Tangled in Ivy
By Ashley Farley
What’s it about?
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 harbor 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.
What I think:
I was instantly engaged when reading this book. The book begins with Graham Alexander’s dying words to his daughter Lillian, “Hemingway knows.” Just days later she is given the key to his desk drawer and discovers a letter from her father that leads to a quest for the tuth about her parents relationship, the death of her mother and shines some light on the antagonistic relationship with her twin sister Layla.
The chapters are either from Layla’s present of from her father’s memoir which reveals the truth about his marriage to Ivy Stoney.
There is an element of Southern Gothic to the Stoney family – decaying mansions, lost fortunes and generations of death and dysfunction behind the prestige of the name.
As twin sisters. Lillian and Layla are chalk and cheese. Lillian is quiet thoughtful and artistic and Layla is ambitious, selfish and materialistic. The death of their father and the revelations of the past highlight the gulf between them.
The story of Ivy and Graham is gripping and the book is well paced – as you know that Ivy died when the girls were young from the beginning there is a great slow and shocking reveal.
I really enjoyed this book and the different dynamics between the characters. Lillian’s relationships with her father and housekeeper/surrogate mother, Trudy are so warm and loving and completely juxtaposed to scenes with Ivy and Layla. The title is so apt as even after death Ivy continues to have so much power over the lives of the characters.
Overall, this was a really great read and Charleston has definitely been added to my future places to visit list.
If you want to read Tangled in Ivy click on the links below;:
UK: click here
US: click here
The book trailer can be viewed here
About the author:
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. For more information, visit www.ashleyfarley.com
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Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/2aKfnHo
Author website http://www.ashleyfarley.net
Thank you Ashley Farley and Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in this blog tour. Check out the other stops on the tour: