Monday 16 March 2015


Book review: Coming up Roses by Rachael Lucas

My edition: Paperback, to be published on 21 May 2015 by Pan Macmillan, 300 pages.

Description: Would-be gardening expert 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, much in need of her expert TLC. And coming just after a break up, some peace and quiet in the countryside is just what she needs. Only, village life turns out to be anything but - with nosey neighbours and greedy developers instantly stirring up trouble.

What Daisy really needs is a good friend, or two. So when she comes across Elaine and Jo, she's relieved to have multiple shoulders to cry on. But her new friends are dealing with dramas of their own - a marriage in crisis, a family secret and managing the local gossips.

As Daisy wrestles the garden into something like beautiful order, can she get a grip on her new feelings for handsome Irish rogue George and stop her parents selling up to a developer?


When Daisy's parents decide to take some time out to travel the world, she is more than happy to house sit their home, Orchard Villa, in the quiet village of Steeple St John. Hit hard by a recent break up, Daisy is looking forward to tackling her parents' out of control garden and spending some quality time with a tub of ice cream and a box set of her favourite TV show.

But Daisy's idealistic image of the town doesn't quite match up to reality. The villagers are busy preparing for Open Gardens and the neglected garden of Orchard Villa doesn't fit the picturesque vision her neighbours have of the area, so they make sure to let Daisy know at every available opportunity that she better spruce things up before the event kicks off.

Add to that a blossoming romance when Daisy wasn't looking for another relationship quite so soon, and pestering developers wanting to buy up the house she had so quickly fallen in love with, and Daisy's hope for some peace in a remote village turns out to be anything but that.

With BBC's The Big Allotment Challenge having just aired its second series and Cathy Bramley's Ivy Lane hitting the shelves in paperback, gardening has shrugged off its somewhat stuffy image, and rightfully so; when we're still knee-deep in frosty weather the thought of catching the first rays of sunshine while pottering about with beautiful bouquets of colourful flowers and delicious home-grown vegetables paints a picturesque image.

Author Rachael Lucas manages to make that idealistic picture even more appealing as main character Daisy in Coming Up Roses transforms her parents' garden from an overgrown thorn in the eye of the village to a gorgeous sanctuary. The luscious descriptions of her hard work, helped by an elderly neighbour who landscaped the garden all those years ago, bring the flora alive on the pages and will have even the most hesitant gardener wanting to dig their fingers deep into the ground.

And while this is foremost the story of Daisy, I also quickly fell in love with her two new friends, Jo and Elaine. The trio couldn't be more different yet they quickly bond over a common feeling of loneliness and I could really resonate with their instant strong friendship. Elaine's story was particularly gripping; from the troubles in her marriage to the dedication to her lifestyle blog – she manages to turn what could be just a page filled with pretty pictures and captions into a popular and successful website, which is the dream of many bloggers.

From the funny opening pages, where Daisy and Elaine meet in an unexpected way that had me in a giggle fit before the story had even truly started, I was charmed by this cosy novel. The sweet tale of starting over – filled with the joy of making new friends and bumping into some gorgeous men to boot – makes a delightful read, perfect to curl up with on a lazy afternoon.

You can pre-order the novel from Waterstones, or your own preferred retailer.

Would you like to know more about the author? You can connect with her online at:


Twitter: @karamina

This review first appeared HERE on Novelicious

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