Reviewed by Susan Lobban
When Daisy parents ask her to house-sit while they are off gallivanting abroad, she jumps at the chance. Suffering from fresh heartbreak, Daisy is determined to lose herself in the overgrown weeds taking over their once beautiful garden. The residents of Steeple St John have other ideas, however, and one by one they ensure the newcomer is fully integrated into village life.
Daisy’s love of gardening proves a good ice breaker with those she meets, but she soon realises there is more to chat about than simply plants and shrubs. Elaine and Jo soon become her firm friends and it seems they need Daisy in their lives just as much as she needs them. Then, just as her cheating ex is becoming a distant memory and her parents home feels more like her own, the rug is pulled out from under feet again. Will Daisy’s roots be ripped out before they have even begun to grow?
In my everyday life gardening is not something I am interested in the slightest, however, after recently thoroughly enjoying Cathy Bramley’s Ivy Lane I was keen to see if perhaps Coming Up Roses would pique my interest just as much. Thankfully, as with Ivy Lane, an interest in horticulture is not obligatory in order to enjoy this story – phew! Instead of a gardening snoozefest detailing every turn of the soil, this book was a breath of fresh air and I felt like I was sitting on a deck chair admiring my imaginary surroundings rather than getting my fingers dirty in the flower beds!
Rachael Lucas has succeeded in creating a picturesque village full of characters – though first impressions don’t do any of them justice. Daisy had planned to live a hermit’s existence, albeit with copious amounts of ice-cream and DVD boxsets, whilst looking after her parents’ house but then, day-by-day, the local residents actually start to become friends. The more time she spends in Steeple St John, the more her eyes open to a life beyond the end of the garden path. Elaine, Daisy’s unexpected best friend, especially could have been the stereotypical lifestyle guru, but she had hidden depths and perfectly highlighted that no-one’s life is perfect. Also I really loved the welcome addition of Danny into Daisy’s life, as his inner (and outer) gorgeousness really radiated from the pages and came along at just right the time to give her a much needed boost.
No matter how our summer turns out this year, Coming up Roses is guaranteed to brighten even the dullest of days.