Monday, 3 April 2017

Book Review - The Secrets of Ivy Garden by Catherine Ferguson - #AroundTheUKIn144Books #Gloucestershire

Amazon UK
Title: The Secrets of Ivy Garden
Author: Catherine Ferguson
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: 3rd April 2017
Rating: 4 Stars

When Holly breaks up with her boyfriend Dean, she’s at a loss as to what to do next. But things go from bad to worse when her beloved grandmother Ivy dies – and Holly is left in charge of sorting out Ivy’s house and garden. As she sorts through her grandmother’s belongings and makes her way through the wilderness outside, Holly soon finds that there is more to Ivy than meets the eye, and uncovers a surprising family secret that changes everything…

This is a heart-warming and hilarious story from Catherine Ferguson about starting over, learning to garden and most of all learning to love.

What a lovely heart warming and sweet story The Secrets of Ivy Garden is, Set in a charming location of Appleton, in the Cotswolds, it tells the story of Holly who is determined to put her beloved grandmother's cottage up for sale, and then discovers Ivy's diary. 

Within the diary it gives a secret and mystery that Holly is determined to solve, added to her new day to day existence of trying to renovate part of the cottage, and put Ivy's "secret" garden back into order. 

While doing all of this, you need to bare in mind that Holly has a fear of the countryside, which does get explained, and I think she surprises herself by how many friends she makes in the village. From the Rushbrooke family - Prue, the mother who never goes into the village and wants to hire Holly as a gardener, Jack the older son, who is trying to be a rock for his family and Layla the teenager who seems misunderstood by her family but makes a firm friend in Holly. 

Then there is Connie in the deli shop and the man who tries to teach Holly not only about meditation but also about a whole different way of life, all of which help enrich Holly's time in Appleton. 

While Holly is in Appleton she learns a lot about herself and also proves what a lovely friendly person she really is. There are a couple of potential love interests, and I was kept guessing until the final pages as to whether the pairing I wanted, would ever be made! 

I found The Secrets of Ivy Garden to be a very pleasant read, nice and easy to get into and I really enjoyed getting to know the characters . It was a story I finished with a smile and a whole host of good feelings. 

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Avon for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.  


  1. You seem to be covering a lot of counties latelty what with Gloucestershire, Glasgow, West Yorkshire and so on!

    I just finished The Secrets of Ivy Garden and what a lovely read it is indeed! I really fell in love with Holly, Ivy Garden and the village of Appleton. Great review you published above!
    I also wanted to say that I recently got round to reading A Song for Tomorrow and it truly is an incredible book! Thank you for the recommendation. I never cry when reading a book, but listening to 'Inside of You' sung by Alice Martineau after finishing this book nearly broke me. Definitely one of my favourite books this year, if not the very favourite. I've read 54 books so far this year and my favourites are (in no particular order):
    Emma Heatherington - The Legacy of Lucy Harte (I still think you should read this!)
    Hannah Doyle - The Year of Saying Yes
    Trisha Ashley - The Little Teashop of Lost and Found
    Juno Dawson - Margot & Me
    Alice Peterson - A Song for Tomorrow (obviously!)

    I've also loved How Not to Fall in Love Actually by Catherine Bennetto and Clare Swatman's Before You Go, which were out as e-books last year, but published as Paperback this year.

    My New Year's Resolution was to buy less books, but frankly that's proving difficult! 2017 seems an amazing year for books so far, don't you think so too? Already there are books that I haven't got around to reading yet such as This Love by Dani Atkins and there are new books out every day... I love your Publication Dates page, I've discovered a lot of books I want to read on there! For example Meet Me at Wisteria Cottage and The Cornish Escape both out tomorrow.

    By the way, I'm Nathalie. I'm the one most of the anonymous comments have come from over the last three months. I'm a very private person on the internet, but I thought the time had come to reveal my identity =)
    Love your blog, Rachel!

    1. Hi Nathalie

      It's a pleasure to meet you at last. I did think most of the anonymous comments were from the same person, but I wasn't sure.

      Thank you so much for all of your kind words, I really do appreciate them.

      Agreed I had a run purely accidentally at the start of this month with new counties, which was exciting, although its slowing down again at the moment.

      Really glad you are enjoying some of the books you have read based on their appearance on my blog.

      I was reading an article about Alice Martineau and A Song For Tomorrow the other day and it brought back to me all the emotion I felt as I was reading the book. Truly is superb.

      I'm crossing my fingers that the Hannah Doyle book will be released as a combined book, as I have my eye on it, just not a fan of parts. I really should buy that Emma Heatherington book!

      I do have a copy of How Not to Fall in Love Actually that I hope to read eventually!

      Agreed 2017 is an amazing years for books so far, and I really can't work out how to fit in reading all of the ones that I would love to. Glad you are enjoying the publication dates page too.


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