“The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill” ~ Book Review

Feb 20, 2017 by

Welcome back to Rachel’s Back Talk! I’m so glad you could join me again. Today I am reviewing the first book of Julie Klassen’s newest series, The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill. 


As is my custom, if I could ask Julie one question about The Innkeeper of Ivy Hillit would be — “What drew you to writing about an innkeeper’s life?” And if you want to know why I asked that question, I guess you’ll just have to read the book to find out!


And without further ado, onto Rachel’s Back Talk!


From the Back Cover:

The lifeblood of the Wiltshire village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. But when the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant owner. Jane has no notion of how to run a business. However, with the town’s livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must find a way to bring new life to 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 find her place in the world. As she and Jane work together, they form a measure of trust, and Thora’s wounded heart begins to heal. When she encounters two men from her past, she sees them–and her future–in a different light.

With pressure mounting from the bank, Jane employs innovative methods to turn the inn around, and puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place. Will her efforts be enough to save The Bell? And will Thora embrace the possibility of a second chance at love?


Rachel’s Back Talk:

5 – award winning covers

the-innkeeper-of-ivy-hill-front   the-innkeeper-of-ivy-hill-front   the-innkeeper-of-ivy-hill-front   the-innkeeper-of-ivy-hill-front   the-innkeeper-of-ivy-hill-front

I’ve always been a fan of Julie Klassen, and even though the first book of her series isn’t my favorite of her books, I still loved it and am now hooked on finding out what happens to the characters of Ivy Hill! Julie has a way of building the characters so that you ache with them and really just need to know what happens in their life. You care about them — and chastise them when they deserve it 🙂

Jane goes through a huge character development. She starts out the widow who doesn’t know what she wants, to the innkeeper/business woman who knows her mind. She begins to understand the meaning of work — both physical work and the work at mending broken relationships.

Thora might have been my favorite character. Her bristly exterior seems to put others off, not knowing if they want to edge close. But then a slight crack opens up, proving that Thora Bell does indeed have love and kindness aplenty in her heart!

Overall, I bonded with the characters. While many of the characters didn’t yet get their “happily ever after,” that’s what book two is for, right?!



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