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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming!
I was due to post this review a long, long time ago and I truly apologise for this delay.

I have heard about Ivy Lane on Twitter and then spotted it on NetGalley, where I was declined! Oh, my pride. So I swallowed hard and went and bought this short story on Amazon. And oh my, I am so happy that I did it!

Although at the beginning I was a little...
Published 7 months ago by Agi

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant little story.
A nice little story - nothing to tax your mind. Rather implausibly set around the most active allotment garens in history! However it is pleasant, light hearted, summer reading. The next 3 parts are on pre-order 1 due out at the beginning of each season up til christmas 2014.
For a 99p read - its fine.
Published 6 months ago by Sweet Suzy


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming!, 12 May 2014
This review is from: Ivy Lane: Spring: Part 1 (Kindle Edition)
I was due to post this review a long, long time ago and I truly apologise for this delay.

I have heard about Ivy Lane on Twitter and then spotted it on NetGalley, where I was declined! Oh, my pride. So I swallowed hard and went and bought this short story on Amazon. And oh my, I am so happy that I did it!

Although at the beginning I was a little sceptical. I have tried once a book written in parts and I am sorry to say but I haven’t read it to the end. After 3 parts I have decided this book is not for me and perhaps the next parts in the instalment were better, but I hadn’t had a chance to see this for myself, as the parts that I read didn’t work for me, and waiting for the next instalment was depressing. But with Ivy Lane, oh, don’t you worry about anything, this book left me yearning for more and I can’t wait for the second part.

We meet Tilly when she’s starting everything afresh: new house, new place, new job. There is a reason for this but – of course, OF COURSE! – it’s not revealed in this part. She also takes on her own plot at Ivy Lane allotments and everything what she needs is her part of the lawn and peace. But the community of Ivy Lane has other ideas, they want to get to know Tilly and they want to help her very much with the gardening. So Tilly finds herself in the whirlwind of events, among many new friends and – surprise, surprise – discovering that greenery can be exciting!

This was the one of the funniest stories I have ever read. Period. Written in the most engaging, smooth, flowing way I have ever read. Period. I personally have really null idea about gardening, just like Tilly, so I could totally relate to her embarrassments and her trying to get the whole instalment in her clutch.

I have loved this story straight from the start. Cathy’s writing skills are exceptional and she can create a world that you want to be a part of and when you finish reading, you miss this world. All the characters, with Tilly on the top of the agenda, were brilliantly portrayed, they were funny, witty, with sharp tongues and dry sense of humour, all just popping out of the pages and feeling so real. There were some best scenes and some best lines in this book that I have ever read and I found myself snorting with laughter. This book left me feeling warm and very optimistic and I loved every word of this short story. Tilly was warm and so easy to like, although you could say that she’s hiding something. I can’t wait for her secrets to be revealed, but I’m sure it’s not going to happen very fast, but I am also sure that in the meantime we are in for a treat!

I literally can’t wait to read the next parts of this novel and to discover why did Tilly move to this village, what were the reasons for the whole big change on her life. Oh yes, I was guessing through some of the clues that Cathy gave us but I still have no idea. I am sure this what we got is just a teaser and we are in for a real treat with the next parts, where for sure some revelations and secrets will be revealed. So hurry up July with the second part of Ivy Lane!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great start!, 6 May 2014
This review is from: Ivy Lane: Spring: Part 1 (Kindle Edition)
Tilly Parker arrives in a new town, looking for a fresh start. We don’t know exactly what she’s escaping from but we know it has something to do with “James”. With a new job waiting for her, Tilly also rents an allotment to keep her busy in her spare time, intent on keeping her head down and herself to herself.

What Tilly isn’t expecting is the community that comes along with hiring an allotment on Ivy Lane and soon she finds herself surrounded by new friends, keen to help her out and she in return, finds herself helping her fellow gardener.

This is the first in what is to be a four part series, spanning the seasons of the year. In a similar vein to the allotments the story is growing itself around, the series starts it’s life in Spring. Tilly’s allotment is overgrown, a bit of a mess just like she finds herself to be at the moment and as she and her allotment neighbours start to kick her gardening space back into shape, she also finds herself feeling better.

Ivy Lane features a great set of characters, from the shy to the eccentric, from the sober to the drunk. There’s mysterious goings on in one of the neighbouring sheds, a good looking guy, who brings with him the suggestion of a possible romance on the horizon for Tilly, and so many funny moments, it’s amazing they fit in such a short book.

As an introduction to the series, this book has to fit a lot of information into it’s pages as we get to know both the setting and it’s residents. Now that we know the characters, I look forward to seeing how the story develops throughout the remaining seasons.

My Rating 5/5 ~ A great introduction to what looks set to be a brilliant series. I love the seasonal concept and whilst I don’t particularly like the waiting (impatient as I am), I have a feeling the rest of the series will be worth the wait. Funny, endearing, natural and unique, Ivy Lane looks set to keep me hooked throughout the year.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait for next installment, 4 May 2014
This review is from: Ivy Lane: Spring: Part 1 (Kindle Edition)
Cathy's debut 'Conditional Love' became a HUGE hit after being released in October last year and it was just a matter of time before she snatched a deal with a great publisher. Needless to say, I was over the moon to hear she got a deal with Transworld and she's about to publish her new novel in 4 parts. Tricky you may say, well I thought so too. But, you're NOT to doubt Cathy's writing skills, so publishing her novel in 4 parts (each for every season) proved to be very wise.

'Ivy Lane: Spring' is the first part and it's absolutely charming. It's the right length for a novella, so even those who have trouble reading long books can devour in less than an hour. It's also the perfect opportunity for those who're not familiar with Cathy's writing, to check her out and get addicted to her (just like many of us already is).

'Ivy Lane' tells the story of Tilly Parker who settles in Ivy Lane discovering the beauty of not only her new allotment but of life once again. She's been through quite a rough period (though Cathy shares very few details of Tilly's past) and is all set to start anew. I must admit, I can't wait to read the other parts in this novel because I so want to know what are the reasons Tilly decided to move and make such a drastic change in her life. So, a warning to those that will read this one - do not get frustrated if you don't know all the answers to Tilly's story, I'm sure they will be revealed 'when the time is right', maybe even in the next part.

I really enjoyed Ivy Lane, it's short yet charming because I really could see Tilly transforming in front of my eyes. I've never been one for drastic changes, like moving after a heartbreak etc, but I get the whole idea of starting afresh. Tilly is a lovable character you'll connect to from the first page, and even if you don't like gardening and know zilch about potatoes/tomatoes/carrots/flowers etc, you're going to enjoy this book. Because it's not about gardening, it's about new beginnings, making new friends, believing in life once again though you were burned before.

As you see, I'm really excited about 'Ivy Lane:Summer' and can't wait to see what Cathy and Tilly have in store for us. I assume there will be some twists or huge revelations, which I AM anticipating. Short, sweet read perfect for these spring days.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ivy Lane: Spring, 15 July 2014
By 
Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ivy Lane: Spring: Part 1 (Kindle Edition)
This is part one in a four part novel following the seasons at the Ivy Lane allotments. Tilly Parker needs a fresh start – she has clearly experienced tragedy though we are not told exactly what this tragedy is – and she gets a new job and decides to change her life. Part of that change involves getting herself an allotment – even though she has no gardening experience at all. What follows as she, against her better judgement, becomes involved with the other tenants of the allotments, makes a charming story which will restore your faith in human nature.

If you’re a cynic you probably won’t enjoy this story but if you enjoy feel good stories which remind you of the good in human nature rather than the bad then you will enjoy it. Bear in mind that this is not the full story and the other three parts – Summer, Autumn and Winter – are published during the year. So if you like your stories complete then you had best wait until the Winter instalment is released towards the end of this year.

I enjoyed reading the story and warmed to Tilly as a character. I liked the other characters on the allotments as well – especially Gemma who appears never to get her hands dirty and her mother who is the best delegator I’ve ever come across in fact or fiction! There are plenty of amusing moments in this delightful story and while it isn’t great literature it is good light entertainment. I received a free copy of this book for review purposes from NetGalley.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A delightful read, 9 July 2014
This review is from: Ivy Lane: Spring: Part 1 (Kindle Edition)
First off, some book cover appreciation for the first part in the Ivy Lane series. Extremely pretty, love it!

This is the first part in a four part series and it has definitely got off to a great start.

Tilly Parker is wanting a fresh start, so she moves to small town to get away from her past. Tilly wants peace and solitude and decides to take up a little allotment plot at Ivy Lane as a means of distracting herself. What Tilly doesn't anticipate though is the community spirit of the other residents at Ivy Lane and soon finds that the solitude and privacy she was determined to have may not be so achievable.

I loved the close knit community of the Allotment, even though Tilly is determined to keep her distance, you can see how the lovely people there start to draw her out of her shell. There are a fantastic array of characters in Ivy Lane that I am looking forward to learning more about as the story goes on. I like how colourful they are and have more to them than meets the eye; just like Tilly.

As we read along we are aware that Tilly is hiding a secret and the only thing given away is a name. It has definitely peaked my interest and I hope we find out more about it soon!

I'm looking forward to learning more about Tilly and get back to the characters on the allotment in Ivy Lane: Summer Part Two.

A sweet, lovely story that will leave you wanting more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful light read, 19 May 2014
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This review is from: Ivy Lane: Spring: Part 1 (Kindle Edition)
Tilly Parker moved to the small market town of Kingsfield for a fresh start. She's clearly been through something traumatic that remains a mystery but I'm looking forward to finding out more in the later books!

She finds a job teaching at a local infant school, and thought she would embark on a new hobby, and after a serendipitous moment when a flyer came through her door advertising a vacant allotment, came up with the idea of gardening. She thought it might be an easy, solitary pass time, one which she hopes that no-one will ask any awkward questions (yet we still don't know what about!)
That, she learns, is not going to be as the whole community of the Ivy Lane Allotments wants to welcome her and accept her as their own.

The community really are a lovely bunch, and they all have a back story to tell. I am so happy that this is being released the way it is, in parts, it's a very clever idea and really does add to the anticipation.

I love Cathy Bramley's writing, I find her the most effortless of storytellers, her dialogue is so 'true' and genuine, not trying to be annoyingly on trend or equally annoyingly stuffy, her characters are very well developed - they feel like friends and she has a total knack of drawing you in. I could read her books every day, forever.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A slice of rural life, 10 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Ivy Lane: Spring: Part 1 (Kindle Edition)
A great start to this series of novelletes. The underlying story about the main character is intriguing and makes you want to read more. As each individual is introduced it adds another layer to the story and the author is building the personalities of character as the story goes on. Bring on book two.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful, 24 April 2014
By 
Anne (Sheffield, Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ivy Lane: Spring: Part 1 (Kindle Edition)
You know in advance when you start this short novel that it is the first in a series of four (one for each season). This means that the author has to introduce the characters, write a self contained story for this novel, and create a start to a longer storyline which will encourage you to buy the next one when it is released. I think that she does very well in achieving all three of these aims.

Tilly is a primary school teacher who has moved into a small community to get away from something (not revealed in full here but attached to the name "James"). She takes on an allotment and is hoping to make growing things her new hobby although she knows nothing at all about horticulture. In spending time at the allotment she meets a range of strange characters and finds herself drawn into the community and involved in their lives and activities. It's a simple plot but done well as Tilly is a delightful character who is strong enough to carry the story and to counterpoint some of the more unusual people she meets.

This is a quick and delightful read. The plot is simple and the characters varied. Nothing very exciting happens but as Tilly's plot begins to grow we see her begin to change and interact more. I am looking forward to seeing what summer will bring. I received a free copy of this novel from the publishers via NetGalley.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Nice Surprise, 18 May 2014
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This review is from: Ivy Lane: Spring: Part 1 (Kindle Edition)
This is the first book I have read by Cathy Bramley and was a hugely pleasant surprise to me. Having read the synopsis, I wasn't sure if I could get into it as I'm not into gardening, much less joining an allotment; but something kept telling me I had to give it a chance...and I have not been disappointed!!

This story focuses on Tilly, who is in need of beginning a new chapter in her life, while learning how to lay the old one to rest. To assist herself, she decidedly takes on a plot at the local allotment. From the start, Tilly's drawn into their social structure and roped into different tasks when all she wants is to be alone. By the end of the first book, she's coming out of her shell, has made new friends, learned a few gardening tricks, and finds that she will soon be on telly!!

Ms. Bramley's writing style is free-flowing and low key. Interestingly, the 'Ivy Lane' series is split among 4 books (one per season) and Spring: Part 1 has 11 chapters. I loved this book so well that I pre-ordered the Summer and Autumn books - I can't wait!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars couldn't put it down, 25 April 2014
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This review is from: Ivy Lane: Spring: Part 1 (Kindle Edition)
This book was a lovely, feel good quick easy read. And with another 3 parts to go, the residents of the village and the reader still don't know Tilly's full back story. With that in the background it's nice to just live in the present. If you've just read something a little heavier (like I had) this is a perfect anecdote.
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Ivy Lane: Spring: Part 1
Ivy Lane: Spring: Part 1 by Cathy Bramley
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