Written by Juliet Ashton
This is a novel about community, love, laughter and healing. Think Cold Feet meets David Nicholls, with a dash of the joy of Jill Mansell added for good measure.
It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but Cherry Blossom Mews is a miraculous place. It’s somewhere that finds you, rather than the other way around.
Sadie McQueen has leased a double fronted space in this small cul de sac in a culturally diverse corner of central London. The cobbles muffle the noise of double-deckers roaring past the arched gates. Turn right and you are in a futuristic maze of corporate glass monoliths. Turn left and you see a wide street with many different houses. Towering above the mews are the degenerating tower blocks of an infamous estate. The old folks home and the nearby school are both in need of TLC; the private members’ club that set up shop in a listed Georgian building has been discreetly refurbished at huge expense.
Into this confusion comes Sadie. She fell in love with the street the moment she first twisted her ankle on its cobbles. Her double-fronted unit is now a spa. She has sunk all her money into the lease and refurbishment. She’s sunk all her hope into the carefully designed treatment rooms, the calm white reception space, the bijou flat carved out of the floor above.
Sadie has a mission to connect. To heal herself from tragedy. Sadie has wrapped the mews around her like a warm blanket, after unimaginable loss and unimaginable guilt. Her hard-won peace is threatened, not only by the prospect of the mews going under but by a man aptly named Hero who wakes up her comatose heart.
Sadie has a lot to give, and a lot to learn, not least that some ghosts aren’t ghosts at all.
A Truly Endearing Read!
I’ve been looking forward to reading this novel for a while, and I was rewarded with a rich, tender story.
Sadie McQueen owns a spa business set in Cherry Blossom Mews, a special place off the main thoroughfare made up of lots of small, independent businesses which flourish together. By way of their weekly ‘business meetings’ they all interact and support each other, although it may not always seem like that on the surface . . .
This is a unique and heartfelt book; cleverly structured, we get to know Sadie’s story little by little whilst we’re busy keeping up with all that’s going on in the mews. With a wide array of charismatic characters, this is an entertaining and happy read with hidden depths. I found myself riveted by the daily goings on and, thanks to the clear descriptions, could easily picture the setting in my mind’s eye. A truly endearing, emotional read which is bursting with happiness and I’m so very happy that this was my final read of the year, leaving me on a high. I can’t recommend this one highly enough; Juliet Ashton always delivers but I think she has surpassed herself with this one. A full five star read!
My thanks to publisher Simon & Schuster for my copy via NetGalley; as always, this is my honest, original and unbiased review.
Tags: rom-com, women’s fiction
- Format: ebook, paperback, audio
- Size: 480 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster
- Publication Date: 26 December 2019
- Purchase Links: Google Play
- Barnes & Noble
- W. H. Smith
I enjoy writing almost as much as I love reading. Books are constant friends; no fall-outs about borrowed shoes, no lusting after the same man. The books I write are about love in all its colours. Romantic love, of course – it makes the world go round, after all – but also family love, the way we feel about our friends and children and colleagues and the woman we see every day on the bus but never say ‘hello’ to.
There’s no end of inspiration. Most authors are baffled by that commonly asked question, “Where do you get your ideas from?” The answer is simple: YOU. People are inspiring, with all their niggling faults and shimmering virtues. The tangles we get ourselves into, and the ludicrous ways we attempt to untangle ourselves, are a never ending source of material. In fact, most authors daren’t use too much real life in their books because it would sound too much like fiction.
I’ve just remembered that this is supposed to be a biog, so here’s some info about me. I live just outside London with my daughter, Niamh, who’s 12, and my husband, Matthew, who’s considerably older than that. The house hums with creativity, as I scribble downstairs and Matthew composes music for theatre and TV upstairs. We have two dogs, one of whom is wildly energetic, one of whom was born an old lady and prefers to sleep all day.
Hmm, what else? I’m Irish, but you wouldn’t know that from my accent. I can’t sing. My favourite crisp flavour is Roast Chicken, but I reserve the right to change that at short notice.
I hope you enjoy my books. They are the way I speak to the world.