The House on Willow Street
The House on Willow Street
By: Cathy Kelly
Star Rating: 3/5
Review by: Deirdre O’Brien
Supplied By: Easons
Cathy Kelly is already a goddess among fans of women’s fiction in Ireland and further afield. For years now she has written best-seller after best-seller with a throng of fans waiting on her every release date. And, reading The House on Willow Street, you can see why. She has found just the right formula for the perfect chick lit novel with plenty of laughter and tears and characters with enough flaws for anyone to feel a familiarity with but also admire.
The story focuses on a group of women – and one man – who live or are deeply connected to Avalon, a picturesque village in Ireland, and specifically Willow Street and the big-house-gone-to-ruins Avalon House. Two of the central characters, sisters Tess and Suki, were the last descendants of a long line of De Paors who lived there and by the time they were born there was no old money left to keep it but it remains a looming presence over the whole village.
Just as Tess embarks on a trial separation with her husband and her antique shop no longer seem financially viable to run, a storm gusts through the town in the form of her old flame and first love Cashel Reilly who bears more than just a chip on his shoulder towards Tess. Suki – the wild one of the family who relocated to the States straight out of school – has problems of her own with two highly publicised relationships behind her, an ever-diminishing bank account and a blood-thirsty celebrity scandal biographer on her tail, hot on the scent of a terrible secret that will ruin her.
Down the street from Tess’s shop is the post office manned by "town blow-in" Danae who has been residing in Avalon for years. Danae has a remarkable ability to know all of the town’s secrets by being a trusting confidante in the post office but no one knows anything about her shocking past and why she came there. Enter her bubbly niece Mara who needs some quiet time to get her head straight after her boyfriend marries the mistress he cheated on her with. This ray of sunshine lights up Danae’s life but threatens to prise her tightly held secret from her.
The House on Willow Street is enjoyable, non-taxing reading. The story flows gently and is packed with enough secrets and twists to keep you guessing until the last page. Most revelations creep up on you and are original and worth the wait, while others – namely the main focus of love interest in the novel between Tess and Cashel - falls a bit flatter than you would expect. Otherwise, The House on Willow Street is an engaging and enjoyable read for those who like a good romance and a story well told.
Story by EI Team | 09:00 | Monday 11th June 2012 | Other
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