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The House on Willow Street

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  2,722 ratings  ·  277 reviews
Every picture-perfect village tells a story. . . .

The Irish seaside town of Avalon is a tourist’s dream of quaint shops and welcoming cafés. Avalon House, perched at the end of Willow Street, was in Tess Power’s family for generations. Now Tess ekes out a living from her antiques shop while the crumbling mansion awaits a new owner. Her marriage and business may be flou
Hardcover, 441 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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 ·  2,722 ratings  ·  277 reviews

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Janna Wong
Mar 09, 2013 rated it liked it
The author does a nice job of setting the environment. I loved the town of Avalon and getting to know the people who live there.

But...I was somewhat disappointed with the overall experience. Part of this is the author's structure. She waits so long to make her reveals that I began to lose interest in the characters. For example, I liked the story of Tess and Cashel but the author waits until near the end of the book to let us know what kept them apart all these years. After all that time apart
Nov 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
Thought I enjoyed the book, but the more I got into it, the less I liked it. It is the story of 4 women, connected by a small Irish village. The setting is good, the story unfolds maybe a bit to slowly, but I found that one of the main characters that was supposed to be the upbeat, young woman who makes friends easily and wants to take care of others was just a nosy girl who pushed and pushed. One of the main story lines ended just as the book did, and while the 'secret' was hinted at and danced ...more
Apr 27, 2013 rated it liked it
I did like this book although I was a little disappointed with it. I felt that much drama was created around two of the characters and I spent the whole book trying to guess or imagine what had happened between them years ago and when I finally found out (near the end of the book)I was disappointed, feeling that the whole lead up was just too dramatic for the outcome.
Jun 28, 2013 rated it liked it
I would have given this book 4 stars if it wasn't for the "revelation" at the end what all the fuss was about between Tess and Cashell. A storm in a teacup. I am a bit disappointed Ms Kelly could not come up with a better reasons why these two would not talk to each other for 19 years. Apart from that this book is just another fluffy cozy read by the fire on a cold day.
Mar 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Cathy Kelly never disappoints. It did take me a few chapters to get into the swing of this one and get to know the main characters, and then I nearly died when I read a chapter that was very very familiar and I started wondering ... have I read this before?

Then I realised it was only one chapter, and that it must have appeared in "Christmas Magic" which was short stories I read at Christmas time, phew.

Then I kept reading until I was finished, literally. I didn't put it down.

If you love Cathy Kel
Feb 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book ended up to be much more enjoyable than I anticipated from the first half. The characters are loveable and the secrets juicy!
Dec 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 02, 2012 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book although the ending seemed a little abrupt. Look it isn't full of twists and turns and it is predictable. If you are looking for something light that isn't a strain on your brain then pick it up. I always enjoy Cathy Kelly's books simply because they are so light. They make a nice break in between heavier, meaty books. I would prefer her to write about one or two main characters and develop them a little more rathe than the usual four protagonists. I think Kelly could do even ...more
Tara  Niland
Feb 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book, as always Cathy Kelly doesn't disappoint readers. This book follows the lives of four very different women who's lives have taken different paths, they all have secrets that they want to leave in the past hidden away but they might have a lot more in common then they think!! Follow these womens journeys in an entertaining and gripping read x ...more
Dale Harcombe
I won't be rating this book and it has nothing to do with the book's content or the author. It was a library book and in such dreadful condition that I felt grimy after touching it and so decided to give up. A shame and I might see if I can get hold of another copy another time. But I can't bear to read this ragged copy. ...more
Sep 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
A feel good story in the vein of my beloved Maeve Binchy. It doesn’t quite reach her heights, but I loved the story of Irish life and the island’s wonderful people. I need to go back there!
Carolyn Hill
Feb 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Two and a half stars, rounded up. Irish chick lit on the order of Maeve Binchy (though not up to her standards). Not a bad story, but totally predictable. The setting is Avalon, a coastal village in Ireland which sounds idyllic. The plot centers on four women: Tess and Suki, who are sisters who grew up in Avalon House, the large manor house that had been in the family for centuries; and Danae, the humble postmistress, and her lively niece Mara, who comes to stay with her. Of the four, Tess is th ...more
Aug 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
The House On Willow Street
Cathy Kelly

My " in a nutshell" summary...

This book is about the lives of Danae, Tess, Mara, Suki, and Cashel and their connection to the town that they are living in as well as the complicated lives that they all sem to be living.

My thoughts after reading this book...

Everyone is sort of finding themselves or learning how to live with the changes that are happening within their lives. Divorce, new relationships, past marriages, starting over...all of this is happening
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved Homecoming by Kelly and knew I had to read more from her. I think I enjoyed The House on Willow Street even more. The plots are very similar...strong women characters, each going through a difficult time who will come together to create a wonderful story of love, friendship, determination, and strength. Add to that the setting of a delightful village in Ireland and you have a Kelly book.
The characters Kelly creates are people you know (by other names, of course), or people you want to me
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it

Once again Cathy Kelly allows the reader to immerse themselves in the charm of a quaint little Irish village while meeting unique and wonderful characters. The story takes us between four characters, Danae, Mara, Tess and Tess's sister, Sukki. They are various ages at various stages in their lives and I think all readers will find something to relate to in each character. Of course my favorite part of the book was the picture that Cathy Kelly painted of Av
Apr 05, 2012 rated it really liked it

I love this author and was delighted she published another book. I did find it slow to start and felt the four characters could have been explored in more detail, at times I found it sketchy.

Danae's secret was heartbreaking and for me Tess and her made the book. All very realistic situations which made this a believable and enjoyable read.

The downfall was the rushed ending, it felt like it had just been tagged on at the end and would loved even a further few chapters telling the eventual tale. Y
Debbie Shoulders
Jul 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Set in Avalon, a seaside village in Ireland, this is the story of Tess, a recently separated wife and mother who owns an antique shop, her sister Suki, a transplanted American feminist writer, Danae, a private person who is the village post mistress, and Mara, Danae's niece who has come to Avalon to get over a broken heart.

As with other Kelly books, this one highlights the ups and downs of regular people. The ending is predictable but satisfying as the the women learn from their pasts to create
Anita Johnson
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Cathy Kelly is one of my favorite authors and I thoroughly enjoyed her latest novel. The setting is Avalon, a tiny village on the Irish coast and is about the lives of four women: Tess; her sister, Suki; Danae, and her niece, Mara. Cathy Kelly always writes about strong Irish women who conquer their fears and problems with grit and warmth. I feel good for having met these ladies and wish there were more stories like this.
Mar 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
It has been a while since i've read a Cathy Kelly book - I did enjoy this book although i would put it in the 'light read' category - very good for between those heavier books. But it is full of loveable characters who you can both laugh and cry with - it's like going out with a handful of girlfriends for a good gossip! ...more
Nov 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
A read alike for Maeve BInchy with the Irish setting and a village of interrelated character. The sisters Tess and Suki Power, who sold their ancestral home that is now owned by the old housekeeper's son and Tess' first love. And Danae, the postmistress who keeps to herself out of guilt and sorrow, and her niece Mara, who brings joy and friendship back into Danae's life. ...more
Mar 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: library, 2012
I picked up this one because I'm off to Ireland again in April and it has a certain nostalgic appeal. Cute but ends way too abruptly. The pacing is all off - slow for two hundred pages and then the ending! ...more
May 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
LOVED this always, Cathy Kelly pulls you into the world of her characters and makes you never want to leave. Great storylines - even though you know how it will end, she still manages some surprises along the way.
Feb 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: chick-lit
This took a bit too long to really get going.
Barbara Erlichman
Apr 27, 2016 rated it liked it
I loved this novel. It's set in Ireland but the problems and the people are universal. ...more
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Liked the environment but the drama between Tess and Cashel was so silly that it made me quite annoyed.I didn’t understand the point of Suki being in the book at all,I didn’t get what her character brought to the novel.I didn’t understand the whole relationship between Mara and Jack,to me it looked very naive and not serious at all from his side and yet she was planning wedding in her mind with this guy!?!Somehow she managed to get over him...that happened quite easy,for someone who the author w ...more
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library, audiobook, 2017
I enjoyed this book and must commend the reader, Amy Creighton, for her great reading skills. The book relates the lives of four women, Danae, Tess, Mara and Suki, who live in a small Irish village, Avalon. The story takes a while to get going and I felt that sometimes the detail was such that I was reading several short stories which did detract from the flow of the work. By the time one character's story was described I'd forgotten the others' details. The ending also left a lot to be desired. ...more
Donna Garven
May 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is a classic Cathy Kelly read. Set in a small town Avalon in Ireland, it’s the story of a number of characters and how their lives intersect.

Tess and sister Suki grew up in the large Avalon House on Willow Street. After their father’s death Tess was alone in the world and had to sell the house. Suki had moved to the US and married into a powerful family. The love of her life has left her.

Now, years later Tess is getting divorced and her ex is with someone else. Her sister’s life isn’t goi
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-2018
A warm, character-based novel reminiscent, at times, of Maeve Binchy. Four different women are the main characters, the focus a small village in Ireland.

Relationship problems dominate, and some quite deep issues are covered. The writing is good, the conversations believable, the main characters three-dimensional and sympathetic (even if I couldn't quite believe in the rebellious but mostly reformed Suki).

Some caricatures in the minor characters, and a somewhat underwhelming revelation towards
Jacqueline Evans
May 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
A cosy read. I enjoyed the portrayal of the town, and the description of it changing to keep up with the times. Often this is done negatively, but here it was positive. I enjoyed the story about the post-mistress and the dis-integration of Tess's family. However I can't be doing with the storyline of 'poor little local boy' comes back as a big wig. All the references to his suarve-ness, beautiful looking, his helicopters, busy schedules. Who cares. Similarly, with the story of Suki, and the rich ...more
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
The House on Willow Street by Cathy Kelly

I enjoyed the first Cathy Kelly novel I read and I liked this one as well although I had thought it would be about the same little town & same community of people. I did want to hear more about them but learning a lot of new characters and a new quaint town was also good. Cathy Kelly does a great job of creating characters that are easy to care about. I enjoyed reading about the relationship between sisters, Tess & Suki. I cried as I learned the difficult
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Born in Belfast but raised in Dublin, Cathy initially worked for thirteen years as a newspaper journalist with a national Irish Sunday newspaper, where she worked in news, features, along with spending time as an agony aunt and the paper’s film critic. However, her overwhelming love was always fiction and she published her first international bestseller, Woman To Woman, in 1997. She did not become ...more

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