The Ladies of Ivy Cottage

The Ladies of Ivy Cottage

by Julie Klassen
4.6 10

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The Ladies of Ivy Cottage 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
connywithay 1 days ago
“The truth always comes out in the end. and now we must pray that something good will come of it,” Timothy tells Rachel in Julie Klassen’s novel, The Ladies of Ivy Cottage. ~ What ~ The second in the Tales from Ivy Hill series, this four-hundred-and-forty-eight-page paperback targets those who enjoy Christian romance regarding family loyalty and responsibility. Containing no profanity or explicit sexual scenes, the topic of adultery, a child out of wedlock, and infant deaths may not be appropriate for immature readers. An author’s note, ten discussion questions, the author’s biography, and advertisements complete the book. In this continuing story set in England in 1820, Rachel Ashford is now living at Ivy Cottage where Mercy Grove and her aunts reside. Needing an income, Rachel starts a circulating library using her father’s books while Mercy runs a girls’ school at the residence. With Rachel being pursued by a distant relative who has inherited her family home, she still has flickering romantic feelings for Sir Timothy that were shunned eight years ago. Meanwhile, Mercy is challenged to find a suitable mate or lose her livelihood. ~ Why ~ Those who enjoy romance sequels involving historical fiction of the nineteenth century in England may like this book. Others will appreciate the detailed descriptions of fashion and decorum that are weaved through the family secrets, lies, and parental demands of the period. Some intriguing moments are unexpected that are based on the era’s societal norms. ~ Why Not ~ As with the prior novel in the series, this one also has no closure when it comes to one of the protagonists at Ivy Cottage. There are too many characters to keep track of and often the storyline does not focus on the ladies of Ivy Cottage but those involved in the prior book. The romances are predictable while repeatedly cutting short at peak tender moments. ~ Wish ~ Since I have read the prior book in the series, I still believe it would be helpful to include a reference list of the many characters. If the book is titled about the ladies of the cottage, why did it mention so many other people and go into detail of their problems without bothering to give closure to one of the main characters? ~ Want ~ If you enjoy a series of historical period romances where Christianity is referred to briefly, this may be a good choice for you, but I do not think I have the fortitude to read the next one as I found it too frustrating. Thanks to Bethany House for this complimentary book that I am freely evaluating.
Anonymous 2 days ago
Can't wait for the next book to c ontinue the story.
KrisAnderson_TAR 4 days ago
The Ladies of Ivy Cottage by Julie Klassen is the second edition in Tales from Ivy Hill. It is September in 1820 in Ivy Hill, Wiltshire, England. Rachel Ashford wants to discover a way for her to earn money to support herself. She appreciates Mercy allowing her to life at Ivy Cottage, but she wants to pay her own way. The women of the Ladies Tea and Knitting Society suggest that Rachel use what her father left her in his will—his library. Rachel can open a subscription library at Ivy Cottage. The townspeople rally behind Rachel and donate books to the library. Thanks to those donated books, Rachel has two mysteries to ponder. She must also make a decision regarding Nicholas Ashford’s proposal. Jane Bell is busy running The Bell, but she misses Gabriel Locke. Is Jane ready to move on with her life? If so, is there a chance of Gabriel returning? Mercy Groves has long given up hope of getting married. She is busy running the school and is hoping to expand it. Mr. Thomas asks Mercy to become young Alice’s guardian. Mercy is happy to take on the role, but then suitor starts paying attention to her. Ivy Cottage, though, may be lost to all its current inhabitants if Mercy’s mother has her way. To see what happens to the women, join them on their journey in The Ladies of Ivy Cottage. The Ladies of Ivy Cottage is well-written with lovely characters. I do recommend reading The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill before embarking on The Ladies of Ivy Cottage. The first book introduces you to the characters, the village of Ivy Hill and their lives (it sets the stage for The Ladies of Ivy Cottage). The Ladies of Ivy Cottage picks up where the first book ended. The characters are well developed, and they continue to evolve. The pace of the story is gentle which suits the story (it is slower than The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill). I do feel, though, that the book is a little long (440 pages). Julie Klassen accurately portrayed the time-period with the clothing, the way people spoke (it was more formal), mannerisms, the shops, roles of men and women, locale, and customs. You can tell that the author did her research for the series. Through Ms. Klassen’s words you can imagine the village and its citizens. The Christian element is light and adds just the right touch. In addition to the main three ladies there are secondary characters that add drama and romance to the story. James Drake is working on his hotel, Sir Timothy Brockwell is interested in one of the ladies, Thora returns, Joseph Kingsley (the local carpenter) shows an interest in getting to know one of the women, and Mr. Carville is up to something. The Ladies of Ivy Cottage is a rich, historical novel and I am eager for the next installment in the Tales from Ivy Hill.
SusanSnodgrassBookworm 10 days ago
When I read Julie Klassen's very first book, I knew I wanted to follow her. Her books are not a fluffy, afternoon read. No, they are rich, full and deep. When I begin one of her books, I'm delighted to simply settle in and enjoy. She takes you so completely into her characters' lives, it's hard to get away! This book is the second in Klassen's 'Tales From Ivy Hill' series. Miss Rachel Ashford is a gentlewoman who finds herself in circumstances that alarm her because she must find a way to support herself. The village women encourage her to open a circulating library with the many volumes her father bequeathed to her. She discovers quite a bit as she begins sorting through these books. And of course, there is the man who once broke her heart, who helps her with her new venture. If you have never read a Julie Klassen novel, you are definitely missing out. Her books sit proudly on my shelves. *My thanks to the publisher for a complimentary copy of this book. My review is my own opinion.
MJK108 10 days ago
The fall of 1820 finds Rachel Ashford, the impoverished daughter from Thornvale Manor in Ivy Hill, teaching etiquette at her friend, Mercy Groves’ school for girls at Ivy Cottage. Dependent upon Mercy and her aunt Matilda for a home, Rachel tries to make herself useful. However, she soon finds out that teaching is not her calling. The Ladies Tea and Knitting Society, a group of enterprising business women from the village, brainstorm the idea of a circulating library for the village utilizing Rachel’s inheritance of her father’s library. Thus begins Rachel’s career as a librarian. The story encompasses so many of the village characters, each with their own unique personality and history. We meet Jane Bell, Rachel’s and Mercy’s good friend; James Drake, the gentlemen who is building a new inn in the area; Sir Timothy Brockwell, an upstanding young man who resides in the area and past beau of Rachel. Everyone has a story and some of the stories have a bit of intrigue and mystery tucked into them. This second book picks up life in the village with all its quirkiness and charm just where it left off in the first story. I really enjoy the townspeople of Ivy Hill and the ladies of Ivy Cottage are unique and special in their own way. Some interesting themes such as the high price of being honest, the cost of accepting charity and grace, and the surrender of one’s dreams run through the novel giving it depth in addition to its entertainment value. A charming Regency read that still leaves plenty of events to occur and characters to be developed with time! Looking forward to book three! This ARC copy was received from Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.
Anonymous 10 days ago
I love this book! The author has a way of making you feel connected to the characters, like they are your friends. I always get lost in her stories and I really cannot wait to get the next book in the Tales From Ivy Hill series!
AE2 13 days ago
After her father's death and the transfer of his estate to a male relative, Nicholas Ashford, Rachel Ashford has moved into the home of her friend Mercy Grove and Mercy's spinster aunt Matty. While she has helped with the school that Mercy and Matty run for girls, Rachel needs to find a way to support herself. With the encouragement of her friends as well as other women in the town, Rachel decides to open a subscription library with books she inherited from her father and donated books from the townspeople. As she works to get her library up and running, Rachel stumbles upon a couple of mysteries that she sets out to solve--and finds that doing so brings her in close contact with the man who broke her heart years ago. Mercy Grove wants nothing more than to expand her school; she loves her girls and her work. When the great-grandfather of one of her pupils wants to make her the child's guardian, Mercy happily accepts. However, when she tells her parents the news, they come to visit--bringing a potential suitor with them. While he might suit her in some ways, Mercy finds herself more interested in the carpenter who donated his services to install shelves in Rachel's library...but she doesn't think he returns her regard. She must figure out which path is the right one for her. Things are running well at Jane Bell's inn, and James Drake, who is establishing an inn of his own nearby, is attentive and charming, but she wonders what his true motives are and finds herself longing for the company of a different man--but she doesn't know if she'll ever see him again. I thought this book was charming. I wish I could jump into the story and visit Ivy Hill and all the characters. Ivy Hill just seems so charming, and I'm just in love with the delightful setting. I also loved the characters; I was swept up in their stories and really wanted to see how things would play out for them. I felt like they were well-developed and it was easy to empathize with their worries and fears. I will say I wish there had been more of a resolution for one character in particular--but that is just a reflection of how much I enjoyed the book, not a criticism of the way it was written. I can't wait for the third book in the series! I actually like this series more than any of Julie Klassen's other books. I read a copy via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Christianfictionandmore 13 days ago
This is my first visit to Ivy Hill, and I am looking forward to my next visit. Although I entered this series in book two of the Tales From Ivy Hill series, it worked quite well as a stand-alone read. I don’t believe too much was revealed to spoil my going back and reading book one. I am actually quite intrigued to discover what previously occurred between Jane Bell and Gabrielle Locke, as well as to learn what motivated the change in Jane’s mother-in-law, Thora. Klassen does a good job of balancing closure in this book with leaving enough of the plot line open to motivate her reader to read book three. Themes in The Ladies of Ivy Cottage deal with the struggle to ask for help from others, and maybe even from God. While the story is set in 1820’s England, this struggle may be even more prevalent in today’s society that values independence, self-reliance, and pulling oneself up by one’s own bootstraps. The book also deals with the importance of truth: the sometimes-high cost of truth, the fact that truth always has a way of coming out, and the strength of character that is displayed when one deals with a hard truth in a way that pleases and glorifies God. This too is a theme that is pertinent to modern living as we are daily faced in mainstream media and social media with discerning truth, holding our leaders to the truth, and behaving truthfully in our own lives even when the cost may be quite high. The main characters in this book are endearing. The three central characters inn keeper Jane Bell, school teacher Mercy Grove, and librarian Rachel Ashford now all working for a living were once ladies of nobility. They are evidence of changing times in England, as are their friendships with secondary characters that cross social boundaries. Changes, even positive ones, take time to accept by people of both genders and across all walks of life. This is evidenced by the reaction and interaction of characters throughout this story, as it is probably evidenced in each of our own lives. I recommend The Ladies of Ivy Cottage to historical fiction fans, they will likely be intrigued by the information on subscription or circulating libraries, forerunners of today’s public libraries, that is woven into the story. I also recommend it to fans of romantic fiction, and of course to those who love Christian fiction. I thank NetGalley and Baker Publishing Group for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation.
joyful334209 14 days ago
The Ladies of Ivy Cottage is a tale of a few women, it reminds me of my favorite author - can you guess what author that is? Yes you're right Jane Austen, each of these women go their own, way they go on their own journey of life. One is trying to find her way in life. The other is trying to find her way in love - will someone love her? You have best friends supporting and directing the friends. The village is full of characters, each with their own stories and direction in life - you have good parts and bad parts. The villagers are unique and are characters in and of themselves - they each have a story to tell, but the women of Ivy Cottage are special to each other and to those in the village - this is a major must read and the book is abundant in love, befitting their generation and brilliantly written- my only regret is I didn't get the first book. I hope that I did honor to this book and the author. I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and Netgalley; all the opinions expressed in this review are all my own.
joyful334209 14 days ago
The Ladies of Ivy Cottage is a tale of a few women, it reminds me of my favorite author - can you guess what author that is? Yes you're right Jane Austen, each of these women go their own, way they go on their own journey of life. One is trying to find her way in life. The other is trying to find her way in love - will someone love her? You have best friends supporting and directing the friends. The village is full of characters, each with their own stories and direction in life - you have good parts and bad parts. The villagers are unique and are characters in and of themselves - they each have a story to tell, but the women of Ivy Cottage are special to each other and to those in the village - this is a major must read and the book is abundant in love, befitting their generation and brilliantly written- my only regret is I didn't get the first book. I hope that I did honor to this book and the author. I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and Netgalley; all the opinions expressed in this review are all my own.
joyful334209 14 days ago
The Ladies of Ivy Cottage is a tale of a few women, it reminds me of my favorite author - can you guess what author that is? Yes you're right Jane Austen, each of these women go their own, way they go on their own journey of life. One is trying to find her way in life. The other is trying to find her way in love - will someone love her? You have best friends supporting and directing the friends. The village is full of characters, each with their own stories and direction in life - you have good parts and bad parts. The villagers are unique and are characters in and of themselves - they each have a story to tell, but the women of Ivy Cottage are special to each other and to those in the village - this is a major must read and the book is abundant in love, befitting their generation and brilliantly written- my only regret is I didn't get the first book. I hope that I did honor to this book and the author. I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and Netgalley; all the opinions expressed in this review are all my own.