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?
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Last October I did a debut spotlight feature for Cathy Bramley on the publication day of her self-published novel Unconditional Love and since then a lot of fantastic things have happened for Cathy. One of which was being approached by Transworld to write a four part serial for them, the first episode Ivy Lane: Spring, is published today, congratulations Cathy.
Although I'd already pre-ordered this novella which has been downloaded onto my Kindle this morning, I couldn't resist an advance reading so requested a copy of it from her publishers Transworld on NetGalley when I saw it was available.
When we first meet Tilly it's clear that something major has happened in her life regarding someone called James but we don't know what and we still don't... All we know is that she's ready to start living her life again and has moved to a new town to make a fresh start for herself.
The new start includes taking on an allotment even though it's clear to all that she knows absolutely nothing about gardening. At first she wants to be left on her own but this is when the wonderful community spirit that is Ivy Lane kicks in as they welcome her with open arms into their fold and offer her guidance, plants, but most of all friendship.
This was such a heartwarming novella with a whole host of interesting characters that draw you in and make you wish that you too could be part of the Ivy Lane community, I cannot wait to get to know them better as the series continues.
But it is Tilly who is quite rightly the star of the show. I warmed to her from the start, she appeared so broken that I just wanted to wrap her in my arms and tell her that everything will be alright, so it was great to see her open up as the story progressed.
As for what is the story about James, I'm intrigued to find out what the mystery is there which I'm sure we'll discover over the three remaining episodes.
A quick fun, read, I loved this first episode so cannot wait to read the rest as they are published throughout the year, I've already pre-ordered Ivy Lane: Summer which is being published on 3rd July.