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Book Review: The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen (4 star review)

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill
Tales from Ivy Hill, #1

written by Julie Klassen

445 pages // published in 2016 // Christian historical fiction


First Series from Bestselling Author Julie Klassen!

On a rise overlooking the Wiltshire countryside stands the village of Ivy Hill. Its coaching inn, The Bell, is its lifeblood--along with the coach lines that stop there daily, bringing news, mail, travelers, and much-needed trade.

Jane Bell lives on the edge of the inn property. She had been a genteel lady until she married the charming innkeeper who promised she would never have to work in his family's inn. But when he dies under mysterious circumstances, Jane finds herself The Bell's owner, and worse, she has three months to pay a large loan or lose the place.

Feeling reluctant and ill-equipped, Jane is tempted to abandon her husband's legacy and return to her former life of ease. However, she soon realizes there is more at stake than her comfort. But who can she trust to help her? Her resentful mother-in-law? Her husband's brother, who wanted the inn for himself? Or the handsome newcomer with secret plans of his own . . . ?

With pressure mounting from the bank, Jane struggles to win over naysayers and turn the place around. Can Jane bring new life to the inn, and to her heart as well?

My Review

4 Star Rating

And so begins Julie Klassen's first series. I've only known of her to write enriching stand-alone novels, so this -- this -- is a whole new animal. Inspired by English novelists such as Jane Austen or Elizabeth Gaskell, the reader is taken to a quaint village, Ivy Hill. Wherein we learn of its inhabitants, and whereupon the individual stories of the people who live there come to life.

Isn't the painted scene on the cover just refreshing? I would sooo love to visit Ivy Hill. What a delightful and decidedly British vacation from our modern world that would be.

I certainly enjoyed some of the subjects that the author reigned into the plot. I was rather fascinated with every mention of the Royal Mail, and most impressed with how much knowledge the author infused into the story about the hospitality of coaching inns (so many fine details are added to the story, it seems real!). I would certainly expect to visit The Bell if ever I were in the area.

Some of the topics that come up include healing from within, helping your neighbors, grief, faith, and even prejudice against business women. It covers a lot, and you learn to love each of the characters as you get to know them better.

If you're looking for the next, new series about a close-knit village, with a few secrets, some intrigue, some victories and misfortunes... and a dash of romance... then you should definitely try Tales from Ivy Hill. Even the church mice are charming.

"Dash it, woman. You know how to confound a man."

"And you know how to astound a woman."

Available on Amazon in paperback and e-book format.

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1 comment:

  1. Joanna R.3/30/2017

    I've enjoyed a couple other of Julie Klassen's novels. I didn't know she has a series! It might be nice to try.