Innkeeper of Ivy Hill / by Julie Klassen. (Tales from Ivy Hill, 1) 3.8.2017

Bethany House ISBN 9780764218132
Adult Rating: 5
Award-winning author Julie Klassen debuts her first historical fiction series, set in the English village of Ivy Hill “where friendships thrive, romance blossoms, and mysteries await” (back cover).
In Innkeeper of Ivy Hill, genteel Jane Bell becomes a reluctant innkeeper after the death of her husband. She has no clue about managing the business and saving it from bankruptcy. She turns to her mother-in-law Thora for assistance, even though they did not have a close relationship in the past. As she helps Jane, Thora begins to find a new purpose for life and is faced with two suitors for her heart.
Pressure mounts from the bank, even as Jane tries new methods to restore the inn and pay off its debt. Several men seem to have a vested interest in her success or failure, but are any of them trustworthy? Will Jane succeed or lose the inn?
Klassen is known for her excellent plot and character development in her inspirational Regency novels, which are filled with love and redemption and family relationships. The faith elements are not heavy-handed. The historical details that one comes to expect from Ms. Klassen’s works are clearly evident in this new series.
She lays the groundwork for the next few books in this series by introducing the reader to several characters in the village of Ivy Hill and telling parts of their story. Discussion questions are also included. Readers will look forward to the second book, Ladies of Ivy Cottage, which is expected in December 2017.
Recommended for public and high school libraries. Fans of Julie Klassen, Sarah E. Ladd, Carrie Turansky, and other historical fiction fans will be delighted with this new series.
Carol R. Gehringer, worthy2read.wordpress.com