The Garden on Sparrow Street

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 09 Oct 2019

Member Reviews

Nice feel good book. It flowed very well. was easy to read. Nice characters. Good storyline. What’s not to love.
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My Rating: 4.5 Stars

Christmas is coming quickly, but it is not a season of joy for Nina. She is a widow, and that makes things hard enough as it was during Christmas she lost her husband. What makes this year especially difficult is that charity shop she has volunteered at for years is closing down.

Nina finds something else to help to occupy her time. She attends a board meeting with her best friend Robyn, also a widow who works with Nina at the shop. There is a plan to create a Community Garden on Sparrow Street. This place was very close to her husband's heart, and Nina is eager to take on the project.

Nina, Robyn and several other residents begin the endeavor and things begin looking up. There is someone new on the scene, however, who actually turns Nina's head. That is Colm, an Irish gardener, who just happens to be something special. At first Nina feels disloyal to her first love, but while the garden is being set up, along with some troubles along the way, Nina and Colm draw ever closer together.

There are some hiccups along the way, however. Not only is Nina very concerned with how Colm's daughter might feel if their relationship blossoms, suddenly Colm's estranged wife shows up and wants to reunite the family. Nina must make some difficult choices.

What a a touching story! On the one hand, it was rather heartbreaking when Nina's loss is brought to mind, along with her exploring whether or not she can love again. In a wonderful way, however, this turns into a story of love and hope and definitely gave me the feels. This seasonal story is the perfect evening read, one where time could easily be suspended, knowing that in the end, one's heart will leap for joy.

This is only the third book that I have read by Tilly Tennant. I definitely want to dive into the rest of her backlist, because her stories are always touching and very rewarding.

Many thanks to Bookoture and to NetGalley for this ARC to review. This is my honest opinion.
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Ooh, my heartstrings have been pulled with this book! Nina and Robyn both lost their husbands and volunteer at the shop which supports the charity which helped them through their darkest hours. When the shop closes, they both feel a bit lost so join the crusade in their neighbourhood to transform a rundown garden area for the local community and raise money for charity instead.
On the personal front, both women face the prospect of new love, something which Robyn relishes but Nina is terrified of giving her heart away again, feeling like she is cheating on her late husband.
The community project gains publicity and funds so a professional gardener assists them. Love begins to bloom between Nina and Colm…
Sadly the garden is wrecked by vandals and the developing romance is rocked by past love. Can there be a happy ending?
The Garden on Sparrow Street is a beautifully emotional book. The loss and grief that Nina has experienced is achingly believable, and her doubts and fears are also realistic. Her friendship with Robyn adds humour and conflict to the novel. The hope and love in the book are inspiring and moving and as readers we are able to root for the success of the garden and Nina’s lovelife.
There is great sadness in the book but this is softened by a comedy element provided by the peripheral characters. Tilly Tennant has constructed a community that her readers will become a part of as they involve themselves in the narrative.
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Now THIS is what I was waiting for!! Emotion, heartwarming events, colourful characters, uncertain romances, and the right amount of humour to even out the tender times. THIS is Tilly Tennant at her finest.

The concept of rebuilding a garden for the local community, isn’t one that i found to be unique. I have read several books which have centred around that particular thing and, in all honesty, I was a bit unsure as to how Tilly Tennant would make it her own. I know that there isnt really much that can be done to make the idea of a garden something to remember, but I must say that Tilly Tennant DID make the idea her own and I thoroughly enjoyed the way she made the community come to life.

Nina and Robyn have both suffered losses that have torn their lives apart. Whilst Robyn has more of an outgoing personality in terms of grabbing another romance by the begonias, Nina is more of an introvert and someone who cant help but worry about every little thing. I found Robyn a little much at times, often a little bit arrogant. I know that she was a bubbly person, however that seemed to make her think that she could walk into any situation like a bull in a china shop. I guess you could say that i related more to Nina due to her type of personality.

What I loved most about the book was that a group of people from all walks of life, came together to support one another, regardless of the issues that they were facing in their personal lives. On the outside, the residents of Sparrow Street seemed to have their stuff together, yet once the walls were brought down, they all ended up showing a different side to their personalities. Nobody judged each other for their issues, their worries and what not. They just helped in their own little ways and I loved that! It was such a heartwarming thing to see and I actually felt a little bit of hope, something which I’ve not genuinely felt in a while.

‘The Garden on Sparrow Street’ is more than just a garden, it’s about journies through life after loss, life after heartache, and living life before it ends up being a loss. I loved the amount of heart that the author invested in the storyline, and I loved being able to watch various characters feel confident enough to spread their wings, even whilst feeling uncertain. A genuinely touching, hopeful, and tender novel – I loved it.
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Combine a good sprinkling of romance, loss, friendship, community spirit and Christmas cheer and you end up with The Garden on Sparrow Street by Tilly Tennant.

Although I haven't yet read any of this author's other novels, the attractive cover design of this one caught my eye and I thought the premise of the book sounded wonderful. The Garden on Sparrow Street was a such lovely story and I especially liked the main character, Nina, to whom I could really relate. I was rooting for the other characters too, particularly Colm and Robyn. I appreciated the wintery theme and the Christmas feel with their festive charms, as well as the story's overall tone which was so snug and uplifting, bringing with it such an amazing sense of community. 

This was a beautifully written, uplifting story of love, friendship, overcoming loss and coping with the bad times. A dash of sparkling romance kept things fizzing and everything was wrapped up very nicely in the end.

This is a wonderful, inspirational holiday read with a really strong wintery feel and a book that I will certainly be recommending to friends and family; I will also be suggesting it to my local library under their 'Recommend A Purchase' scheme.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my own request, from Bookouture via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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Notice: this book is expected to release today, October 9th, 2019. I was approved for an eARC of the book through NetGalley. This does not affect my opinions of the work.

By itself, romance is not a genre that I tend to read. However, when I saw that this ARC was available to be requested on NetGalley, I decided to branch from my comfort zone. 

What initially drew me in about The Garden on Sparrow Street was the winter/Christmas setting. At the time, I was actively looking for a winter book that I could love and reread as much as I have with Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. I've reread that book multiple times over the years during Christmas, but this year, I wanted to try something new.

The Garden On Sparrow Street is a lovely novel that has a real human dimension to it. The characters experience real-world phenomenon such as the pain of becoming a widow and learning to live without your former spouse, the confusion that comes with appropriate grieving length and when to move on, how to move on with children involved, etc. There is so much realness to the plot, and I felt immersed in the characters lives the entire time.

The community aspect of this book was lighthearted and refreshing as well. It demonstrated the power in rallying others to support a cause that has importance, even if the importance is not appreciated by all. The community is also vibrant in diversity, with ages ranging from Nina's mid-30s to Aida and Martha in their elderly years. Each resident of Sparrow Street had a distinct personality, with individual opinions and suggestions on how to go about the garden restoration project.

There are two things I'd like to highlight about this book. The first is the excellent parent-child relationship between Colm and his daughter Polly. In the wake of his wife's and her mom's absence, Colm and Polly grow close together as father and daughter and have a relationship built on trust and love. It was so very special to me to see this on-page healthy parental relationship. Though I recognize that this is not a young adult novel, I carry the perspective of a primarily YA reader, and healthy parental relationships is something I am not graced by often in that genre.

The second aspect I'd like to highlight is how gracefully the introduction of daughter to dad's new girlfriend was executed. The adults in this book are very respectful of personal boundaries of both each other and each other's children. I loved every moment of it. Here's a quote to highlight this idea, it's Nina talking about Colm's daughter Polly:

[Nina] "I do worry that I'm being compared to her mum and I hope she doesn't think I'm trying to replace her because I'd never do that. All I want is to be a new part of her life, someone she feels she can spend time with and come to if she ever needs help or advice. If she'll have me, that is."

And finally: the romance. I really enjoyed the fact that Nina does not magically forget her former spouse Gray ever existed in order to be with Colm. She is open and honest about her previous marriage with him (and he is likewise with her,) and she lets him know if certain topics are still sore. That said, I also appreciate the fact that Nina visits Gray's grave to grieve and make peace with moving on from their marriage. It felt genuine and healing. 

Once the romance with Nina and Colm begins, it is playful, respectful, and uplifting. They are truly a complementary pair. I was rooting for them from beginning to end.

"Nina smiled. There was no doubt in his expression at all, only absolute certainty that they had a future well beyond tonight." 

The Garden on Sparrow Street pushed me out of the YA genre for a week and allowed me to experience healthy, on-page adult relationships that I sometimes crave but don't see in that genre. This book also has so many social commentaries that could be points of discussion, and finally, I can refer back to this book for said social commentaries and recommend it for its cozy, winter atmosphere.
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Nina works in a charity shop with her friend Robyn. As a widow, the volunteer job fills the empty hours she faces since losing her beloved husband. Robyn knows all about losing someone and the pair have formed a true friendship. When Nina learns that the charity shop has to close she dreads the lonely days ahead.

Nina knows that she has to find a project and hears that the neglected community garden on Sparrow Street is up for sale. She comes up with the idea to transform the garden into a memorial where people can go to remember loved ones.

However, the project doesn't always run smoothly and after the gardens are vandalised a handsome gardener comes along to offer a helping hand. Nina begins to realise that meeting Colm could give her a second chance of happiness and heal the overpowering grief she feels. Just as the couple get closer, someone appears to change everything.

I loved the great sense of community displayed by the residents in the transformation of the garden. The secondary characters were so engaging, especially the twin neighbours who literally hung on to each others every word! The story is about rebuilding in every sense of the word and the amazing healing power of friendship. Anyone who has lost someone will relate to this inspirational story. Tilly Tennant tackles a difficult subject with beautiful dignity, warmth, and humour.
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Tilly Tennant always has the power to write such beautiful and complex story-lines and The Garden on Sparrow Street was no different. 

Losing her husband a lot sooner than expected, Nina is still struggling two years on to let go of her life with Gray and move on to other aspects of her life. A great distraction came the communal garden, in which Nina and her best friend Robyn, had the wonderful idea of turning in to a memory garden, in which people could write a message or light a lantern for a loved one they have lost. 

I absolutely adored Nina, she saw the best in everything and everyone, despite multiple knock-backs. She dealt with her grief a lot differently to her best friend, who also lost her husband to the same illness, however, grief comes in many different types and that's okay. 

Colm, the gardener, was a breath of fresh air for Nina, showing her that she is allowed to move on and Gray would completely understand. Although, that didn't stop Tilly digging deeper in to how moving on from a loved one can also affect other members of the family, as Tilly feared her relationship with Gray's mother would come to an end when she finally found someone new. I absolutely loved their growing relationship and Colm really couldn't have come at a better time. He was absolutely delightful as well, with his Irish accent and delicious looks - however, that doesn't mean he doesn't hold a little baggage himself!

Nina's husband, Gray, seemed like such a wonderful man and I would have loved to have had more of an insight in to his and Nina's life together, but I do understand why Tilly didn't shed too much light on their marriage, as this was a story of keeping loved ones in your heart, but also learning to let go and move on for yourself as well. 

The Garden on Sparrow Street is a gorgeous, heart warming story to curl up to during the winter holidays, but be prepared to unleash all the emotions!
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A very interesting and lovely story from Tilly. I love the way she wrote, it's as though i'm living through the story.
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The Garden on Sparrow Street is a very entertaining and well written romance. I really enjoyed the characters and the communal garden.  I highly recommend this book.  Thanks to the publisher for my advance ebook.  This is my unbiased review.
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🎄Light, love, hope and community spirit touch a grieving widow: lovely!🤗

🎀 What a moving and hopeful story about grabbing on to second chances when they appear and living in the now.  With sweetness and depth of feeling, author Tilly Tennant has created a diverse and lively community in Sparrow Street, including some eccentrics and its own resident Grinch (though this one is uniquely capable of eating all and anything that's placed in front of him!), and touching second chance romances for widows Nina and Robyn,

💞Young widow Nina is still feeling a bit lost and aimless, facing down the premature illness and death of her husband Gray two years before, when fate introduces her to Colm, a single father with first-rate gardening and fossicking skills and a generous spirit.  The romance is sweet and clean, though no less heartfelt.  And it all started with a weed-filled community garden that begged for a drastic transformation!

🎁This is a perfect, inspirational holiday romance but its messages of community spirit and embracing joy while you can are fitting any time of year

Thanks to publisher Bookouture and NetGalley for providing a complimentary advance copy of the book;  this is my voluntary and honest review..
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A feel good book can easily be compared to a recipe. If you want to make a cake for instance, you have to pick the ingredients you like, weigh them carefully and mix them together. When it comes out of the oven, you can eat a slice (or two) of the most delicious food.

In a story it are the words and emotions that make it a wonderfull read. You have to add the right amount of laughter and sadness, of humour and depth, of love and heartbreak, of friendship and family and when you achieve this you will end up with a work of art.

This author knows how to keep you interested in her story. It has all of the above and more and she sprinkles it with some Christmas glitter.

Even when you are at your lowest point, Cupid still can find you. His arrow will enable love to seep into your heart once again. 5 stars.
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This was a lovely, heart warming story, a great book to curl up with over the holidays.  When do you know when it's time to move on after your husband dies?  Nina's involvement with a community group to restore  a garden leads to finding the answer to that question. The story is enhanced with a great cast of characters!
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Thank you to Bookouture for letting me take part in this tour and for my copy of this book via netgalley. I am a big fan of Tilly's writing. While this book is set in the run-up to Christmas it's not the main focus of this book. 

When Sacred Heart closes its charity shop Nina finds herself with a lot of time to spare. When a new project to clear up the communal garden and turn it into a memory garden on her street she really gets stuck in. Nina has been through a lot and has come out the other side stronger than she realises. I really liked Nina and I could easily see myself joining in her and, best friend, Robyn at their curry nights.  

I loved Robyn. Both Nina and Robyn's husbands passed away and the two formed a friendship.  This story spends a lot of time discussing grief. Everyone handles grief differently and at different speeds. This story explores different types of grief from the grief of losing a lover to the grief of losing a parent. 

When disaster occurs at the garden Colm, a local gardener, comes to the rescue. Colm is drool-worthy! With that Irish accent and those gorgeous looks, I fell instantly! 

I really enjoyed this cosy heartwarming read. It's perfect for this time of the year!
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Wow, the emotions in this novel, ups and downs, highs and lows, it has it all. Wonderful story, I didn't want to put it down and I wish it didn't have to end. Very well written by Tilly Tennant, her work just gets better as she goes, can't wait for her next book. I am giving this 5 golden stars, it deserves more. I highly recommend you get a copy ASAP and really enjoy reading this.
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A very emotional read.
Two years since she lost her husband and Nina is still not ready to meet anyone else. Along with her best friend Robyn, she agrees to help out with restoring a community garden.  When she meets gardener Colm, who is helping out with the garden too, she realises she is attracted to someone for the first time she lost her husband. She keeps this to herself though, he is a single parent with a wife who ran off to Scotland 5 years ago. 

Just when she thinks she can give him a chance, his wife returns. So Nina does what she thinks is best for him and his daughter and walks away. Partly for them, but also she doesn't want to go through losing someone again.  Will they have a second chance together?
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In the run-up to Christmas, young widow Nina loses her volunteer job and finds herself in need of something positive to focus on. The neglected Sparrow Street community garden, at risk of being sold off, is an ideal project. Nina works together with her good friend Robyn and an assortment of quirky neighbours to turn the unkempt space into a beautiful Garden of Memories. Her departed husband Gray is rarely far from Nina’s thoughts and she is unsure if she can ever move on enough to find love again. Then she meets charming gardener Colm and her world becomes a lot brighter but a lot more complicated. Will love overpower her doubts?

This is a really moving book about working through grief and finding the strength to love and live life to the full again. It’s also about the importance of friends and family. 

I really enjoyed the characters and felt a lot of empathy for Nina and her friend Robyn, both no strangers to loss. Their friendship is wonderfully written with lots of great banter between them, and I loved how they were both there for each other when they really needed it, even when things became strained between them. I also thought there were some great characters among the Sparrow Street neighbours. 

There’s plenty of drama and set-backs to be overcome throughout the story. I felt that Colm was introduced quite late in the story (in comparison to most Romance novels) and then things were quite rushed. While I liked that there was focus on Nina, her friendship with Robin, and her life before Colm appears, I felt that this was at the expense of getting to know Colm as a character. Nina and Colm’s budding relationship seemed to be almost glazed over, with emphasis on Nina’s feelings and not much interaction between the two characters on the page until their relationship becomes quite serious. 

Overall, while this book frequently deals with grief, it is a lovely, uplifting story with a strong sense of community. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys complex characters, warm friendships, and Christmas romance.

Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for the opportunity to read and review this title.
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A heartwarming Christmas second love story filled with homely characters and sentiments. 
I like the fact that there were multiple  characters having storylines, not just to two protagonists. The twist came at a moment in which it felt a bit contrived and simplistic. 
Yet, most characters  get their own HEA and thats makes this book a good Christmas read. 

I received a copy of the book from Netgalley, all opinions are my own.

Luanna
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3.5 Stars.

An emotional book about loss, love, friendship and community. Nina's and Robyn's friendship was definitely the highlight of the The Garden on Sparrow Street. However, the pacing was a bit too slow for me. I understand the need to create a good set up and build the characters, but I just wish the story could have picked up a pace a little bit quicker. Other than that it's a cute and heartwarming book perfect for the holiday season.
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Another enjoyable story by this author. I Like the unique storyline in the characters were enjoyable as well.
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