Wednesday 4 February 2015

Review ~ Ivy Lane: Winter: Part Four by Cathy Bramley.

Title: Ivy Lane: Winter: Part Four.
Author: Cathy Bramley.
Publisher: Transworld.
Genre: Chick Lit.
Publication Date: November 6, 2014.
Source: Bought.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK

Hope thrives at Ivy Lane . . .

As winter descends on Ivy Lane, the frost sparkles and icy winds flurry – but Tilly is still reeling from the events of the Hallowe’en party. Only the die-hard plot holders brave the cold weather, and Tilly fears the loneliness that gripped her a year ago will return.

Resolute to stay cheerful, she throws herself into organizing both the inaugural Ivy Lane Great Cake Competition and the Christmas Party, and even squeezes in a little match-making along the way.

Surrounded by her friends at the Christmas Party, Tilly has come a long way in a year. She can feel her own heart slowly melting, but who will be waiting under the mistletoe?

My review of Ivy Lane: Spring: Part One
My review of Ivy Lane: Summer: Part Two
My review of Ivy Lane: Autumn: Part Three

I put off reading the final Ivy Lane instalment because I have loved every single thing about this series and did not want it to end. Sad, I know. Thankfully, the wonderful Cathy Bramley has written another serialised novel, Appleby Farm, of which the first part is out this week so it was just the push I needed to finally read Ivy Lane: Winter. Within less than a minute of reading it, I’d managed to ease my way right back into the lovely Ivy Lane community and this was a delightful, fitting way to end a series which has brought me so many smiles, laughs and tears and a new-to-me author whose books I now always look forward to. I can’t wait to re-read the whole of Ivy Lane in its full paperback release later this month.

It felt like being back with old friends meeting Tilly and the rest of the Ivy Lane community again. I wasn’t sure how life would be for Tilly following that ending to the Autumn instalment but we get to see how her character has progressed throughout the series when, rather than hiding away like she might have done previously, she’s ready to throw herself right into the social events at the allotments and help make sure her friends are as happy as possible, with a little bit of match-making to go with. Tilly is such a likeable character and her infectious spirit is gorgeous to read – she’s a fighter and always thinking of others, even when her own life is suffering. I have to admit though that in Winter, I loved her best friend Gemma’s involvement the most. What with her being well into her pregnancy and very close to her due date, you can just sense that a bit of chaos is about to ensue and Gemma effortlessly makes me laugh, at her attitude to everything. She’s a great character and the kind of mad, but loyal, best friend you’d love to have yourself.

With a lot but not all of the Ivy Lane residents’ secrets having been revealed over the course of the series, Winter had to provide something a little different to keep the interest going until the very last page. This was achieved with ease as it approaches Christmas time, and the need to raise some money in order for the Ivy Lane Christmas Party to go ahead. There were still some final secrets to be revealed but mostly I just thought Winter was a lot of fun. I loved the cake baking competition and all the categories that could be entered, allowing everyone to take part regardless of how completely disastrous their baking ability was. I liked the introduction to a new character in Freya, who came across as a bubbly character and whose story I can’t wait to read about in Appleby Farm. With Winter being the ending part to Ivy Lane, it meant no more of those torturous (yet brilliantly delivered) cliffhangers the author is so good at and the final part could have easily tapered off into a mass happy ending for every character involved. Instead, we’re brought plenty of entertainment and twists to keep us guessing the future of the much-loved characters and it was a beautifully written end to an uplifting, inspiring series.

Review also posted on Goodreads | Amazon UK


  1. Oh, Sophie, this is such a lovely review. Thank you very much!
    Cathy x

  2. I haven't read any but the reviews for all of them have been great. I have been waiting for all to be released.

    This is an amazing review. I love how honest you are and how you describe the characters.

    1. Thanks Tanya, that's a lovely thing to say.

      You'd love the complete paperback copy, I'm sure. Plus that way you don't have to endure the nightmare cliffhangers!


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