In Tangled in Ivy by Ashley Farley, Lillian’s father reveals in his last words that he has written a memoir about life with her mother, Ivy. After reading them, nothing will be the same again. Plus, win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!
Thank you to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for sending me an Advanced Review Copy of Tangled in Ivy in return for an honest review.
Lillian and Layla are twin sisters who have never gotten along. Lillian enjoys her own company, reading and painting. She has been caring for their father with terminal cancer for the past three months in their family home in Charleston, South Carolina. Layla is outgoing, dramatic and works as a fashion designer in Atlanta, and hasn’t been to see their father since he got sick. The book begins with their father passing away and his last words to Lillian are: “Hemingway knows. The truth about my life.” This leads Lillian to her father’s memoirs of his life with their mother, Ivy, who died 27 years before – and uncovers her father’s secrets.
You can add Tangled in Ivy to your Goodreads TBR, and buy in paperback, hardcover or eBook from Amazon, or borrow it through Kindle Unlimited. Plus, scroll down for your chance to win a $25 Amazon giftcard below my review!
I was really intrigued by this book – it’s not the sort of novel I’d usually read but the blurb and the cover drew me in! Tangled in Ivy is an intriguing, character-driven novel that looks at the secrets kept within families, in a story that spans several generations. It’s told from the perspective of Lillian and switches to their father, Graham, while she reads his memoir. The story itself is relatively fast-moving with several twists and turns, especially towards the end as she reaches the section retelling Ivy’s death.
I found Lillian really easy to relate to and sympathise with. She has been a caring daughter, caring for her father throughout his illness, and bullied throughout her childhood. Her reconciliation with Marcus is really sweet. I did think he was a little presumptuous (turning up at the holiday home with an overnight bag when he and Lillian had only two brief conversations after 10 years apart), but I can see how you would still have that familiarity after being together previously.
I really found it hard to like or care about her sister, Layla. She is selfish and immature, and only gets worse as the book goes along! Even Trudy, the housekeeper who has been like a mother to both girls growing up, describes Layla as a “bad seed”. I couldn’t really understand why their father wanted the two girls to reconcile, or why she seemed keen to try and establish a relationship with her (I’m not sure that I would!).
Speaking of Trudy, I really liked her and it’s obvious she cares about both girls despite their faults. She is so caring and hardworking, and I want to try some of her delicious food!
I really enjoyed reading Graham’s memoirs, and there are quite a few twists in the story. I certainly hadn’t expected the revelation about Ivy. Plus, the descriptions of the house and Charleston are really vivid – I felt swept away in the family’s two beautiful homes! It was great to escape reality into their luxurious lives, if only for a little while.
Tangled in Ivy is a well-written story with realistic characters. It has some romance plus a couple of shock twists that make this a perfect escapism read. I read this over one afternoon while curled up on the sofa on a rainy day!
Book blurb for Tangled in Ivy
From the bestselling author of Sweet Tea Tuesdays comes a story of true love that spans decades.
Lillian Alexander’s father is dying of cancer. When he rambles on in a morphine-delirium, Lillian can’t ignore the feeling he’s trying to tell her something. At his funeral days later, she encounters ghosts from her past who stir long-suppressed memories from the day her mother died twenty-seven years ago. Why, if her mother’s death was an accident, does Lillian harbour guilt, as though she were somehow to blame?
When Lillian and her twin sister, Layla, learn the Stoney family fortune is gone, Lillian fights to save her ancestral home on Charleston’s prestigious East Battery. Desperate to resolve her money problems and get answers to her questions about the past, she tears her father’s study apart in search of clues. She discovers a thumb drive in a hollowed-out hardback copy of For Whom the Bell Tolls. The thumb drive, marked For Lillian in his handwriting, contains her father’s memoir. Secluded in the family’s cottage on Wadmalaw Island, she immerses herself in her father’s account of his stormy relationship with her mother. What she learns sets her on a journey of self-discovery.
Tangled in Ivy is a tale of tortured souls and southern family dysfunction.
About the author, Ashley Farley
Ashley Farley writes books about women for women. Her characters are mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives facing real-life issues. Her bestselling Sweeney Sisters series has touched the lives of many.
Ashley is a wife and mother of two young adult children. While she’s lived in Richmond, Virginia for the past 21 years, a piece of her heart remains in the salty marshes of the South Carolina Lowcountry, where she still calls home. Through the eyes of her characters, she captures the moss-draped trees, delectable cuisine, and kindhearted folk with lazy drawls that make the area so unique.
Giveaway to Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card (Open INT)
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Blog tour organised by Rachel’s Random Resources
I reviewed Tangled in Ivy as part of a book tour organised by Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources. Check out the other bloggers taking part in this book tour for more reviews, extracts and guest posts!