Reviewed by Debs Carr
Danae is a polite postmistress who keeps herself to herself and doesn’t get involved with other peoples lives. She seems to live quite happily in her cottage with her dog and chickens for company, but hides a tragic past that haunts her. Something happened to her that she finds difficult to share with anyone and it keeps her from becoming part of the community that could make her life so much happier. Her niece, Mara, loves wearing vintage clothes, but it's not just her outfits that brighten up the town of Avalon when Mara goes to stay with her aunt to nurse her broken heart after the man she loves dumps her for a prettier woman. Tess, recently separated from her husband, is trying to keep life as normal as possible for her two children while struggling to keep her nearly bankrupt antiques shop afloat. She is horrified to discover that multi-millionaire and ex-fiancé, Cashel Reilly, has bought the large manor house where Tess and her sister Suki grew up and where her family had lived for generations before having to sell it. Suki, is a best-selling author who can’t seem to replicate her past publishing success. She’s divorced from the son of a super-rich, prominent American family and is now being pursued by a determined journalist who is desperate to dig up all the dirt he can find on her past. She's fed up with her lazy musician boyfriend and broke.
These characters are connected by the pretty tourist town of Avalon. Their separate stories begin to intertwine as their pasts start to catch up with them. From Danae's shameful secret to Mara's determination to move forward after humiliating herself with Jack. Suki, so dramatic, self-absorbed and vain has almost thrown everything away. And what about the handsome, but troubled Cashel? Can he forgive Tess for what she did to him all those years ago? Something happened between them, but he’s now the one with the money, power and ability to buy what he likes. Is coming back to Avalon, facing Tess and everything he’s spent so many years ignoring, really the best thing to do?
I have to admit that this was the first Cathy Kelly book I've read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Although each character's story is separate, they are connected by their home town, their family, or simply by incidents that have hurt them. When Mara begins working for Cashel, she slowly realizes that something happened between him and Tess, and when she discovers Danae's secret, she determines to help her in whatever way she can. The House on Willow Street is beautifully written. I could almost hear the wind howling through the trees and the people chatting in the local cafe. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute and look forward to reading Cathy Kelly's other books.