Tilly Tennant comes to the blog with a story of new starts and letting go with the help of a remembrance garden and friendship in
The Garden on Sparrow Street
Tilly Tennant has a way with the written word that instantly immerses you in the place, with her characters – and soon they become fast friends. Nina has had a rough few years after her first love and husband Gray lost his battle with a motor neuron disease. Financially, she’s fairly well settled, but she’s bored and at loose ends, in danger of becoming a bit of a recluse if it weren’t for her best friend Robyn, another widow to the disease. But, Robyn is tentatively stepping out into the dating world, juggling that with parenting her teenaged son and feeling frustrated at all fronts.
A disused and abandoned plot of land on the street gives Nina an idea – she’s got free time now that the charity shop has closed and none of her enquires resulted in a job – so she suggests a ‘Remembrance Garden” with the clear-up and maintenance down to the neighbors. A community meeting brings some interest – and plans are made to make a start. With neighbors both enthusiastic (the twin sisters who never are seen alone) to ever-complaining and lonely Ron as well as others we hear from, or about, as the gossip levels are high – there is a great excitement.
Until the first efforts are sabotaged by vandals, and a local gardener, Colm, is provided. Instantly sparks fly between he and Nina – but she’s determined that ‘attraction’ to another is cheating on Gray and his memory – even as her father surprises her with his own new relationship and Robyn expounds on her plans to divorce her husband before his diagnosis. There’s tons of emotions, a bit of )ok – more than a bit of ) back and forth with Nina, and a determination to see the garden provide a place of calm and quiet where those who are loved yet gone can be remembered with small lanterns lights and a quiet and peaceful place. Tennant hit another winner with this book – as annoying as Nina’s self-sabotage with relationships was, it was easy to see that she was stuck and confused by new and different – as she and Gray seemed so well matched. When you add in Colm’s own struggles with his disappearing wife and teen daughter, his attraction to Nina and his willingness to allow her the time to make her own choices, even as everyone around her seemed to be moving forward, the two have a lovely trajectory with a slow burning relationship that builds in intensity as the story comes to a close. While there is Christmas in the setting, and the story does give a nod to the holidays – it is more a story of coming through and dealing with grief and all the confusing emotions it brings while one heals – both oneself and a little plot of land destined to be a haven for memories for many.
Title: The Garden on Sparrow Street
Author: Tilly Tennant
Genre: British, Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Friendship, Grief, Holiday Themed, Humor elements, Romantic Elements, Second Chance, Setting: Britain, Small Town
Published by: Bookouture
Published on: 9 October, 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Google
As the cold winter nights draw in, escape to the sleepy town of Wrenwick, where the streets sparkle with snow and a lonely young widow is about to find that true love really can strike twice…
As Christmas cheer fills Sparrow Street with excitement, grieving widow Nina is having a hard time. December is always a difficult month to face without her beloved husband Gray, the days feel long and bleak, and to cap it all, she’s just lost her job.
So when Nina hears that Sparrow Street’s Community Garden, one of Gray’s favourite places, is to be put up for sale she knows she must do something. Filled with purpose, she gathers the residents of Sparrow Street around her to turn the neglected patch of land into a Garden of Memories.
Working with her neighbours, single mum Kelly and eighty-year-old Ada, Nina soon finds that she’s not the only lonely soul on Sparrow Street. And as the community comes together and the garden flourishes, Nina can’t help but be drawn to Irish gardener Colm with his sparkling blue eyes and kind heart, finding herself confiding in him about all her recent troubles.
But just as Colm and Nina grow closer and he opens up to her about his own secret loss, Colm’s estranged wife returns from Scotland, wanting to try again. Nina knows she should let the man she’s falling for go – it’s the right thing to do. But what if fate has other plans in store? Will the beautiful garden on Sparrow Street have brought two people together only for Nina’s cautious heart to push them apart?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: