29 May 2015

Book Review: Coming Up Roses by Rachael Lucas

"Would-be gardener Daisy can’t believe her luck when her parents announce they’re off on a midlife crisis gap year, leaving her in charge of their gorgeous garden. After a turbulent few months, a spot of quiet in the countryside is just what she needs.

A shoulder to cry on wouldn't go amiss either - so when Daisy comes across Elaine and Jo, she breathes a sigh of relief. But her new friends are dealing with dramas of their own…

As Daisy wrestles the garden into something resembling order, her feelings for handsome Irishman George begin to take root. Daisy’s heart’s desire − her parent’s garden − is under threat, and Daisy's forced to confront nosey neighbours and fight greedy developers. Village life is turning out to be far from peaceful."

Rating: 5/5

You can buy Coming Up Roses as a paperback or an eBook now.

I haven't read a book by Rachael Lucas yet, although I'm not really sure why to be honest. When I was sent a review copy of her latest book Coming Up Roses, my attention was caught by the really beautiful summery cover, and I liked the sound of the story as well. I'm actually someone who really doesn't like gardening or flowers at all, but trust me when I say that this doesn't matter when you're reading it, because Rachael makes it all sound really interesting and the story around the main character was just brilliant. I loved it, so please enjoy my review.

Daisy is just getting over a nasty break-up so flees to her parents beautiful country home in order to sort everything out and have a bit of time out from everything. They're on holiday, but are employing her to sort out their wild garden, knowing that she's got a talent for anything horticultural. Daisy is determined to keep herself to herself while she's there, but is soon drawn into village life, meeting new friends and joining in all manner of events before she realises what's happening. Daisy's quiet village getaway is turning out to be anything but that...

What I really loved about this book is that whilst it is primarily about Daisy and her getting over her troubles, each of the more minor characters are each super important to the story too and I liked them just as much as I liked Daisy. Firstly, she had a very sweet friendship with pensioner Thomas, who also happens to be a gardener. I loved the banter between the pair, the respect Daisy has for Thomas and I just really enjoyed reading their scenes together, talking about gardening and protecting their village against incomers. 

Then there's her new friendship with local women Jo and Elaine. Elaine lives in a posh house a short walk away from Daisy's parents, but all is not as idyllic as it may seem from the outside. However, Elaine is keen to not lose face in front of her new friends, but Daisy is determined that she coax her new friend out of her shell and help her out. The same goes for single mum Jo, also hiding a bit of a secret of her own. I loved how the women didn't judge each other despite their very differing circumstances, and it seemed really genuine. I thoroughly enjoyed reading their scenes and they were a nice addition to main storyline as well. There were of course a couple of male interests for Daisy, called George and Ned, but this was really a minor plot compared to other things going on in the book.

As I said, I don't especially like gardening - I get palpitations when I think about getting the mower out and all manner of creepy-crawlies in the garden haha - but this book made me vividly picture Daisy's beautiful garden in bloom, full of colourful flowers and plants, being coaxed back to life by Daisy's skilled hands. I also loved the descriptions of the village - it sounded so picturesque you can see why the villagers were so keen to protect it! Lucas' writing was brilliant - she really drew me into the story and kept the pace up so I was never bored and or wanting to put it down. This was a really brilliant read, a fresh look at village life and gardening, and is perfect to read whilst sitting in your own garden in the sunshine (or just pretending that it's lovely on days like today!). Definitely recommended.

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