On a rise overlooking the Wiltshire countryside stands the village of Ivy Hill. Its coaching inn, The Bell, is its lifeblood--along with the coach lines that stop there daily, bringing news, mail, travelers, and much-needed trade.
Jane Bell lives on the edge of the inn property. She had been a genteel lady until she married the charming innkeeper who promised she would never have to work in his family's inn. But when he dies under mysterious circumstances, Jane finds herself The Bell's owner, and worse, she has three months to pay a large loan or lose the place.
Feeling reluctant and ill-equipped, Jane is tempted to abandon her husband's legacy and return to her former life of ease. However, she soon realizes there is more at stake than her comfort. But who can she trust to help her? Her resentful mother-in-law? Her husband's brother, who wanted the inn for himself? Or the handsome newcomer with secret plans of his own . . . ?
With pressure mounting from the bank, Jane struggles to win over naysayers and turn the place around. Can Jane bring new life to the inn, and to her heart as well?
Paperback, 445 pages
Published December 6th 2016
by Bethany House Publishers
****Julia Klassen is a new author to me, having seen her books around I jumped at the chance to review this one.
The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill is the first in The Tales of Ivyhill series, coming in at 445 pages it is long enough to get to know the characters and to provide depth to the story line.
If you read the synopsis above you get a good grasp of what the story is about and the struggles Jane Bell has to go through. But this isn't a story just about Jane Bell it's also about her mother-in-law Thora. Not only is she a widow herself, but after the death of her son she finds out the Inn is left to her daughter-in-law and the relationship there isn't all that great. Jane's friends, Rachel and Mercy are also in the picture, with flashbacks they paint a picture of the close friendship they used to have.
This was a great character driven book told from the various points of views. Reading it from these different angles was enjoyable and I got to know each of the characters, with their different struggles and fears as well as relationships to each other.
A great start to new series, it was well written showing the small town lifestyle for the time period. There were parts I thought I had figured out but the author surprised me with the ending, with enough closure to satisfy this reader but also making me anxious for the next installment.
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.".