All month, we’ve been reading Ivy Lane by Cathy Bramley – our February Novelicious Book Club pick – and, if the thoughts shared by the team below are anything to go by, we’ve been absolutely loving it. Did you read along? What did you think?
Ahead of the #NoveliciousBookClub chat at 8pm GMT on Twitter and Facebook tonight (join us – there will be biscuits, flash competitions and we’ll be revealing the winner of this very popular garden-themed giveaway), we thought we’d share our initial reactions to the novel. We can’t wait to see whether you agree!
Ivy Lane drew me in from the very first page. I loved Tilly, and I wanted to know why she’d had to start again. I could easily picture the Ivy Lane allotments with their variety of plots and people, all welcoming Tilly in their own, often eccentric, ways. It is funny, heartwarming and romantic, and a book I can see myself going back to again and again.
What a bunch of colourful characters. I have no interest in gardening in real life, but found Ivy Lane to be an inviting and charming place. So much so, I am almost tempted to join my local allotment (almost). My favourite character was Roy as he was so lovely and considerate, which you wouldn't expect from the local drunkard!
I loved everything about Ivy Lane, from the array of quirky characters to the setting of the allotment and its social calendar. I thought Cathy Bramley's writing was engaging and full of warmth and I connected with Tilly immediately. Ivy Lane and its community came alive for me and I'm eagerly awaiting spring so I can do a bit of planting of my own!
I love Cathy Bramley. I had the privilege to read her first novel, Conditional Love, when she self-published it and I have been a fan of her wonderful writing ever since. So when I first heard that she was going to be published by Transworld I was very excited at the prospect of getting the chance to read more novels by her hand. And her first paperback release, Ivy Lane, does not disappoint.
Initially released in four individual digital parts, the whole story has now been published and I whizzed through it at rapid speed as I fell in love with main character, Tilly, and her new friends at the Ivy Lane allotments. I have never been a big fan of gardening myself, but Cathy has sold it to me with her beautiful descriptions of Tilly's rewarding work on her own little space – not to mention the fact that you can meet gorgeous men while gardening, who knew?
Ivy Lane is a heart-warming, sweet and uplifting tale of friendship, romance and getting your hands dirty. Filled to the brim with loveable characters, a compelling story and a tearjerker, or two, Cathy Bramley has once again shown what a fantastic writer she is. I am already looking forward to her next release!
I’ve been looking forward to bedtime with such anticipation all month thanks to Ivy Lane. Dipping into its pages is to lose yourself in a lovely community that you can’t help but wish was real. The characters are warm and funny and the plot is full of quirks. I loved Ivy Lane. This novel has bumped Cathy Bramley to the top of my must-read women’s fiction authors.
I adored Ivy Lane. Everything about it. The location, based around an allotment – perfect! – the characters, Tilly’s journey. I felt like I was truly there amongst the cast of characters. It was just a lovely, lovely read.
Tilly is a warm character that I took to straight away. She has had her heart broken in the past but the reader is left to speculate as to why, with only small clues dropped as the plot progresses. As the seasons pass, Tilly starts to heal and a whole new side to her is revealed.
It is rare to read a book with such a unique cast of characters, each one wonderfully lovable with their quirks, flaws and different personality traits. I would recommend a visit to Ivy Lane for all keen readers of women’s fiction! A warm, friendly welcome is guaranteed!
Do join us at 8pm on Twitter and Facebook tonight for a virtual glass of wine, a biscuit, competitions, and some book discussion (no spoilers though please as others will still want to read the book). See you there!