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4.1 out of 5 stars18
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 24 November 2004
Once again Trisha Ashley has produced a true wonder of a book. On the surface, this may appear to be just another piece of fluff about man+woman=happy-ever-after. In a strange way, it is just that. But somehow Ashley manages to make this tale anything but conventional. Fran is married to a wonderful, handsome perfect man. Uh oh. That can't be good. She's happy with her art business (even if these wicked cartoons keep slipping out), her roses, her friends, and her daughter. Ah, her daughter - the product of a) a drunken one-night stand with "Adam" - a gardener (or at least she thinks he was a gardener)? Or b) her long-ago college boyfriend? Things start to slip and slide when a friend of Fran's lands back in the village after a divorce with the need to turn the family pile of stones into a commercial concern. He manages to finagle the grand old home onto one of those garden transformation shows and just guess who the master gardener is? And suddenly, out of the blue, her ex emails her in a very friendly way. To top this, her charming and perfect husband starts acting very strange and Fran is convinced the lovely couple next door is out to get her. I haven't even mentioned her friends, her mother, her mother-in-law, and the Druids! Ashley treats this all with intelligence and a large dose of subversive humor. I'm constantly amazed how funny and accessible her writing is without lowering to the lowest common denominator. It will be a crime if this gem of a novel does not come out in paperback and/or the US!
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on 30 January 2011
Love this book, discovered Trisha Ashley when I bought 12 days of Christmas and really enjoyed that. Have since read all that she has written and can't wait for her next book. Her books made me feel happy and relaxed.
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on 21 November 2010
Trisha Ashley is a fantastic writer and having read a few of her books already I found this on Amazon and it was brilliant. I can't recommend her books more. It made me laugh and it was a real page turner. Well done Trisha!
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on 16 October 2004
Always offbeat and a little quirky Trisha Ashley's books never disappoint.' The Generous Gardner' is no exception. Smart, witty, and fantastically fun this book had me giggling from beginning to end.
Fran March has created a lovely, idyllic life for herself and her teenage daughter, Rosie, in the village of St Ceridwen's Well, with Fran's handsome but selfish husband Mal. Fran has a successful career as an illustrator and as a budding cartoonist, but all too soon everything begins to change with the arrival of two men from Fran's past that threaten to force her to expose the one, tiny, little secret she has kept hidden from everyone over the years; that being the father of her daughter Rosie.
Soon the garden clippings are flying everywhere as old boyfriends try to re-stake their claim, evil neighbors plot to ruin her marriage, and just when she's thinking it couldn't get any worse, her husband accepts a job in paradise for himself, leaving Fran to wonder what has happened to her Eden?
Ashley is at her very best here with loads of warm, belly-laugh-moments and self-deprecating humor that will strike a chord with every woman. And speaking of 'every woman,' it's always, nice to be able to check in with old friends from Ashley's past books and happily we are given that opportunity as both 'Charlie Rhymer 'from 'Every Woman For Herself' along with her alternative woman's magazine 'Skint Old Northern Woman,' (how do I subscribe I wonder?) and, horror author 'Cass Leigh' from Ashley's last book 'Singled Out' are both mentioned.
No doubt about it, another winner for Trisha Ashley! I adored this book, and I am sure you will too!
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on 3 August 2009
A really great holiday read, witty and "feel good" and even better the story ends with a happy ending!
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VINE VOICEon 26 August 2010
Similar to other Trisha Ashley books I have read, a feel good book ideal for a rainy day. Not a complicated plot, characters are either good or bad and there is a happy ending. Find her books really well written and think she really brings her characters to life so that you do find yourself unable to put her books down. A good read.

[review by L Gallagher]
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on 17 November 2005
Having read most if not all of Trisha Ashley's previous books I wondered why this one was published by Severn House and not her usual publisher. Was it not up to the usual standard? In a different genre all together? No, not at all. It's brilliant, funny and un-put-downable. The only thing that made me slow my rate of reading was that awful 'but what will I read next?' question. The characters are querky and interesting, the setting fascinating and the story line - just - fun. What more can I say? Definitely worth a second read.
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on 10 August 2013
Very pleased with this book. I like Trisha Ashley as an author, and always look our for any of her books. It is quite difficult to put this down once you start reading.
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on 27 June 2010
I've read a number of other novels by this author and this one I found the hardest to get in to. Nevertheless once underway, I enjoyed it as much as the others that I have read.
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on 6 November 2014
The best writer as far as I am concerned. Always waiting for her next book.
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