Wednesday, January 4, 2017

"The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill" by Julie Klassen

About this book:

  Welcome to the English village of Ivy Hill, where friendships thrive, romance blossoms, and mysteries await. . . .
  The lifeblood of the village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. When the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant landlady. Jane has no idea how to manage a business, but with the town's livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must quickly find a way to save 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 overcome her losses and find purpose for the future. As she works with Jane, two men from her past vie for her attention, but Thora has promised herself never to marry again. Will one of them convince her to embrace a second chance at love?
  As pressure mounts from the bank, Jane employs new methods, and puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place, including a mysterious newcomer with secret plans of his own. With the help of friends old and new, can Jane restore life to the inn, and to her empty heart as well?”

Series: Book #1 in the “Tales from Ivy Hill” series.  

Spiritual Content- John 15:5 at the beginning; Prayers & a Blessing over food; Church going & services; Talks about God; Mentions of God, His creations & Praising/Thanking Him; Mentions of prayers; Mentions of clergymen, a church, church going & services; Mentions of Bibles & reading; Mentions of Heaven (some indirectly) & asking forgiveness from God; Mentions of angel figurines; A few mentions of those & events in the Bible; A few mentions of blessings & being blessed; A couple mentions of miracles; A couple mentions of a man meeting his Maker & the rising on the last day; A mention of the second coming; A mention of a martyr;
*Note: A mention of superstitious people; A place is called devilish hot; A couple mentions of a devilishly charming man; Mentions of the/a devil.

Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘blinkin’ (could be used as a replacement for other words), a ‘dashed’, an ‘idiot’, a ‘what the devil’, two ‘thunder and turf’, four ‘dash it’s, and four ‘stupid’s; A couple mentions of curses (said, not written); A bit of sarcasm; Drinking champagne; Mentions of bodies, a coffin, pain & an accident (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of dying & illnesses; Mentions of a possible murder; Mentions of fighting & hitting (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of thieves, highway men & stealing; Mentions of embezzlement; Mentions of debts, cards, gambling & bets; Mentions of drinking, drunks, pints & spirituous drinks; Mentions of wine & wine cellars; Mentions of hunters & poachers; Mentions of meat needing to be plucked, skinned or gutted (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of lying, lies & manipulation; Mentions of gossip & rumors; Mentions of whips & whipped horses; A few mentions of bloodstains; A couple mentions of cigars; A mention of tobacco; A couple mentions of a dead mouse; A mention of murder; A mention of suicide; A mention of slaves; A mention of a horse going to a caddy butcher (doesn’t happen, more of a threat).

Sexual Content- a hand kiss, three cheek kisses, two barely-above-not-detailed kisses & a semi-detailed kiss; Touches & Embraces (barely-above-not-detailed); Some noticing & smelling; Thora believes marriage is misery in the majority of the book; Mentions of a man put a woman in a predicament [with child] (no details); Mentions of an assumed affair (which didn’t happen, she jumped to conclusions), prostitutes, prostitution, luring men in & a brothel; Mentions of kisses & wanting one; Mentions of a man reputation as a rake & a woman worried for females near him; Mentions of improperness, reputations & chaperones; Mentions of flirts & flirting; A few mentions of a buxom woman being ogled, turning heads & tempting men; A few mentions of young boys trying to watch an actress bath (all they saw was her ankle before being sent away); A few mentions of jealousy; A couple mentions of ribald talk & a ribald party; A couple mentions of swooning ladies; A mention of seducing; A mention of a servant who ran off with another; A mention of a young man looking up a woman’s skirts; A mention of a young man’s dreamy grin about petticoats; Some love, falling in love & the emotions;
            *Note: A mention of a young girl not wanting to have a big family for fear of the risk of dying in childbirth or spoiling her figure; A couple mentions of men being able to identify a woman by her backside; A couple mentions of women’s figures; A couple mentions of undergarments & unmentionables; Mentions of miscarriages, blood & pain (semi-detailed).

-Jane Bell, nearly age 30
-Thora Bell, age 51
                                      P.O.V. switches between them & Rachel
                                            Set in 1820
                                                 441 pages

Pre Teens-
New Teens-
Early High School Teens-
Older High School Teens-
My personal Rating-
Well, hmmm! Julie Klassen has always been a book-by-book author for me—I have to decide on each book of itself if I like it, I can’t just say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to her books. This felt like a very laid-back read, though it did have some faster-pace scenes. I’m quite pleased over how clean this novel was—especially because of the size. There were some love interest moments and some falling in love, but the romance thread still felt very light. I’m excited to see that the next book in the series has all the point of view ladies back along with Mercy (as I really liked her in this one and wanted to see more) coming out in December.

See y’all on Friday with a new 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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