Julie Klassen is an "auto-buy" author for me. She is one of my favorite authors and I've read all of her books. Her newest book, "The Ladies of Ivy Cottage," lived up to the expectations I have of a Julie Klassen book!
This book is the second book in the "Tales from Ivy Hill" series. It can be read as a stand-alone, but I highly recommend reading the series in order, as there is a lot of backstory one would miss if they read out of order. Ms. Klassen does have a helpful website dedicated to the series, complete with a map and list of characters (http://talesfromivyhill.com/). It was hard at first to remember all of the characters and their backstories, but Ms. Klassen does a good job of refreshing the reader's memory. Once I saw her post about this website devoted to Ivy Hill, the character list helped me out a lot as well! I got to know all of these characters again, I fell in love with them and felt like they were my friends and neighbors.
This series overall is very reminiscent of the TV series "Lark Rise to Candleford." Everyone in the village of Ivy Hill knows one another, helps each other out and knows everyone's "business." As a former librarian and a book lover, I found it delightful to read about one of our main characters, Rachel, establishing and running a lending library. I also love that some of the characters pray and recall Scripture.
Ivy Hill is an old, quaint English village with a plethora of characters, many of which you will fall in love with. This book gives one a warm, cozy feeling. There is even some mystery thrown in. "The Ladies of Ivy Cottage” has it all and I highly recommend it!
Content: This is a clean read. I would give it a PG rating for a few minor things. Some examples are: a character mutters a swear word but the word is not actually used; mention of a woman's bosom, mention of a dalliance and a child born out of wedlock; use of the word “prostitute;” talk of a woman being a man's mistress; talk of stillbirths and miscarriages; talk of sharing a bed.
Rating: I give this book 5 stars!
Genre: Christian Fiction; Historical; Regency; Romance
I want to thank Julie Klassen and Bethany House Publishers for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.
About the Author:
I love all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, I worked in publishing for sixteen years and now write full time. Three of my books, The Silent Governess, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Secret of Pembrooke Park won the Minnesota Book Award, and The Silent Governess was a finalist in Romance Writers of America’s RITA awards. I have also been honored with the Midwest Book Award and Christian Retailing’s BEST Award. I enjoy travel, research, BBC period dramas, long hikes, short naps, and coffee with friends. My husband and I have two sons and live near St. Paul, Minnesota.
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