The House on Willow Street by Cathy Kelly

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The House on Willow Street by Cathy Kelly

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Category: Women's Fiction
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A feel-good story about four women who hav to come to terms with their pasts before they can enjoy the future. It's a warm, easy read.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 448 Date: March 2012
Publisher: Harper Collins
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0007373611

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You don't get to a certain age without having a bit of a past and a few stories, some of which you'd rather weren't told and others which you'd just plain rather forget about. In the idyllic Irish coastal village of Avalon we meet four women and they've all got big histories. Tess is descended from the local landowners, but now she lives with her teenage son Zach and her nine-year-old daughter Kitty and she owns the local antiques shop. It's a struggle to make ends meet when her marriage falls apart. To cap it all, her first love and the man she's never really forgotten returns to the village but they're no friendlier than they were the last time they met.

Tess has a sister, Suki and she married into the American political hierarchy, the Richardsons - and when that ended in divorce she moved onto a rock star. Now she's decidedly wrong side of the tracks and a muck-raking biographer wants to find out all she knows. There aren't that many places she can go to ensure that her secrets stay hidden. Danae (that' pronounced 'Danay' by the way) is the local postmistress and the soul of discretion. She doesn't let on much about her own past either - except for the fact that her husband is 'no longer with us'. Only a couple of people know the complicated story behind this simple phrase.

Then there's Mara. She's just left her job after her boss dumped her and married someone else. He seemed to think that the three of them could continue to work together just like they did before. Fortunately Mara has some pride and goes to stay with her aunt - the local postmistress - in Avalon.

You know when you go down with a cold and what you need is lots to drink, a box of tissues and a book which turns the pages and all but reads itself to you? That's how I came to pick up The House on Willow Street. I didn't want something I had to work at, or think about. I wanted something utterly relaxing and which left me with a warm feeling and that's exactly what I got. Perhaps a little more could have been made of the story, but the women all came off the page and stayed with me after I'd turned the last page. Avalon is an idyllic setting and just about a character in its own right. You know that it must be heaven to live there.

I read the book in a couple of self-indulgent sittings and it delivered exactly what I needed. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

This book will appeal to you if you enjoy Maeve Binchy. We can also recommend The Kinsella Sisters by Kate Thompson.

Buy The House on Willow Street by Cathy Kelly at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The House on Willow Street by Cathy Kelly at

Buy The House on Willow Street by Cathy Kelly at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The House on Willow Street by Cathy Kelly at


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