Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Book Review - The Ladies of Ivy Cottage


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.


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


I was so excited to read the second installment of this series, Tales from Ivy Hill. The first book and it's characters have stayed with me and I was looking forward to seeing what was happening with the ladies from Ivy Hill.

We are re-acquainted with Mercy, Jane and Rachel plus Aunt Matty, Thora, and Sir Timothy and many more favorites from the first book. We are also introduced to some new people that really add to the story line.

Mercy and her aunt have moved Rachel into Ivy Cottage after she has no where to go. Rachel wants to provide for her own living, however, but isn't sure what to do. Then she hears about lending libraries that have set up. They are places where you can pay a subscription and have access to the books. Rachel's father left her a whole library of books, so this works great for her.

In the process of accepting books from people, two mysteries arise and things are revealed that have a profound affect on people. Some good and some bad. These little mysteries really added to the book for me and, while I thought I knew what was going to happen, it still created need to keep reading into the night to see what would happen!

There is a rather sad story that happens and is part of the cliff-hanger of the book. There is enough happiness at the end to not leave you feeling cheated because certain things aren't resolved - plus it makes me anxious to read book 3!

This is a wonderful book! I love the setting of Ivy Hill in England and the time period of 1820. I spent many a night up too late reading because I couldn't put the book down. I highly recommend it and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by Bethany House Publishers

Blessings - Julie

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