Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Ladies of Ivy Cottage: Tales from Ivy Hill

Welcome to my blog!  The Hostess with the Ghostess by E.J. Copperman will be published on January 9, 2018.  It is the eleventh installment in A Haunted Guest House Mystery seriesThe English Wife by Lauren Willig will also be released on January 9.  

The Ladies of Ivy Cottage by Julie Klassen is the second edition in Tales from Ivy Hill.  It is September in 1820 in Ivy Hill, Wiltshire, England.  Rachel Ashford wants to discover a way for her to earn money to support herself. She appreciates Mercy allowing her to life at Ivy Cottage, but she wants to pay her own way. The women of the Ladies Tea and Knitting Society suggest that Rachel use what her father left her in his will—his library.  Rachel can open a subscription library at Ivy Cottage.  The townspeople rally behind Rachel and donate books to the library. Thanks to those donated books, Rachel has two mysteries to ponder.  She must also make a decision regarding Nicholas Ashford’s proposal.  Jane Bell is busy running The Bell, but she misses Gabriel Locke.  Is Jane ready to move on with her life?  If so, is there a chance of Gabriel returning?  Mercy Groves has long given up hope of getting married.  She is busy running the school and is hoping to expand it.  Mr. Thomas asks Mercy to become young Alice’s guardian.  Mercy is happy to take on the role, but then suitor starts paying attention to her.  Ivy Cottage, though, may be lost to all its current inhabitants if Mercy’s mother has her way.  To see what happens to the women, join them on their journey in The Ladies of Ivy Cottage.
The Ladies of Ivy Cottage is well-written with lovely characters.  I do recommend reading The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill before embarking on The Ladies of Ivy Cottage.  The first book introduces you to the characters, the village of Ivy Hill and their lives (it sets the stage for The Ladies of Ivy Cottage).  The Ladies of Ivy Cottage picks up where the first book ended.  The characters are well developed, and they continue to evolve. The pace of the story is gentle which suits the story (it is slower than The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill). I do feel, though, that the book is a little long (440 pages).  Julie Klassen accurately portrayed the time-period with the clothing, the way people spoke (it was more formal), mannerisms, the shops, roles of men and women, locale, and customs.  You can tell that the author did her research for the series.  Through Ms. Klassen’s words you can imagine the village and its citizens.  The Christian element is light and adds just the right touch.  In addition to the main three ladies there are secondary characters that add drama and romance to the story.  James Drake is working on his hotel, Sir Timothy Brockwell is interested in one of the ladies, Thora returns, Joseph Kingsley (the local carpenter) shows an interest in getting to know one of the women, and Mr. Carville is up to something.   The Ladies of Ivy Cottage is a rich, historical novel and I am eager for the next installment in the Tales from Ivy Hill which is The Bride of Ivy Green.

I appreciate you taking the time to read my review.  I will be reviewing Ginger Snapped by Gail Oust tomorrow.  By the way--What do you tell a stressed snowman?  Chill out!  May you have a joyous day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

1 comment:

  1. Hi from Canada Kristina, Happy Holidays, how are you? An honest review from yourself of "Poetic Potpourri", my only book release currently on the global market would indeed be appreciated, thanks kindly, take care, and bye for now from Thunder Bay, Ontario. :-)