I love reading. I love escaping into the life of the main protagonist in the story and live through their eyes. I’ll be honest, my favorite type of books often fall in the young adults genre. I enjoy romance. I enjoy the supernatural. I also enjoy the classics.
Through Nuts About Books, I am given the choose and review novels of all different topics. I never judge a book by its cover, so I was left reading the excerpts giving clues as to what each story was about. I was intrigued after reading the summary given for The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen.
Welcome to the English village of Ivy Hill, where friendships thrive, romance blossoms, and mysteries await. . . .
The lifeblood of the village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. When the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant landlady. Jane has no idea how to manage a business, but with the town’s livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must quickly find a way to save the inn.
Despite their strained relationship, Jane turns to her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, for help. Formerly mistress of The Bell, Thora is struggling to overcome her losses and find purpose for the future. As she works with Jane, two men from her past vie for her attention, but Thora has promised herself never to marry again. Will one of them convince her to embrace a second chance at love?
As pressure mounts from the bank, Jane employs new methods, and puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place, including a mysterious newcomer with secret plans of his own. With the help of friends old and new, can Jane restore life to the inn, and to her empty heart as well?
It took me a bit of time to get into the novel, I won’t lie. I was never the biggest fan of stories set back in the 1880’s. I’m more of a modern/supernatural type of girl. However, I kept reading. I always want to give a novel its fair chance and I was completely surprised.
We are introduced to Jane Bell at the beginning of the novel. The story follows her trials and tribulations (along with those close to her). She wasn’t able to keep my attention at the beginning but when she started to change in the novel (both through want and necessity), I was anxious to find out what she was going to do next and would she succeed at what she set out to do. Keep in mind that this novel is set in a time when men were considered dominate and that there were many things that were not considered something that a woman was capable of.
At the beginning of the novel, Jane was portrayed as a typical woman of her time and status. She had a maid to do many things for her. However, something happens that sparks a change in our protagonist. As she starts to change, we see her set out and accomplish things that were not typical of woman at her time. (I don’t want to give any specific examples and ruin the suspense for you!)
Overall I did enjoy the story. It didn’t take me long to finish it, as I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. I was excited to learn that this book is the first installment of the Tales From Ivy Hill series. The second book is not released yet but I am definitely going to pick it up when it is released.
I would definitely recommend checking out this book. It is a great book for a book club and even as some discussion questions at the end for you to consider! What are you waiting for? Go check it out!
The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill – Julie Klassan
(To learn more information about or buy this book!)
Tales from Ivy Hill
(To learn more about this series)
Julie Klassen Website
(To check out other books by this author)
**I received this book for free from Nuts About Books. All opinions are my own. **