Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Ladies Of Ivy Cottage By Julie Klassen

The Ladies of Ivy Cottage
by Julie Klassen
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 9780764218156

This is the second novel in the Tales From Ivy Hill series. I read book one, The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill last year thanks to a review from Bethany House. I've also received book 2 as a review. This series is a departure from Julie's stand alone novels.

Summary:

Return to Ivy Hill as friendships deepen, romances blossom, and mysteries unfold . . .
A gentlewoman in reduced circumstances, Miss Rachel Ashford lives as a guest in Ivy Cottage. With her meager funds rapidly depleting, she is determined to earn her own livelihood . . . somehow. Her friend Jane Bell and the other village women encourage her to open a circulating library with the many books she's inherited from her father. As villagers donate additional books and Rachel begins sorting through the volumes, she discovers mysteries hidden among them. A man who once broke her heart helps her search for clues, but both find more than they bargained for.

Rachel's hostess, Mercy Grove, has given up thoughts of suitors and finds fulfillment in managing her girls school. So when several men take an interest in Ivy Cottage, she assumes pretty Miss Ashford is the cause. Exactly what--or whom--has captured each man's attention? The truth may surprise them all.

My Review:

Reading book 1 of this series was a bit difficult for me to wrap my head around. I'll explain why. I'm used to Mrs. Klassen's stand alone novel type of writing. So I was trying to marry the two types of writing, but it wasn't working. I enjoyed The Inkeeper of Ivy Hill, it was just different than what I was expecting.

As we start in book 2, The Ladies of Ivy Cottage, it was nice to become reacquainted with the familiar characters. I have to admit, I kept mixing up Mercy and Rachel for the first part of the novel. I don't know why, but I couldn't remember their story lines and who they were connected to. HA! Halfway through, I finally had it figured out in my brain.

What I realized that I really enjoyed about this series is, the reader is basically a fly on the wall in the lives of quite a few people, but this setting mostly focuses on Mercy and Rachel. It actually took me longer to read this book than most. I think that's because there is so much going on with not only the main characters, but the supporting ones as well. There are a lot of details to take in, and you don't want to rush through anything.

I loved the process of Rachel's story with her library and the mysteries that are uncovered as she starts her new life. Of course, the idea of starting a library sounds wonderful, but as the reader knows, books aren't Rachel's strong suit. Mercy's storyline makes me excited for her opportunities until her parents decide to make decisions for her. Grrr And then there's Jane who is going through her own struggles while she runs the Inn.

I'm already looking forward to the next installation of this series. I have to say I enjoyed book 2 more than book 1, but that might be because I already knew the characters from book 1. I also felt like it was more to the writing I'm used to with the author. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

About the Author:

JULIE KLASSEN loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full-time. Three of her books, The Silent Governess, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Secret of Pembrooke Park was honored with the Minnesota Book Award for genre fiction. Julie has also won the Midwest Book Award and Christian Retailing's BEST Award, and has been a finalist in the Romance Writers of America's RITA Awards and ACFW's Carol Awards. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. For more information, visit www.julieklassen.com.

5 comments:

Gluten Free Celiac said...

I love reading. This sounds like a really interesting book. I should check it out!

Karen Jaras said...

I have never heard of this author before, so I was intrigued. I think my mom may appreciate this genre of book.

Judith Watson said...

I read a lot,and I usually like stand alones, too. Only because I sometimes can't get rest of the books. This one sounds good though.

freddie said...

Sounds like an interesting series of books. It also sounds a bit confusing on remembering who is who in the books. But it still sounds like a great read.

Lucy Rapposelli said...

I would love to read this.

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