Welcome to Avalon: a quaint, sleepy town on the Irish coast. Nothing has changed here for generations - least of all the huge mansion on Willow Street; the house in which sisters Tess and Suki Power grew up.
Now, years later, Tess is trying to save her marriage protect her glamorous sister Suki who has come back home, dreams shattered. Similarly, Mara Wilson is seeking refuge from a broken heart at her Aunt Danae′s house. And Danae, the inscrutable postmistress, is hiding some dark memories of her own.
Now that the big house is up for sale, change is blowing on the cold sea wind. But before they can look to the future, these four women must face up to the past.
Kathryn - 3.5 Star
Kelly has a gift when developing characters with depth and The House on Willow Street is exactly what we have come to expect from her, the slow- release storyline leads us to the intertwining lives we crave. There were indeed quite a number of people to keep track of and at first I was worried there would be too many to give the novel any purpose but I shouldn’t have been concerned, this isn’t the first Kelly novel I’ve enjoyed and I should trust her! It took a few chapters but they gradually weaved their way into creating a lovely novel of discovery and dealing with life’s changes.
Danae was such a difficult person to understand until her dreadful past was officially revealed towards the end of the book. Her secrets could probably be guessed earlier on but the extent of her history was still shocking and well delivered and it helped me to like her as I’d been finding her slightly prickly. I absolutely loved her niece Mara’s involvement in the town and how she and Danae worked out their compassion for each other- Mara seemed to bring life and laughter to everything around her and was a joy to read about.
My least favourite character was Suki, although she was well developed by Kelly and her whole persona was clearly defined- I found her too cold to grow attached too and thought she could have done more for her sister and her father. (Possibly I’m projecting my own expectations of family on a character in a novel and I need to grasp that this is fiction!)
For me the most interesting aspect I’ll take away from The House on Willow Street is the new support systems the women were exploring and drawing on- it’s a reassuring thought that your network can expand at any age and that you can discover help you can receive help from people you haven’t even met yet.
Thank you to Gallery Books for our review copy. All opinions are our own.
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