Blue stained wood with crimson carnations

Friday, June 30, 2017

Book Review: The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill

Thora Bell was born, raised, and brought up her family in the coaching inn The Bell- only to see her son die suddenly and pass the family business on to his gentlewoman wife, Jane Bell- who has seemingly never taken in interest in the inn. Jane is forced to take in interest however when she finds that her husband has left a massive loan on the books- and the bank is long past being repaid! With their livelihood, past memories, and future security on the line Jane and Thora must find a way to work together and to bring the inn back to its former glory and pay off the debt before they are left with nothing!

Two women from two very different backgrounds and lives are the highlights of The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill! I cannot remember anytime recently seeing or reading a book where the two main characters were women of different generations and I loved seeing it here!

Thora is a working woman and always has been. She is steeped and invested in her family business and known for her knowledgeable running of the inn and for her sharply honest tongue. Jane is born to a life of privilege that lies far in the past with both of her parents dead and her family home being left in ruins. She is not accustomed to the life she’s been thrust into since her husband’s passing but that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have the mind for it, or the strong will to survive! Together Thora and Jane make an unlikely pair, but a pair that works together the harder the circumstances that surround them become!

Something I thought was really interesting about this book was the look it gave to women working in the Regency era. This isn’t a book that is puffed up on a whirlwind romance in the halls of Bath’s best balls; it is an honest look at the working class of the countryside. Women are and always have been the backbone of farm and country industry. It was neat to learn about the strong connections of how woman and business in these small towns are truly dependent on each other and work to help each other.

Another thing I liked about this book is that it isn’t primarily a romance novel. There is certainly no end of potential suitors for both of the woman in this book but it never overtakes and overshadows the main conflict of the inn’s future. Both storylines complement each other but they do not fight each other for the spotlight. With this being the first installment of Klassen’s first series I was also rather delighted that this book felt like returning to the BBC’s Cranford and getting bits and pieces of all the lives of everyone in the village! I will look forward to the story continuing to unfold and for more to be revealed about all of the characters as the series progresses!

I would highly recommend this book to anyone- even those that have never tried a Regency set book before! I was very happy reading this and am looking forward to the end of the year when the next installment will be released!

Final Rating: 5

I have been given a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review and opinion of the product.

1 comment:

  1. My great-grandparents ran a family owned hotel in a small Scottish town in the late 1800's through the early 1900's. Great-Granny was also abandoned by a wandering man, and later upon his return, and eventual death was left to raise her family the best she could. I think this book will be high on my must reads in the coming weeks!


Give me a piece of your mind! ...Really, it makes my day!