The Secrets of Ivy Garden by Catherine Ferguson

I like it when you start to read the first chapter of a new book, just to get a feel of it and right away you feel right at home.  This is probably the best description I can think of for this book.

It is set in the Cotswolds, which isn’t a place I have ever been before but somewhere I really want to visit. After finishing this book however, I felt like I had been there!  The descriptions made me feel like I was standing in the middle of Ivy’s garden with the sun beating down on my neck and the faint sounds of buzzing bees.

We start the book with Ivy and her granddaughter Holly who are saying goodbye to each other following a visit and Holly is going back home to Manchester. There is something that Ivy is wanting to tell Holly but time gets in the way and they part vowing to discuss at a later date….

The story then moves forward a couple of months and we discover that sadly Ivy has passed away and Holly is once again visiting the Cotswolds but this time on a much sadder occasion.

Although Ivy isn’t actually in the book for that long, I felt that she is kept alive by Holly and the diary that Holly discovers in her grandmothers cottage. Although Holly is determined to return back to Manchester, the lovely Cotswold village works its magic on her slowly whilst she is working on the garden that Ivy had lovingly restored over the years.  Along the way you are introduced to some lovely characters (and some not so nice characters!), Layla a gruff sounding teenager who slowly comes out of shell and becomes close to Holly, her much older brother Jack who seems to get under Holly’s skin….

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and enjoyed the relationships and interactions that Holly had, Sylvain being an amusing character!

I’ve not read anything else by this author but I will definitely look out for further books and would recommend this lovely easy going read to anyone that would like to find themselves whisked away to the Cotswolds for a few days….

I was luckily enough to review a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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