Tilly Tennant comes to the blog today with a new contemporary woman’s fiction, full of family strife, struggles, changes and choices in
The Mill on Magnolia Lane
Opening at the funeral of Lizzie’s father isn’t necessarily the best introduction to the Lovell girls, and her mother is particularly put out by her ‘relegation’ to a lesser row as she is the divorcee, not the widow. And believe me – Lizzie’s mother Gwendolyn and her sister Gracie could have complained for England – and probably won it all. Fortunately, Lizzie is a bit too busy to always be negative and grousing – as she decided to, after being horribly misused by her ex, purchase a run-down mill on the outskirts of the town her father grew up in. Passing the run-down mill on their frequent road trips into the country left Lizzie with plenty of fond memories and perhaps a blind spot or seven when it comes to the potential of the old mill to be a working concern and home for her after renovation.
As if renovating (with no experience and a limited budget) an old grain mill isn’t enough – Lizzie is the one on the family who has taken on the role of “caretaker and fixer”, from checking on her mum and pushing her to move forward, to taking in her very annoying and rather spoilt sister: the only one in the family to whom their rather childish and immature brother will speak, and the only member of the Lovell family that is even remotely polite to (in fact – friendly with) her father’s widow Florentina. When you add in a gorgeous neighbor who was introduced by his little brother – a special needs adult-child who is an amazingly bright spot in the story – you get confusion, a family feud between Lizzie and her sister about their ‘stepmother’, a tragic ending for her brother James and a return (with a vengeance) of Lizzie’s deeply rooted trust issues when it comes to Jude and his relationship with the mother of his little son.
I love Tennant’s books and her writing – and for the most part her stories have a way of feeling very ‘real and plausible’ with plenty of intriguing dreams being chased by the characters she creates. This one, however, required a bit more ‘stick-to-it-ness’ than I normally find. Family and personal discord and upheaval, insecurities and conflicts all seemed to pop up when things were starting to progress – if not exactly smoothly, then a bit like a massive building project – one thing works and another seems to break down. But, I held onto the hope that the characters would find their way to new opportunities and outlooks – and that, like their grief, the drama and upheaval wouldn’t last forever. I was rewarded – the pieces so unreliably reliable for creating discord and ill-will were sorted out with cooler heads and a bit of time taking the edge off emotions and allowing a new outlook to present itself. With the sails working on the mill, a new baby and hope for new loves and happiness to come – the story came around to leave me with a smile.
Title: The Mill on Magnolia Lane
Author: Tilly Tennant
Genre: British, Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Friendship, Humor elements, Romantic Elements, Second Chance, Setting: Britain, Small Town
Published by: Bookouture
Published on: 4 April, 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Google
The sky is cornflower blue, the air is scented with the smell of fresh apple blossom and Lizzie Lovell can’t wait to start her new life in the mill on Magnolia Lane. But is she just about to fall in love with someone she shouldn’t?
When Lizzie loses her larger-than-life Dad she doesn’t know how to move forward. Encouraged by a childhood dream she shared with her beloved father, she is determined to continue his legacy and moves to the old Mill on Magnolia lane, a place he had always longed to own.
Restoring the old windmill is a much bigger job than Lizzie bargained for, especially when she is distracted by her new next door neighbour Jude, who has temptingly twinkly eyes and a body to die for. But when Jude’s ex- girlfriend Harriet arrives back on the scene, Lizzie begins to wonder if life wasn’t far simpler before she moved to the mill. Especially when it emerges that Harriet knows something about Jude’s past, something that could shatter her new start and her heart into smithereens …
If your heart is warmed by Jenny Colgan, Lucy Diamond and Josie Silver’s One Day in December, you’ll fall in love with this beautiful feel-good story about finding love when you least expect it.
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.