Ivy Lane by Cathy Bramley

‘A place where friendship, love and new beginnings are in full bloom…’

Hi, beautiful friends! Today I’ll be writing about this amazing book I’ve read last month. It’s Ivy Lany written by Cathy Bramley and it is a beautiful read! It was my first time reading Bramley, but I’m sure it won’t be the last. Bramley writes very easily and it takes us readers into a new world, in where we laugh and cry alongside the characters. She pulls our emotional strings in a delicate yet meaningful way. And with Ivy Lane, I cried and I laughed and I felt shy, silly, excited, surprised and loved.

Props to Kate Forrester for this beautiful cover illustration!

Here’s a quick run down of Ivy Lane. We get introduced to Tilly, who turns rapidly into one of those characters you fall in love with. We learn she moves to a little town called Kingsfield but we don’t know why. One of the things that kept me on my feet and made really dive into this book was this big secret. With every new chapter, Bramley gives us a little more into Tilly’s story and my ideas to why Tilly moved would change from one chapter to the next. It is that intriguing! Tilly is a primary school teacher and she’ll begin her new part-time job at the school in Kingsfield. I don’t want to give anything away, but her story is completely devastating and it makes you really want to hug her when the full truth is revealed mid-through the book.

Another beautiful uniqueness of this book is that it is divided according to the seasons. Of course it makes sense, because a big part of Tilly’s story will happen during her time on her new plot and with the Ivy Lane’s community. Tilly is a very reserved person and she mentions many times in the beginning she just wants ‘peace and quiet’. However, Tilly will see some big changes happening in her own life as the seasons pass. She’s so focused in keeping everyone out that she won’t even realise new friendships being created and tight bonds with some marvellous people. It is beautiful to witness Tilly blooming herself into what she’d hoped for the most. She’s a loving person and very likeable; anyone can relate in some degree to what she’s going through and if nothing else, this story might give you the courage to start something new and let the past go slowly.
Tilly and the Ivy Lane’s community are all so passionate about gardening and planting new seedlings, that I can promise you you will feel all the same! I even have started planning where I could grow some onions or potatoes in my new apartment! Even if you don’t know anything about gardening, you actually learn quite a bit from the book! And you feel like you belong, right there, with the Ivy Lane’s community. And of course, you’ll probably fall in love with many other characters, such as Gemma, who becomes Tilly’s new friend and who shares half of the plot with her. Gemma is brilliantly funny and light-hearted. She made me laugh from the beginning to the end! LOVEABLE dot com! (Come back after reading the book to understand this!) And of course, Alf. One of the moments where I cried the most whilst reading Ivy Lane, Alf was in it. You’ll realise it when you get there. Alf is a beautiful, heart-warming, friendly, like any grandpa everyone wants to have. There are also Mia and Hayley and Charlie and Christine and many, many more. You’ll get to know them all and fall in love with every single one of them for everything they have to bring into Tilly’s life.
Tilly and everyone around her grow. They learn from each other and they bond over swapping potatoes for tomatoes and ‘tea times’ in between plots. They will teach you how to love life again, how to become close to people, who you might not have anything in common with, but who will help you no matter what. An enchanting story, which promises to give you butterfly and new beginnings.

‘Life twists and turns in directions that we can’t foresee and don’t always deserve, she said. Nobody has it completely smooth (…)’

A beautiful, enchanting, heart-warming read. A definite must if you need a big hug or a cosy afternoon in between friends. You’ll surrender to the charms of Tilly Parker and her new companions in no time, and you’ll really want to discover what happened to her in the past! I recommend it to everyone and anyone!

If you do decide to read it, let me know and please comment your thoughts!

Happy readings, catreaders!

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