The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill
(Tales from Ivy Hill #1)
by Julie Klassen
~ MY REVIEW ~
Slow and steady. That may not sound like a compliment for a book, but I do mean it that way.
This isn’t a fast-paced, gripping kind of story that you start reading and can’t stand to put down until you’ve sat reading for hours and finally turned the last page with a sense of relieved satisfaction. However, neither is it the kind of slow story that just drags on and on until you simply can’t bear to force yourself to read any more. It’s… Well, it’s kind of like hot chocolate. It’s warm and comforting and enjoyable, but you have to sip it slowly, taking it in bit by bit to truly enjoy it to it’s fullest.
Yeah… that’s the best way I can think to describe this book. It’s like hot chocolate. Which made it just the perfect kind of book to read on the cold days of late January and early February, eh? 😉
I did really enjoy this book. No, I wasn’t entirely sure about it at first– I worried that it might be a bit too slow for my taste, but that worry didn’t last long. I was quickly pulled into the story and enjoyed it more and more as it went along.
Jane still isn’t one of my favorite characters, but she’s definitely growing on me. I’ve enjoyed seeing her character develop and grow as she’s started taking possession and charge of the inn. I think she has a lot of potential and I’m hoping to see her grow even more. I really liked Thora a lot. She reminded me very much of Mrs. Thornton in the North & South mini-series. I haven’t read that book yet, but I could seriously hear the voice of Mrs. Thornton (played by Sinéad Cusack) in my head as I read Thora’s dialogue! They are quite a bit alike, I think… Thinking of that, I could sense hints of a few different classics throughout this book. I would just be reading along and suddenly something I’d read would conger and image in my mind from a classic I’d read or a film adaptation I had seen. I rather liked that. 🙂
But back to the characters… I must say I’m still not quite sure what I think of Patrick. I don’t like him, I know that. But I just can’t decide if I’m supposed to be starting to like him because he’s going to turn out to be a truly likable bloke– or if the author is going to try to make us readers like him just to confuse us and have him turn out to be quite the scoundrel after all. If I am supposed to like him, though, it’s going to take a bit more time and effort to get me to that point. I do like Gabriel, though I’m sure we’re all supposed to like him even while being slightly suspicious of him. I don’t hesitate to say that I’m going to be very disappointed if he turns out to be the scoundrel and Patrick turns out to be……. Well, I’ve probably already said too much on that subject so I’ll say no more. Suffice it to say, as I have already said, that I currently like Gabriel & dislike Patrick. I’ll be interested to look back on this after the series has finished to see if I still agree with those statements.
By the end of this story, things are really up in the air as far as any romance for Jane is concerned. I mean, she has– how many?– at least 3 potential suitors. And, while there’s no actual relationship between Jane and any of these men by the end of this book (sorry if I just spoiled anything for anyone!), that’s okay. I will be interested to see how Rachel’s and Mercy’s stories turn out. Rachel’s, at least, already seems to be taking an interesting turn. Thora’s own personal story turned out to be a bigger part of this book than I anticipated. I do have a bit of a gripe in regards to that… her story seemed to move in leaps and bounds toward the end and I did feel like it was rushed a bit too much, though I suppose that could be explained away in one way or another (ways which I have considered, but won’t mention due to potential spoilers).
To sum it up (because I’m afraid if I don’t stop now, I’ll just keep rambling on and on about this book…), I did really enjoy this book, and while it didn’t quite make it to my favorites list, I do give it 4 1/2 stars and a recommendation. I think anyone who loves the old classics like Austen, Gaskell, and Brontë will enjoy this book (and any of Julie’s book, really).
I received a free copy of this book through the Bethany House Blogger Review Program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
~ WHAT SOME OF MY FRIENDS ARE SAYING ABOUT THIS BOOK ~
I’m giving The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill 5 stars and highly recommend it to Regency fans and Christian Historical Fiction fans. Read more…
The story unfolds with an unhurried grace as Klassen transports her readers into another time and place. It celebrates the unique connections found within a community. Read more…
I would describe this read as a warm family drama. Read more…
Loved your review! I have this book but I haven’t finished it yet. I can’t wait to finish it! 🙂
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Thanks, Virginia! XD I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 🙂
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