Author: Rachael Lucas
Published: May 21st 2015 by Pan
Amazon | Amazon UK
Blurb: Would-be gardener Daisy can’t believe her luck when her parents announce they’re off on a midlife crisis gap year, leaving her in charge of their gorgeous garden. After a turbulent few months, a spot of quiet in the countryside is just what she needs.
A shoulder to cry on wouldn't go amiss either - so when Daisy comes across Elaine and Jo, she breathes a sigh of relief. But her new friends are dealing with dramas of their own…
As Daisy wrestles the garden into something resembling order, her feelings for handsome Irishman George begin to take root. Daisy’s heart’s desire − her parent’s garden − is under threat, and Daisy's forced to confront nosey neighbours and fight greedy developers. Village life is turning out to be far from peaceful.
First of all I would like to thank the publishers for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
Daisy, our heroine, arrives at her parents place after a horrible break up and when she has just finished a gardening course. So the opportunity to make her parents beautiful but forgotten garden come back to life while they are away is the perfect project to immerse herself and forget about everything else. At first, she doesn't want to get into the village dynamics. But soon enough she meets the lovely Thomas, an old retired gardener, who becomes a friend and a confident for her. I really liked Thomas and enjoyed a lot reading his interactions with Daisy. He is usually the voice of reason but also loves causing a bit of mischief. I think Rachael Lucas found a winner with Thomas as I'm sure everyone will love him while reading this novel.
But Thomas is not the only new friend for Daisy. She starts hanging out with her new neighbour, Elaine, a successful lifestyle blogger that posts everything from her perfect and posh life, house, husband and food on her blog, and Jo, a single mother and counselor. I found it very interesting how these very different women developed such a strong friendship during the story. They really were there for each other when they needed it the most and both Elaine's and Jo's stories took an important role too. Soon I found myself caring for them too and wishing the best for both of them when their lives turned out to be not so perfect.
During the story there's also a romantic story line, as a dashing Irishman asks Daisy out after bumping into her a few times. He is a total charmer and they start seeing each other. But I liked that this romantic line takes more of a secondary role in the story. The real star of the story is the garden. Daisy finds refuge working in the garden and as we see it flourish, we also see her opening up to new adventures and finding herself again. And with the detailed and generous descriptions, you can really picture all the colours and the smells.
Coming Up Roses is a beautiful novel about finding your place in the world and fighting for it. Also, if you enjoy a bit of gardening, you'll love reading about Daisy's work and the lovely village of Steeple St John, where life is not as quiet and peaceful as you might think.