By Cathy Kelly
Author’s website: http://www.cathy-kelly.com/
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Una
#1 International bestselling author, Cathy Kelly, returns with a heartwarming new novel
Meet the women of Delaney Gardens, a bustling suburban village in the outer reaches of Dublin. There’s Cassie, who’s spent her married life doing everything right for her children, husband, and mother-in-law, yet feels so exhausted that “wine o’clock” comes a littler earlier each afternoon. There’s her sister Coco, who runs a vintage dress shop, but has avoided the complications of romantic commitment. Watching over them is their grandmother Pearl, who, despite caring deeply for her family, is contending with a long-buried secret. And then there’s Elsa, the polished face of daytime TV, who’s triumphed over demons before, but is now facing her toughest battle yet. At every crossroad these women face, readers are taken deeper into the heart of what it means to be a family.
This is a warm Irish story about the strength of family bonds and the complexities of real life. Cassie and Coco raised by their loving grandmother, have grown up depending on each other and are successful in their own lives however it seems that their mothers leaving has affected their adult relationships. Coco has tried everything to achieve the perfect family life but “wine has become her crutch” when perfection starts to crumble around her. Coco although only 1 when her mother left seems unable to keep herself in a stable relationship. Trust seems to be the underlying factor that both girls are dealing with. Even the grandmother has secrets that she has never shared. When their father dies questions remain unanswered as to why their mother never made an effort to contact them.
In the background the reader meets the mother who although had an addictive past has made a success for herself but when her health becomes compromised she realizes how alone she really is and begins to wonder about the girls she left.
As expected the mother does come back into the girl’s life and the pieces slowly come together. It certainly gave me a question of how we sometimes think we are doing good for those we love without thinking of the long-term consequences.
This story isn’t a cheerful read but I found it sensitive and endearing in its own special way. Cathy Kelly draws you into the story and setting and I found once immersed I didn’t want to put the book down. For readers who like an Irish setting and the complexities of families should really enjoy this book. I for one will look out for more Cathy Kelly stories.