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Review by Suze
Holly was raised by her grandmother Ivy, the only family she still had. She and her grandmother always remained close, also when Holly stayed in the city and Ivy returned to the countryside. They regularely kept in touch until unfortunately Ivy passed away. Her death devastated Holly, so much that she wasn't able to go back to the countryside and look after Ivy's house, which is now Holly's. When Holly is finally ready to go Appleton months have passed already. She's planning on staying in the small village to get the cottage ready to sell and then she will leave again. Holly doesn't like the countryside, but is it really so bad as she initially thought?
Ivy wanted to tell Holly something, but she never had the chance. Holly finds out that there are things about her grandmother she never knew. Ivy had secrets and it's up to Holly to unravel them. While trying to make Ivy's house livable again and restoring Ivy Garden, Holly meets the locals. She learns about gardening and Slowly Appleton starts to feel like home, but that wasn't what she planned, at all.
The Secrets of Ivy Garden is a beautiful story. I couldn't put it down and was immediately enchanted by the gorgeous setting and the fascinating main characters. Holly is a sweet person. She's intelligent and skilled and she never complains. My heart ached for her when I read about all the things she had to go through and I admired her strength and determination to make the best of every situation. When she first arrives in Appleton Holly is incredibly lonely, because she doesn't know anyone and she doesn't have any family or friends in the village, but slowly she starts to meet people and make connections for life, which was amazing to read about. I absolutely loved the way Catherine Ferguson describes her main characters and I could easily see what they were seeing and feel what they were feeling, which was one of the best parts of the book for me.
I'm a big fan of stories set in countryside villages and Appleton is very special. I fell in love with the beautiful surroundings, especially Ivy Garden, which is such a precious and healing place. Catherine Ferguson's detailed and vivid writing made it come to life in a terrific way and I was spellbound by the beauty of it. A garden like that is a magical place and I could feel this magic in the story. The Secrets of Ivy Garden is a wonderful book with a lovely romantic ending. I really enjoyed reading this fantastic captivating story.
If you love stories about small countryside villages and beautiful gardens combined with interesting friendships and lovely romance you should definitely read The Secrets of Ivy Garden.