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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cathy Kelly on top form
This book takes a mix of people and explores the troubles it heir lives. At first they are acquaintances or even strangers, but as the town weaves its magic they become friends and support each other through trials and tribulations.
Mara, who escapes to Avalon after a broken romance not only finds a way to mend her heart, but uses her unique style and personality to...
Published 16 months ago by thea1710@aol.com

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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I Wouldn't Go to Willow Street after reading this!
I've read a few of Cathy Kelly's books in the past, and have to be honest when I say that they have been a bit hit and miss for me. However, I adored the cover for this one, and thought that the plot sounded really interesting and I was curious to find out what the secrets were that these women were hiding. Cathy Kelly has written a lot of books, and has a big fanbase so...
Published on 19 Mar 2012 by Chloe S "Chick Lit Chloe"


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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I Wouldn't Go to Willow Street after reading this!, 19 Mar 2012
By 
Chloe S "Chick Lit Chloe" (Berkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
I've read a few of Cathy Kelly's books in the past, and have to be honest when I say that they have been a bit hit and miss for me. However, I adored the cover for this one, and thought that the plot sounded really interesting and I was curious to find out what the secrets were that these women were hiding. Cathy Kelly has written a lot of books, and has a big fanbase so it's always quite exciting when she comes out with a new title. I'm always honest in my book reviews, so I have to confess that this book left me a little cold, and found me thinking "is that it?" when the secrets were revealed because they simply weren't as big of a deal as I expected, and I did find myself wanting to get through the book faster as it seemed to really drag in parts which was a shame, and here's why.

First of all, the cast were okay but there was no stand out character that I felt could be the leading character of the novel. It seemed at first like postmistress Danae was being set up to be the main character, but that soon proved not to be the case. We barely know anything about Danae, neither do the residents of the town of Avalon, but things are revealed about her more as the book progresses. I liked Danae a lot, she was a good character but managed to sink too much to the background for my liking, and when her story was revealed, I had sort of guessed it was something like that, and although I had sympathy for her, it wasn't as much as I had expected at all. Another main character was Tess Power, mother of two and recently separated, not really by her own choice and so is struggling with it. She also runs an antique shop. I felt sorry for Tess but also wanted to give her a bit of a shake, there was just something about her that wasn't completely likeable.

The other characters in the book were okay, but nothing really to write home about, especially the males. However, my favourite character was the youngest of the group, Mara, a breath of fresh air in an otherwise slow and sometimes dreary novel. Mara creates life, love and laughter in the book and I wish she was in it a bit more. My main problem with the book comes with the books length, and the pace of it. Unfortunately, it progressed so slowly for me, and I did find the initial few chapters hard going as nothing seemed to happen to draw me in and want to read more. Instead of not being able to put it down, I found myself forcing myself to pick the book up to carry on reading, and that's never a good thing. It just moved so slowly, it could have had a good few pages cut out of it to tighten it up a bit and a little more action because the whole thing just seemed like nothing major happened in the entire book, and by the end, I couldn't help but think 'Is that it?', and was thinking surely there had to be more to it than that.

The other big problem for me was the ending. I won't spoil it by telling you what happens, but for me, it came out of the blue, almost as if the author literally ran out of time, and had to stick a concluding chapter in that didn't relevant to the rest of the book at all, and that was perhaps the biggest let down for me. It seemed a shame to build up the entire book on these secrets, reveal them and then end it with something that didn't match up at all. It's a shame Kelly didn't put more into that because for me, an ending makes or breaks a book, and sadly for me, this just didn't work at all. I really would struggle to recommend this book, it's a shame because Cathy Kelly's earlier books are fantastic, but I can't help but feel she has lost her way with her past few novels, and this was a very disappointing read for me. It was a bit bland, very slow, and had a terrible ending, what a shame.
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 4 Mar 2012
This review is from: The House on Willow Street (Kindle Edition)
I couldn't wait to read this new book from one of my favourite authors, but is was so disappointing! I found it very predictable, and i couldn't 'warm' to the characters, it ended very abruptly and seemed rushed at the end. Wish i had bought the hard back as opposed to the kindle version so i could sell it on as i doubt i'll ever read it again.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 7 Mar 2012
This review is from: The House on Willow Street (Kindle Edition)
I too was quite disappointed with this latest offering from Kathy Kelly. I found the first half of the book difficult to get into and a bit depressing. Having almost given up on it just 30% of the way through, I did persevere, but i found the pace of the book was wrong - really drawn out for the first three quarters and then wrapped up too quickly at the end. Also, as I was reading through I felt there were too many questions left unanswered and never did really warm to the characters. As their "secrets" were revealed I found myself thinking a lot of fuss had been made about nothing, even though the story tried to cover some quite sensitive issues. This would definitely make me think twice about buying anything further from this author, which is a shame as I have loved all her previous books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cathy Kelly on top form, 27 Mar 2013
By 
thea1710@aol.com (Tredegar, South Wales) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The House on Willow Street (Kindle Edition)
This book takes a mix of people and explores the troubles it heir lives. At first they are acquaintances or even strangers, but as the town weaves its magic they become friends and support each other through trials and tribulations.
Mara, who escapes to Avalon after a broken romance not only finds a way to mend her heart, but uses her unique style and personality to change the hearts of others,
It is a life affirming novel of love, friendship and the influence people can have on one another
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The house on Willow Street, 17 Mar 2012
This review is from: The House on Willow Street (Kindle Edition)
I pre ordered this book and was very excited on the morning the auto delivery to my kindle was due. Well the book turned out to be very disappointing. It took me a long time to get into the book. I must have read about 40% before I became interested in any of the characters.
The book ended so quickly that the plot became predictable. I will think twice before I read any more of her books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review, 4 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The House on Willow Street (Kindle Edition)
I liked the book very much, it was a good story with unexpected twists and turns, but the outcome was just a little too predictable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read, 10 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The House on Willow Street (Kindle Edition)
I have always liked Cathy Kelly's books and enjoyed reading this book but felt that the ending was too abrupt.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good, 23 Aug 2013
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This review is from: The House on Willow Street (Kindle Edition)
Quite disappointed in this book as I am an avid Cathy Kelly fan. The characters weren't as likeable as they usually are and I felt I didn't get to know them as well. I got to the end and couldn't believe there wasn't another chapter to round things off. I felt I was left dangling, wanting to know how things finished.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars `It's not who you are that matters. It's what you do with who you are.', 24 April 2013
'The House On Willow Street', is so much in the style of the Cathy Kelly I remember reading several years ago and it was therefore almost akin to catching up with an old friend and listening to her latest news and gossip. For me personally, Cathy has already firmly established herself in the upper echelons of female Irish authors, who are such consummate story tellers, able to keep the reader spellbound with their seemingly effortless, conversational writing style, characters who are easy to connect with and richly crafted storylines I can relate to.

There is a slow, yet methodical, multi-layered story development, as we are introduced to the individual characters living in Avalon and are on the outside, looking in, privy to their unique stories and witness as their lives become inextricably linked and circumstances take them back to their roots. A place which each of them has their own reasons to want to forget, yet which calls to them like an old friend; or for some, a place of sanctuary and solitude in which to rebuild their shattered lives.

Each of them has struggled with difficult issues, heart-wrenching decisions and have been forced to face and conquer their own demons and they have each needed to call on more reserves of inner strength, than they knew they possessed, as they give serious thought to the direction in which they would like their lives to go. The power of true friendship is examined and when the chips are well and truly down, the overriding sanctity and strength of the network of family and friends, comes to the fore.

As Cathy takes us on the unique journey that each of the characters has to make, she provides a multi-faceted study of just about every human emotion; from jealousy, greed and revenge; through to loneliness, feelings of worthlessness and self-hatred; even desperation, desolation and rejection.

I felt that Danae's story was probably the most difficult to predict the outcome of and Cathy did an excellent job of revealing the details a little at a time, so that although I thought I knew the full picture, it really was a fluid situation and kept me guessing right until the end.

The paths of these journeys are destined to cross time and time again, before each of the protagonists come to realise, that they are all basically searching for much the same thing ... peace, stability, love and a sense of belonging ... of being accepted for themselves and realising that their contribution to this small and intimate community, is something to be built upon and treasured.

The book as been heralded by some, as a story of friendship and the coming togther of the lives of four women, however I personally felt that Cashel, the forceful male protagonist in the saga, is a pivotal part of the equation, whose life is already intertwined with that of Suki and Tess, whilst his current business relationship with Mara, links her and Danae with the future they will all share in Avalon.

Tess

A new person was coming into this world and it was connected with her and her children. She would do the right thing. That was Tess Power's way.

Suki

The woman had been right. Suki had always been waiting for some guy to fix it all - and she still was ... So much for her feminist principles! She might have been talking the talk but she'd never really walked the walk. Instead, she'd moved from one man to the next all her life. And that had to change.

Mara

She wished she had a magic wand to fix all past broken romances. But then, if she had a wand, she might have fixed her own.

Danae

Mara's pernicious influence was changing her, making her all friendly and chatty, after all these years of keeping herself to herself. But it felt good. Danae smiled to herself. She had to admit it - opening up to the world felt good.

Cashel

Being Master of the Universe was all very well, but when you came back to your home town, the place you'd run around as a grubby schoolboy - then you came back to what you'd been all along.

The characters are all authentically and sympathetically portrayed, feelings and emotions are analysed and discussed in detail and situations are truly perceptive studies of life in today's modern world, couched in excellent dialogue and prose of the highest calibre.

Perhaps the single most important line in the book, may be the most profound and far-reaching, yet is the simplest thing that any one of us can do for someone else, without possibly ever realising what a difference it might make, to both our own lives and theirs.

I'd have gone mad if not for other people's kindness over the past couple of months. Henry James said kindness was the most important word in the English language. He was right

...

As this was a publisher invitation to read and review, a paperback print copy of `The House On Willow Street', was sent to me free of charge, by HarperCollinsPublishers.

This will in no way influence any comments I may express about the book, in any blog article I may post. Any thoughts or comments are my own personal opinion and I am in no way being monetarily compensated for this, or any other article.

I personally do not agree with `rating' a book, as the overall experience is all a matter of personal taste, which varies from reader to reader. However some review sites do demand a rating value, so when this review is posted to such a site, it will attract a 4 out of 5.

...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fair, 13 April 2013
By 
susan (BRISTOL, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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Again I find the start is so slow and I lost interest and Had to replay it several times to get the my head round it.
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