The Ladies of Ivy Cottage / by Julie Klassen. (Tales from Ivy Hill, 2) 4.2.2018

Bethany House ISBN 9780764218156

Adult Rating: 5

Award-winning author Julie Klassen continues her Regency series set in the English village of Ivy Hill.

In The Ladies of Ivy Cottage, Rachel Ashford is Mercy and Matilda Grove’s guest at the Ivy Cottage. Rachel is a gentlewoman who seeks to make a living as her funds are dwindling. Her friend Jane Bell, the innkeeper of Ivy Hill, and Mercy, manager of the local school for girls, encourage her to start a circulating library with books she inherited from her father, as well as with donations. As she sorts through the villagers’ donations, she uncovers a mystery hidden within one of the books that she tries to solve.

Meanwhile, Mercy fills her days at the school, having given up the thought of marriage. When several men begin taking an interest in the ladies of Ivy Cottage, she assumes Rachel is the attraction, but what if she is wrong? Will the ladies solve the mysteries of the past and find hope for the future?

Klassen is known for her excellent character development in her inspirational Regency novels, which are filled with love and redemption, and family relationships. The faith elements are light-handed. Readers will appreciate the nod to Jane Austen, as well as the depth of the historical details. Discussion questions are also included.

 Recommended for public and high school libraries. Her novels should appeal to adults and high school readers alike. Fans of Julie Klassen, Sarah E. Ladd, Carrie Turansky, and other historical fiction fans will be delighted to read this series. Watch for the next book in this series, The Bride of Ivy Green, coming in December 2018.

Carol R. Gehringer, worthy2read.wordpress.com

Earlier Series Titles Reviewed by CLJ: The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill (Jan/Feb/Mar 2017).