Monday, 17 April 2017

Review - The Secrets of Ivy Garden by Catherine Ferguson

Everything about The Secrets of Ivy Garden by Catherine Ferguson, from the cover to the story told within its pages, was absolutely divine. This was the first of Catherine’s books that I’ve read before and I have to say what a fabulous introduction to her writing it turned out to be. I adored every second that I was lucky enough to spend with this delightful little book, one that really was so lovely and heart-warming.

As Holly receives the devastating news that her beloved grandmother has passed away, we see her get on the train from Manchester and make the journey down to Appleton, an idyllic location in the Cotswolds. Determined to get her grandmother Ivy’s house, a place she is all too familiar with from her younger years, ready to be sold soon after arriving in Appleton she begins clearing out Ivy’s possessions. In doing so she comes across a diary, one that belonged to her grandmother and one that reveals things she never knew, things that have the potential to completely change her life. As the days go by and she starts to understand exactly what the diary has revealed, Holly finds herself staying in Appleton for far longer than she ever thought she would. Will she ever be able to leave? 

The Secrets of Ivy Garden is a story that is full of a whole bunch of lovely characters who all help to make this story as wonderful as it was. Holly is most certainly one of these and is one who has clearly experienced so much negativity in her life that you can’t help but follow her story and hope that everything turns out well for her. With her fear of the countryside, the reasons for which all become clearer as the story progresses, Holly’s character came across as being incredibly realistic one who sometimes lacked confidence and often under-estimated herself, things which helped me to connect with her even more than I already did. As the novel progressed it was clear to see what a truly caring person Holly was and it was a pleasure to read of the relationships she developed with those around her, particularly young Layla who with Holly’s support really did change for the better.

With the element of mystery that surrounded the secrets that the diary revealed, Catherine Ferguson has written a story that kept me both interested and intrigued from beginning to end. Her writing style is quite simply beautiful, full of a variety of unforgettable moments some of which pulled on my heartstrings and others which left me with a smile on my face. With some gorgeous and vivid description throughout, Catherine successfully made the village of Appleton come to life and it really captured my imagination. 

From the very first page I had a good feeling about this book, that it would be one that I would love and that certainly turned out to be the case. I am so glad that I made the decision to pick this book up, one that makes for the perfect reading particularly at this time of year. I highly recommend The Secrets of Ivy Garden and will definitely be back to read more by Catherine in the future.