The Ladies of Ivy Cottage

The Ladies of Ivy Cottage

New from the Top Author of Inspirational Regency RomanceReturn to Ivy Hill in The Ladies of Ivy Cottage as friendships deepen, romances blossom, and mysteries unfold.Living with the two Miss Groves in Ivy Cottage, impoverished gentlewoman Rachel Ashford is determined to earn her own livelihood . . . somehow. When the village women encourage her to open a subscription libra...

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Title:The Ladies of Ivy Cottage
Author:Julie Klassen
Rating:

The Ladies of Ivy Cottage Reviews

  • Jill

    I loved this return visit to Ivy Hill. Julie Klassen has done a wonderful job bringing this world to life. The characters are very real. I feel their struggles and root for them the whole time I'm reading. I can't wait to see where this journey takes them in the next installment. I highly recommend this series to readers who enjoy quaint village settings and British period drama.

    I received this book for free for the purpose of review.

  • Beth

    I am loving the Tales from Ivy Hill! The Ladies of Ivy Cottage is another winning story, full of charm, whimsy, and characters that I grew to love. The plot is best described as steady, flavored with issues that aren't particularly heart-stopping, but still full of heart and emotion.

    Usually when a book switching between characters, I usually get impatient to leave one and get back to my favorite, but that wasn't the case here. Even though I probably do prefer Jane over the others (I'm usually lo

    I am loving the Tales from Ivy Hill! The Ladies of Ivy Cottage is another winning story, full of charm, whimsy, and characters that I grew to love. The plot is best described as steady, flavored with issues that aren't particularly heart-stopping, but still full of heart and emotion.

    Usually when a book switching between characters, I usually get impatient to leave one and get back to my favorite, but that wasn't the case here. Even though I probably do prefer Jane over the others (I'm usually loyal to the first character I "meet"), the other characters are endearing, and I loved each part of their stories, as they navigated their lives.

    It was a delight to see more of Jane and Thora, but also delightful to get to know Rachel more, a character that I wasn't too sure about in the first book. I admit, when she said that she didn't care for books, I just thought there was no way I could relate to her, ha! But then, when she stepped out and started her own circulation library, I had to come around. I just loved the details about the circulating library.

    Saying that the plot is steady is not to say that there were no mysteries or no romance. Indeed, some of the character surprised me, both in the revelations that were made about them, and the way they interacted with others in unexpected ways. One certain character I was just desperate to see back, and even though all things are not resolved, I have high hopes! And, oh my, this book has some of the sweetest and endearing declarations of love that just made me sigh. I'm so looking forward to the third book. In the next book, I really hope to see a happily ever after for Jane, and I can't wait to see what happens with Mercy - I thought I knew what I wanted to happen, but now I'm just not sure and can see multiple avenues. I can definitely see myself re-reading this series, and they are definitely going on my keeper shelf, which is what I say about all of Klassen's titles. Both books are on my favorites list for the year. It seems such a long wait for book three, but I know it'll be worth it!

    One more note - I highly recommend reading these books in order. I think it's unfair when readers get annoyed that a book in a series doesn't stand alone. If you don't like stories with unresolved plot points, then you won't like this series. I know a lot of Christian fiction uses the term "series" very loosely (like set in the same town, or within the same family), so many CF readers come to expect that, but these books are a series in the truer sense of the word, in that, you will be confused about many things if you don't read book one first, and therefore, probably not enjoy it.

  • Megan

    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

    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 (

    ). 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.

  • Staci

    It was sheer delight to return to the village of Ivy Hill with its vast cast of characters and touch of mystery. In The Ladies of Ivy Cottage I especially enjoyed living through the life changing decisions several characters made. While not all the romances were resolved, those that did were swoon worthy and I was smiling ear to ear.

    Klassen is highly talented and I look forward to the next in the Tales from Ivy Hill Series. I suspect it will be another December release...that is a long wait.

  • Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)

    Just lovely! It's not fast-paced or terribly exciting, but the women of Ivy Hill have a gentle strength that made this book a pleasure to read. I recommend reading the first book in the series, The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill, to more fully understand and appreciate the backgrounds of the various community members. The perspective switches often between Jane (the innkeeper), Rachel (the librarian), Mercy (the teacher), and Thora (Jane's mother-in-law). We learn more about Timothy, Rachel and Jane's ch

    Just lovely! It's not fast-paced or terribly exciting, but the women of Ivy Hill have a gentle strength that made this book a pleasure to read. I recommend reading the first book in the series, The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill, to more fully understand and appreciate the backgrounds of the various community members. The perspective switches often between Jane (the innkeeper), Rachel (the librarian), Mercy (the teacher), and Thora (Jane's mother-in-law). We learn more about Timothy, Rachel and Jane's childhood friend and beau, Mrs. Haverhill, the mysterious recluse, and Mr. Grant, the businessman, and their pasts and secrets are slowly revealed throughout the book in intriguing layers which propelled the story forward. By the conclusion of the book we have happy endings for some, and interesting prospects for others, making me wish the third book was already out! The Ladies of Ivy Cottage is definitely a book to savor as it's read.

    (I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

  • Tammie

    The Ladies of Ivy Cottage is the second book in Julie Klassen's Ivy Hill series. I enjoyed the first book, but this one was even better. I loved reading about the different characters in the village of Ivy Hill. This time around the main focus is on Rachel and Mercy and I found their stories pretty compelling. The way Rachel ends up supporting herself was brilliant and I enjoyed reading about her as she started this endeavor and eventually gained more confidence in herself. Mercy was also an interesting character to read about. I loved how she cared so much for the girls in her school, and felt for her as she struggled with wanting a family of her own.

    There is more romance in this book and quite a bit more focus on religion, both of which were woven into the story really well without being overly romantic or preachy. As for the romance, I loved the way Rachel's love interest ends up declaring his love for her, even though I wanted to hit him over the head few times along the way. Also Jane, who was the focus of book one finds love as well, and I'm just going to say that I love him, and one scene in particular was very romantic.

    There are some plot threads that have not been resolved, Mercy's story being one of them, so I am eagerly looking forward to the next book. This book felt a bit like reading a classic at times. If you like books like Cranford, or Jane Austen's books you might like this series.

    Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher Bethany House for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for a review.

    Review also posted at

  • Jamie

    As with the first book of this series, I could not wait to dive into Julie Klassen’s latest and go back to Ivy Hill! As she always does, Klassen once again captured my attention fully, with each and every character.

    While the first book isn’t completely necessary to read this one, I admit, it makes it so much more enjoyable. It would be easy to think that a book with some many people, especially three women, could get lost or overwhelming, but nope. It only gives you more characters to love. Much

    As with the first book of this series, I could not wait to dive into Julie Klassen’s latest and go back to Ivy Hill! As she always does, Klassen once again captured my attention fully, with each and every character.

    While the first book isn’t completely necessary to read this one, I admit, it makes it so much more enjoyable. It would be easy to think that a book with some many people, especially three women, could get lost or overwhelming, but nope. It only gives you more characters to love. Much like Jane Austen’s characters draw you in, so does each one in these.

    There’s romance, there’s scandal (what Austen-inspired novel doesn’t have that right? :), the unexpected and the resolutions you so thoroughly enjoy. I’m purposely not going into each character, as I want the readers to go in without too from me. But trust me when I say that each character has their own journey you root for and not all is as it seems. The only bad thing about this novel, is that I have to wait for the final in the series releasing late 2018. So rude…

    What series do you wish BBC would pick up and make into a mini series? I really need this one to be brought to life.

    (Thank you to Bethany House for a copy of the book. All views expressed are my own.)

  • Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)

    TYPE OF NOVEL: Regency Romance, Historical Fiction

    SETTING: 1820 Wiltshire, England

    MAIN CHARACTERS:

    - Rachel Ashford: With her father passed away and his heir displacing her from her family home, Rachel contemplates a marriage of convenience or earning her livelihood.

    - Sir Timothy Brockwell: Childhood playmate of Rachel’s and Jane’s. Eight years ago he courted Rachel, but then broke it off because of family duty.

    - Merc

    TYPE OF NOVEL: Regency Romance, Historical Fiction

    SETTING: 1820 Wiltshire, England

    MAIN CHARACTERS:

    - Rachel Ashford: With her father passed away and his heir displacing her from her family home, Rachel contemplates a marriage of convenience or earning her livelihood.

    - Sir Timothy Brockwell: Childhood playmate of Rachel’s and Jane’s. Eight years ago he courted Rachel, but then broke it off because of family duty.

    - Mercy Grove: Plain and unmarried, Mercy works as headmistress of an all-girl school. Her parents are urging her to marry since she is practically a spinster.

    - Jane Fairmont Bell: A widow running her husband’s inn. Jane carries her own personal grief and worries that prohibit her from contemplating sharing her life with someone else.

    SYNOPSIS:

    Picking up after the close of The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill, Book Two in the Tales From Ivy Hill series follows the lives of Jane, Rachel, Mercy, and many of the inhabitants of the charming village of Ivy Hill. In this book we follow Rachel as she strives to follow her independent and resourceful friends and establish her own business. Her father left her his extensive book collection with instructions not to sell them, so instead Rachel decides to loan out the books and create Ivy Hills’ first circulating library. Can her new business be a success? Will one of her suitors influence Rachel to marry instead?

    NOTE: This is Book Two in Ms. Klassen’s Tales from Ivy Hill series. I definitely recommend reading Book One – The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill first to fully understand the history and relationship of all these characters.

    WHAT I LOVED:

    - Returning to Ivy Hill: I love that Julie Klassen is writing this series. In the first book we are introduced to the bucolic and busy village of Ivy Hill. A village we get to know very well, including many of its interesting and charming inhabitants. It’s wonderful to revisit this bustling hamlet and spend more time within its environs!

    Several Simultaneous Stories: I love how this second book of the series spends almost equal time with each of our main characters – Rachel, Jane, and Mercy. Instead of focusing on one heroine per book, Ms. Klassen has opted to flesh out the stories of these three women throughout the whole series. While Rachel may have been a little more in the spotlight in this tale, readers saw plenty of Mercy and Jane still. And it looks like some things remain unresolved for them at the close of this story…

    - So Many Suitors!: With Julie Klassen’s novels, it is a guarantee you will see some romance! But with this series it is often hard to predict wha the romantic pairings will be because for each female character there were almost always two male characters interested/pursuing them! The ratio of men to women in Ivy Hill is very favorable, no? 😉 I loved how many of the suitors were likable and worthy. It makes it a little bit conflicting for the reader to decide which way they want things to go! 😉 I guess readers like to be “crossed in love” too!

    - Alternatives to Marriage: It is so interesting to encounter these women who are not actively seeking marriage as their goal. Although they are not adverse to marriage and children, they realize that it is not the only course their life must take. They forge a different path and learn to depend on themselves for their own livelihood. It was so interesting and inspiring to see the various ways women were “breaking the mold” in this series. Not just Jane, Rachel, and Mercy, but each member of The Ladies Tea and Knitting Society as well. I think Jane Austen would heartily approve!

    - Julie Klassen Signatures: I love Ms. Klassen’s well-drawn and admirable heroines – and how this series gives us 3 for 1! I love finding all her echoes and nods to Jane Austen – there is quite a lovely Persuasion bit in this story that made my heart melt! And I love the mystery and intrigue she intertwines into each tale – it is always amusing to speculate the answers and wait for the reveal!

    WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:

    While I enjoyed Rachel’s story, out of the three women, she may be the one with whom I feel the least connected. I’m greatly looking forward to seeing more of Jane and Mercy in the next book!

    CONCLUSION:

    With The Ladies of Ivy Cottage, Julie Klassen continues her thoughtful and enchanting series that features courageous women and a charming village combined together for stories of strength, overcoming life’s challenges, and bravely starting over.

    Austenesque Reviews

  • Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)

    About this book:

    About this book:

    Series: Book #2 in the

    series. Review of the first book Here!

    Spiritual Content- John 21:25 at the beginning; A few Scriptures are remembered; Prayers; Singing a hymn; Church going & a sermon; Talks about God; ‘H’s are capital when referring to God; Rachel feels uncomfortable asking God or anyone for help *Spoiler*

    *End of Spoiler*; Mentions of God; Mentions of thanking & praising God; Mentions of prayers, praying, & blessings over food; Mentions of a cathedral, churches, church going, a reverend/vicar, services, & sermons; Mentions of Heaven; Mentions of blessings & being blessed; A few mentions of Bibles & Bible reading; A few mentions of Christians & faiths; A few mentions of a hymn; A mention of a godsend; A couple mentions of sins;

    *Note: Mentions of (what some people believe is) a witch; A couple mentions of a group of people raising altars to a type of food; A mention of something being devilishly hard to clean; A mention of a man being devilishly charming.

    Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a form of ‘dumb’, an ‘idiot’, a ‘thunder and turf!’, and three ‘dashed’s; A couple mentions of curses (said, not written); A bit of eye rolling; Mentions of deaths & unnatural deaths; Mentions of someone lost at sea; Mentions of injuries, pain, & blood/bleeding (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of thieves, thefts, & stolen items; Mentions of vandalism & vandals; Mentions of debts & gambling; Mentions of alcohol, drinking, & drunks; Mentions of lies & lying; Mentions of rumors & gossip; Mentions of poaching, hunting, & shooting; A few mentions of prisons/jails; A few mentions of smoking, cigars, & pipes; A few mentions of jealousy; A few mentions of hanging meat & dead animals for food (barely-above-not-detailed); A couple mentions of mounted animal heads as décor; A mention of using pigskin bladders for an invention.

    Sexual Content- two hand/wrist kisses, a cheek kiss, an almost kiss, a barely-above-not-detailed kiss, a semi-detailed kiss, and two detailed kisses; Wanting to be kissed (twice, up to semi-detailed); Touches, Embraces, Warmth, & Hand Holding (up to semi-detailed); Smelling (barely-above-not-detailed); Blushes; Noticing (x3); Noticing men’s muscles (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of a man and woman having a child together, but not being married (he says it was his fault); Mentions of a man being involved with a chambermaid & her being ill-used prior (she ends up pregnant; he says he’s not solely to blame and that she came to him); Mentions of wondering if a woman is a man’s paramour or if she was involved with another man; Mentions of a married man who kept a mistress & his adultery; Mentions of illegitimate children; Mentions of people thinking a woman is a prostitute (she’s not); Mentions of a woman working as a maid at a brothel; Mentions of scandals, reputations, & opposite genders being left alone with chaperones; Mentions of staring & being smitten by a pretty face; Mentions of flirting; Mentions of blushes; Mentions of romance books; A few mentions of not being ready (or being ready) to share a bed with a man; A few mentions of kissing & gathering someone in your arms; A few mentions of wedding trips/honeymoons; A few mentions of touches & embraces; A few mentions of jealousy; A couple mentions of married couples kissing; A mention of a man having a hard time keeping his hands off of a woman; A mention of women ogling men; Love, falling in love, & the emotions (x2);

    *Note: Remembering a miscarriage & bleeding (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of miscarriages, stillbirths, the pain of losing children, & not being able to have children; A few mentions of a wife & baby dying in childbirth; A few mentions of a mother dying with childbed fever; A few mentions of wet nurses; A couple mentions of a girl’s dress flattering her figure; A mention of a dress revealing a girl’s thin bosom; A mention of lower necklines on popular dresses; A mention of a woman pulling coins out of her bodice; A mention of a woman keeping her valuables (coins, jewelry, etc.) in her bodice & being asked if her husband agrees; A mention of butting into a conversation.

    -Rachel Ashford

    -Jane Bell

    -Mercy Grove, age 30

    P.O.V. switches between them & Thora

    Set in 1820

    445 pages

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    Pre Teens- One Star

    New Teens- One Star

    Early High School Teens- Two Stars

    Older High School Teens- Three Stars

    My personal Rating- Two Stars (and a half)

    Like I said in the final thoughts of the first book in this series, Julie Klassen has always been a book-by-book author for me; meaning I have to know the book cover or read the actual book to find out about the content.

    This one?

    Hmm.

    While overall clean, there were such comments I didn’t like and thought that they didn’t need to be added.

    My main problem, however, was keeping up with all the characters. It’s been nearly a year since I first read the first book, and oh boy, there’s a ton of characters to keep up with.

    At first, I wasn’t a fan of Rachel or Jane, but I really liked Mercy’s parts. It was fun to see non-reader Rachel turn into a reader. I wasn’t necessarily a fan of how Rachel had three males interested in her at times, but then the men would divert their attention to one of our other main ladies. Made those boys look like they were trying to figure out who they each liked best or were too friendly for the historical time period. And in all honest, I didn’t really like any of them. At one point or another, they each took turns feeling like a cad (okay, really only two of the four/five had their cad moments) to me. There were quite a few parts that seemed inaccurate for the time period this novel was set in. I’ll admit I was disappointed with all the birth secrets/illegitimate children plot lines. I can see one, but it seemed very common in this book with these characters and their families. I think it could have been something else and not an easy out like that.

    There’s just so many plots going on in this large novel that made this book feel daunting to read. Maybe it would have helped reading these books back-to-back, but really wasn’t an enjoyable as I remembering the first book being.

    Link to review:

    *BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.

    *I received this book for free from the Publisher (Bethany House) for this honest review.

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