Book Review: The Ladies of Ivy Cottage, Book 2 of Tales from Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen

"Not everyone thinks as highly of me as you do. 
It is one of your most endearing qualities."(83)

Title: The Ladies of Ivy Cottage
Series: Tales from Ivy Hill, Book 2
Author: Julie Klassen
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date:  November 23, 2017
Genre: Historical Fiction
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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?


Julie Klassen is one of those authors that have the ability to spin a tale so delightful that it reminds you of the many classics you've loved. The Ladies of Ivy Cottage is the second book of the Tales from Ivy Hill, and though one can easily read it by itself, I think it would be beneficial to start from the beginning.

I've had the pleasure of turning each page of The Ladies of Ivy Cottage with continued interest even though I didn't exactly find too much excitement in the plot itself. However, that is what I love about this novel. It's highly character-driven and it gives readers enough amusement without dragging our hearts through ups and downs. There's something to be said about a story that chronicles the characters' lives with purpose or with an emotional comprehension. I close this novel with a desire to continue the friendships we've read in the book, as well as the kinship we feel with them. I look forward to the next book in the series with anticipation and joy like meeting a long missed friend.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.
For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.


JULIE KLASSEN loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. Three of her books, The Silent GovernessThe Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Secret of Pembrooke Park was honored with the Minnesota Book Award for genre fiction. Julie has also won the Midwest Book Award and Christian Retailing's BEST Award, and has been a finalist in the Romance Writers of America's RITA Awards and ACFW's Carol Awards. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

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  1. Wonderful review, Annie! I love Julie's books!

  2. I have both these books and have been putting off reading them because I heard there was a bit of a cliffhanger at the end of book one. So I've waited a whole year to buy the second one only to find there will be a third, though it won't release until next December(2018)!! So I'm asking your professional opinion Annie, do I put off again or can I dive in with the first two? How much of a cliffhanger is there, if any? It's not as if I don't have a million other books to read while waiting, but it's Julie Klassen we're talking about! I very much dislike cliffhangers were you have to read all the books in a series :-)

    1. Hi Trixi. I didn't felt like it was a MAJOR cliffhanger in this one, but there are unresolved developments that I would love to find out. However, I read this one without the first, and I still enjoyed it a lot. Of course, now that I read this one, I want to go back and read the first one, knowing what I know now. Personally, I would wait, because I love binge-reading a good saga-like. But, if it doesn't matter to you, go ahead and read the first 2.


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