of what did happen just stretched my belief too far and I am still trying to figure out what Tilly and Aidan saw in each other and why they both seem to feel they have this grand, fated attraction to each other - it doesn't tally with their personalities and the "romance" doesn't so much blossom as go from seedling to full bloom in less than the blink of an eye. Very peculiar and it did spoil my overall enjoyment of the book. The characters in the book are really wonderfully crafted and feel like real people, with all their foibles and biases. The author even allows them to express parts of themselves that we like to keep hidden - ingrained prejudices, judgement of others, selfishness - without turning them in to monsters. I don't think there was one character in the book that I didn't like. Charlie is a good case study of character - it would have been so easy to turn him to some kind of stalkery monster but he is completely empathetic and the damage his spouse did to him looms so large that you actually understand why he acts as he does. It doesn't excuse his actions but it explains them and the reader is left to judge him and I liked that I wasn't told explicitly how to feel about this character. It is clear from the start that we are supposed to root for Tilly and, to some extent, I did. Luckily I have never been in her situation and found myself unable to put myself in to her shoes as I just felt there was some disconnect between reader and character. She always felt a little like a set of circumstances rather than a person, which is a real shame as the book hinges on her character and she was perhaps the least believable of the lot (except for the god-like Aidan). I did enjoy the way the author linked the growth of the allotments through the seasons to the people Ivy Lane Allotments are populated with. It was subtly handled and you don't really realise it until after you have finished reading that the book is full of metaphor and parallels between the produce and the people. There is also no shying away from the natural cycle of birth and death in the book and all the little pieces of ourselves we lose inbetween. There are also a few, admittedly small, plot inconsistencies that are no doubt down to this being previously released as a four part serialisation. The most glaring is that there are plots free on the allotment and then in another quarter there is suddenly a waiting list for people to join despite the empty plots. For some reason this irrationally annoyed me. Not the best Cathy Bramley I have read but it is warm and funny and I did enjoy it (on the whole).

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