Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Book Review - Love in an English Garden by Victoria Connelly

Amazon UK
Title: Love in an English Garden
Author: Victoria Connelly
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: 14th March 2017
Rating: 5 Stars

The Jacobs family has lived at Orley Court for generations. But when Vanessa Jacobs is widowed and left to manage the property, she finds costs spiralling out of control. In order to stay in their beloved home, she and her daughters will have to sell part of it off—a decision that drives a wedge between Vanessa and her mother-in-law.

The new owners of the north wing are Laurence Sturridge and his father, Marcus. Both of them long for an escape: Laurence from the monotony of his City career; Marcus from the grief of losing his wife. Could the beauty of Orley Court offer them a fresh outlook on life?

As the two families embark on a challenging new chapter over the course of a glorious English summer, secrets are revealed and relationships tested. But as Orley Court begins to weave its magic over them, will it be love, above all, that brings the two families together?

It may sound bizarre but I found Love in an English Garden to be an incredibly calming read, perhaps because of the large focus of gardens, and working in the great out doors. It is from the characters love of nature that you really get to know more about all of them. 

Not only did the book have a calming affect on me, but I also loved every second of it, which didn't really surprise me as I do tend to be a big fan of Victoria Connelly's books.  I literally couldn't put it down for the perhaps four hours solid it took me to absorb every single word. I loved the writing style, and the focuses on a variety of characters, so you got to know a bit more about all of the main players. 

There is the Jacobs' family who own Orley Court, but the only way they can afford to still live there is to sell the North wing, and divide the property into two.  The Jacobs are mother Vanessa, who is starting to move on with life as a widow, daughter Tilda who loves music but has fallen out of love with the music industry, and Jassy. Jassy spends most of her time in the Oast House and is on the autistic spectrum. She adores painting and is always found either talking about painting or creating art. She doesn't overly like change, and tends to be quite outspoken and honest, which are endearing qualities. 

There is also mother-in-law, Dolly who seems to hate Vanessa, also lives in Orley Court and is opposed to anything that may make life better for them all. She especially takes exception to the the team Vanessa hires to look after the garden. 

Enter Jonathan and his team of young offenders, who are being rehabilitated with honest hard work, and are a great bunch of youngsters to get to know. 

Then there are the people that bought the north wing, father and son, Marcus and Laurie. Marcus has seemed lost since his wife died two years ago, and Laurie is needing a change of pace. 

Watch out for unlikely alliances forming, friendships blossoming, and sprouts of romance being planted, with all of these vastly varied characters. 

There are a whole host of storylines, which all work together with the focus on the two families and their garden. It may sound when I put it like that rather mundane, but in fact, its fabulous, with so much focus on the people, the interactions, to such an extent that I'm sad the book has finished and that I won't be able to spend any more time at Orley Court. 

Thank you so much to Lake Union Publishing and Netgalley for this copy of the book which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

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