Book Review: The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen

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Initially I selected this book because of the author, Julie Klassen. Having read some of her books in the past, there were many that I enjoyed and so in addition to the lovely cover art, I was looking forward to reading this book.

Jane Bell is now the owner of The Bell coaching inn. Her husband died the year prior, and for the past year she has made do with her life. Not caring one way or the other about the inn. Her husband John, never wanted her to play a part in the inn. But now, with the call out on a substantial debt looming, she no longer knows what she wants to do, she just knows she has to give it a try at saving the inn.

Thora Bell is Jane’s mother-in-law. She had left after her son’s death and lived for awhile with her sister in Bath. But she was soon left without accommodations when her sister married. Plus, she was ready to return home to the inn after hearing distressing news about the condition of the inn. Having run the inn prior to her son’s death, knowing that her daughter-in-law had inherited the inn did not set well with her.

Then there is Patrick Bell, the brother to John Bell. He has been at the inn for awhile helping Jane with the running of it, and trying to help in bring it back to life. But his mother, Thora, doesn’t trust him, thinking that he’s returning to his scalawag ways.

Essentially the story is about these three main characters, along with the other characters that are involved in keeping the inn running and sustaining. We learn the stories of the other characters, such as the cook, the manager Talbot, and Locke who is the farrier. They all play an integral roll in the uplifting to the inn.

The way Julie interwove the story and it’s growth was fascinating. For me, a story that i thought wouldn’t take very long to read, ended up with me being unable to put it down. Starting it in the evening, the kindle wasn’t put down until 2:00 in the morning. Let’s just say, the last few chapters were hurriedly rushed through a tad more than usual.

The details are rich, and the characters are interesting. You see the growth of the characters as they go from chapter 1 to the last chapter. You are interested in Jane and wonder if she has what it takes to make it as an innkeeper. You wonder about Locke, Drake and others and wonder how they will play a part in her life. Then you have Patrick, her mother-in-law and the circumstances that surround the death of her husband. Then, you are left with the delinquent loan that her husband had taken out the year before his death, that has yet to be paid.

All in all, I really did enjoy reading the book. I had no idea what was going to happen with Thora, being swung one direction to the other. Jane, I expected more of an ending, along with Rachel. I was left in a quandry wondering what I missed in my speedreading towards the end. Even with a quick purusal of pages, my answers were not answered.

Despite all this, I would most definitely recommend this book!

I received this book complimentary from Bethany House publishers in exchange for an honest review.

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