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#1 International bestselling author, Cathy Kelly, returns with a heartwarming new novel
Meet the women of Delaney Gardens, a bustling suburban village in the outer reaches of Dublin. There's Cassie, who's spent her married life doing everything right for her children, husband, and mother-in-law, yet feels so exhausted that "wine o'clock" comes a little earlier each afternoon. There's her sister Coco, who runs a vintage dress shop, but has avoided the complications of romantic commitment. Watching over them is their grandmother Pearl, who, despite caring deeply for her family, is contending with a long-buried secret. And then there's Elsa, the polished face of daytime TV, who's triumphed over demons before, but is now facing her toughest battle yet. At every crossroad these women face, readers are taken deeper into the heart of what it means to be a family.
story revolves around the choices made and not, mistakes and wonder
Delaney Gardens is a small community in the Dublin suburbs, and the story centers around a few women and their lives as they change, grow and move. Carrying a slightly ‘old school’ feel with references and phrases that are pure 1980’s, I was intrigued nonetheless.
Coco and Cassie are sisters, abandoned by their mother when they were young, raised by their grandmother Pearl. Then we have a television presenter Elsa, and Pearl’s friend Phoebe. Each of these women is hitting a point of decision in their lives, and the story revolves around the choices made and not, mistakes and wonders about the path not taken, and just where the next choice will take them.
What I enjoyed was the obvious connections and friendships between these women, the desire to protect and care for one another to avoid hurt, and the ready willingness to step in and comfort when something goes wrong. Adding in another generation with the addition of Cassie’s teen daughters, you can see the recycling of the questions, issues and concerns as people and their issues never change, even separated by decades.
Where I got stuck in this story was in some of the moments when action and issues felt drawn out with a very slow resolution. A few of the references were dated, and while I know that there are parts of every country that aren’t in line with the latest and greatest, there was a sense of 1980’s from the fashion, description and teens in this one. Overall, the read had plenty of moments for readers to find a character that is easier to relate to, having had a similar situation or experience. While it wasn’t a favorite read, it was solidly written and kept me engaged and entertained.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.