Apr 252018
 

A Continuing Saga of Strong and Self-Sufficient Women!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Publisher

TYPE OF NOVEL: Regency Romance, Historical Fiction

SETTING: 1820 Wiltshire, England

MAIN CHARACTERS:

  • Rachel Ashford: With her father passed away and his heir displacing her from her family home, Rachel contemplates a marriage of convenience or earning her livelihood.
  • Sir Timothy Brockwell: Childhood playmate of Rachel’s and Jane’s. Eight years ago he courted Rachel, but then broke it off because of family duty.
  • Mercy Grove: Plain and unmarried, Mercy works as headmistress of an all-girl school. Her parents are urging her to marry since she is practically a spinster.
  • Jane Fairmont Bell: A widow running her husband’s inn. Jane carries her own personal grief and worries that prohibit her from contemplating sharing her life with someone else.

SYNOPSIS:

Picking up after the close of The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill, Book Two in the Tales From Ivy Hill series follows the lives of Jane, Rachel, Mercy, and many of the inhabitants of the charming village of Ivy Hill. In this book we follow Rachel as she strives to follow her independent and resourceful friends and establish her own business. Her father left her his extensive book collection with instructions not to sell them, so instead Rachel decides to loan out the books and create Ivy Hills’ first circulating library. Can her new business be a success? Will one of her suitors influence Rachel to marry instead?

NOTE: This is Book Two in Ms. Klassen’s Tales from Ivy Hill series. I definitely recommend reading Book One โ€“ The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill first to fully understand the history and relationship of all these characters.

WHAT I LOVED:

  • Returning to Ivy Hill: I love that Julie Klassen is writing this series. In the first book we are introduced to the bucolic and busy village of Ivy Hill. A village we get to know very well, including many of its interesting and charming inhabitants. It’s wonderful to revisit this bustling hamlet and spend more time within its environs!
  • Several Simultaneous Stories: I love how this second book of the series spends almost equal time with each of our main characters โ€“ Rachel, Jane, and Mercy. Instead of focusing on one heroine per book, Ms. Klassen has opted to flesh out the stories of these three women throughout the whole series. While Rachel may have been a little more in the spotlight in this tale, readers saw plenty of Mercy and Jane still. And it looks like some things remain unresolved for them at the close of this story…
  • So Many Suitors!: With Julie Klassen’s novels, it is a guarantee you will see some romance! But with this series it is often hard to predict wha the romantic pairings will be because for each female character there were almost always two male characters interested/pursuing them! The ratio of men to women in Ivy Hill is very favorable, no? ๐Ÿ˜‰ I loved how many of the suitors were likable and worthy. It makes it a little bit conflicting for the reader to decide which way they want things to go! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I guess readers like to be โ€œcrossed in loveโ€ too!
  • Alternatives to Marriage:ย It is so interesting to encounter these women who are not actively seeking marriage as their goal. Although they are not adverse to marriage and children, they realize that it is not the only course their life must take. They forge a different path and learn to depend on themselves for their own livelihood. It was so interesting and inspiring to see the various ways women were โ€œbreaking the moldโ€ in this series. Not just Jane, Rachel, and Mercy, but each member of The Ladies Tea and Knitting Society as well. I think Jane Austen would heartily approve!
  • Julie Klassen Signatures: I love Ms. Klassen’s well-drawn and admirable heroines โ€“ and how this series gives us 3 for 1! I love finding all her echoes and nods to Jane Austen โ€“ there is quite a lovely Persuasion bit in this story that made my heart melt! And I love the mystery and intrigue she intertwines into each tale โ€“ it is always amusing to speculate the answers and wait for the reveal!

WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:

  • While I enjoyed Rachel’s story, out of the three women, she may be the one with whom I feel the least connected. I’m greatly looking forward to seeing more of Jane and Mercy in the next book!

CONCLUSION:

With The Ladies of Ivy Cottage, Julie Klassen continues her thoughtful and enchanting series that features courageous women and a charming village combined together for stories of strength, overcoming life’s challenges, and bravely starting over.

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GIVEAWAY TIME!!!

At a recent library book sale I spotted a gently-used copy of the first book in this series, The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill and thought it would make a great giveaway prize for when I posted this review. ๐Ÿ™‚ย (Note: this giveaway is for a previously read copy in very good condition.)

To enter this giveaway, leave a comment about my review!

  • This giveaway is open toย US citizens.
  • This giveaway endsย May 2nd!
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  29 Responses to “The Ladies of Ivy Cottage – Julie Klassen + GIVEAWAY!!!”

  1.  

    I’m happy to read a gently-used book.

  2.  

    Thank you for the review. I would love to read about Ivy Hill. Your giveaway is perfect as I have not read Book One and would delight in winning it. It certainly sounds like some of the characters are drawn from depictions of Jane Austen’s work. Thank you for the review and giveaway.

    •  

      Thanks so much for entering! That’s what I was thinking! If it was Book 2 I was giving away, it might not be as quickly read if the winner didn’t read or already read Book 1. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes! That is what I love about Julie Klassen’s novels, there are little touches of Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte every where. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3.  

    Even though the reviewed book and its predecessor are not truly JAFF, I would delight in reading them! I have marked both of them in my Amazon “wish list” for purchase at a later date. If I could win the first one, I woud mark it off the list and be that much ahead!

    •  

      That’s wonderful, Denise! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I discovered Julie Klassen through many of my Austenesque friends who were reading and recommending her novels. I’m so glad they did! Her stories are wonderful and have lots of influence from Jane Austen.

  4.  

    I have enjoyed a number of Ms Klassen’s novels, so i would like to be considered in your give-away.

  5.  

    I have been loving on this series and can’t wait for the last book. Glad you loved it.

    Please don’t enter me. I have it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6.  

    I’ve read a few of Julie’s books but none from this series. Thanks for the review.

  7.  

    Thanks for your wonderful review and this book is a treasure which i would enjoy greatly.

  8.  

    I have been a Julie Klassen fan for years, so imagine how delighted I was to meet her at the author’s signing table at the JASNA AGM a few years ago. We later had a nice long, chatty lunch together. She’s a sweet lady as well as a talented writer. I’d love to add this book to my permanent collection! Thanks for the giveaway, Meredith.

    •  

      She seems like a lovely person, Shannon! How lucky you are that you got to meet her! ๐Ÿ˜‰ It is definitely a worthy book to add to your shelves! Hope you get the chance to read it soon!

  9.  

    This looks like a delightful series. I will definitely add it to my wish list

  10.  

    I have never read this series but would love to. Thank you for the review.

  11.  

    haven’t read this one yet. Sounds good!

  12.  

    I love hearing about a new (to me) series! I enjoyed your review. This sounds like something Iโ€™d love to read. Thanks for a chance to win the first book!

  13.  

    Before this series, I’d read a few of her books, and wasn’t sure how much I liked her writing, but I really liked the first two books in this series, and definitely recommend them to other readers.

    •  

      I can understand that. The first book I read by Julie Klassen was not my favorite either – The Apothecary’s Daughter. But then I tried others like The Tutor’s Daughter and The Silent Governess and I loved them much more! ๐Ÿ˜‰ So glad to hear you are enjoying this series! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

  14.  

    This book sounds like just the sort of story I love, Meredith. The characters come across as compelling and the setting for the story is idyllic. It makes me pine for home. (We’re on our way back to the UK today from California.) An excellent review as always. I’m intrigued by the story and the characters. Thanks for the tip re reading the first book before this one.

  15.  

    Sounds great. Thanks for the opportunity to enter this giveaway.

  16.  

    There are so many reasons why I want to read this Christian novel. First, I love the author, Julie Klassen’s, writing style. Also, I love the Regency Period. Of course, there is Jane Austen. As I read, I feel her presence.

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