The Garden on Holly Street by Megan Attley
Publishing Date: 11th July 2019
Source: Received from the publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!
Number of pages: 368
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Sometimes you have to dig a little deeper to get the life you want . . .
Abby Hamilton’s world has turned upside down in a matter of months – it seems that change is definitely in the air. But moving into Willow Court might just be the fresh start and happy distraction she needed.
Meeting her intriguing new neighbours helps push Abby out of her comfort zone. Then she finds an overgrown patch of garden in desperate need of love and time – something Abby has in spades! Throwing herself into bringing the garden back to life, Abby discovers that new beginnings can come from the most surprising places…
An uplifting, feel-good novel, perfect for fans of Holly Hepburn, Heidi Swain and Isabelle Broom.
“The Garden on Holly Street” introduces us to newly single and newly jobless Abby, moving to her new place in Willow Court. This is a lovely place, though some of the residents are not as welcoming as Abby would like to. She discovers there is a community garden as well, but no – one appears to using it, and so it’s unloved and neglected. Abby sets her heart on bringing it back to its glory, but are all of her neighbours on board with her decision?
Abby’s story was nice to read, and I liked to see how she was growing not only her plants, but also in confidence, finding what she wanted to do and starting to enjoy her life again. But I think that the blossoming friendship of Arthur and Ernie was one of the strongest points in this book, though there were moments that Arthur really felt too overdone, as if the author has tried too much with painting him like this. The contrast between Arthur with Abby against Arthur with Ernie would be still there without making him such an unpleasant person towards Abby. However, their stories were really sad and lovingly written, with tons of heart and understanding, and the author has really well captured loneliness of them both, and I really liked that they found each other. She has also managed – and not many authors are able to do it! – to capture Ernie’s perspective in such a believable way. All of the characters are somehow heartbroken and as their stories intertwine it becomes clear that they need each other to heal their wounds, to find happiness again. I liked to see how their friendship developed, with many ups and downs on the way, not sure if some of them are going to get rid off aversion to each other at all! The generation gap made it even more interesting because each of the characters could learn something from the other one, and they really embarked on it and used it fully – they were open and ready for changes.
The book started brilliantly to me, it had the lovely Cathy Bramley feeling to it, and I was full of hope and expectation. Sadly, then it went a bit downhill for me and what bothered me mostly was the fact that there wasn’t anything that I haven’t read already. Please, don’t get me wrong, it was a lovely, uplifting story with all the right ingredients and it really makes me sad that it didn’t work for me as well as I hoped it’s going to.
Altogether, “The Garden on Holly Street” was a warm and comforting read about friendship that doesn’t know the age difference, about new beginnings and opportunities. Life – affirming story about opening up to needs of others, about listening to them, about reaching out to people. It was insightful, gentle and you could really feel the author’s passion to her characters and what they did. A nice, summer read.
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