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The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill

(Tales from Ivy Hill #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  5,170 ratings  ·  813 reviews
First Series from Bestselling Author Julie Klassen!

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
Paperback, 445 pages
Published December 6th 2016 by Bethany House Publishers (first published December 2016)
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i fall in love book blog On Amazon I only see the option to pre-order a physical book (Hardcover or Paperback) at this time. It's not releasing until December, so a Kindle ver…moreOn Amazon I only see the option to pre-order a physical book (Hardcover or Paperback) at this time. It's not releasing until December, so a Kindle version may become available closer to (or after) it is released.(less)

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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
3.5 stars, more if you really like inspirational historical fiction; less if you're not particularly fond of the genre. Julie Klassen creates an ensemble set of characters in the fictional village of Ivy Hill, not too far from London, in the 1820s. Jane Bell is the innkeeper, a young widow who married down socially and now has no idea what to do with the inn that she's inherited. The story alternates between Jane, her widowed mother-in-law, and some other local characters.

It's all very reminisc
Slow and steady. That may not sound like a compliment for a book, but I do mean it that way.

This isn't a fast-paced, gripping kind of story that you start reading and can't stand to put down until you've sat reading for hours and finally turned the last page with a sense of relieved satisfaction. However, neither is it the kind of slow story that just drags on and on until you simply can't bear to force yourself to read any more. It's... Well, it's kind of like hot chocolate. It's warm and comfo
Dec 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
It’s always exciting news when you hear that one of your favorite authors is writing her first series. Say what?! Sign me up for every single book please!

Well, what can I say? Klassen has once again fully captivated my attention with every single character. I’m so glad this is a series, because I want more! The book is very much a character driven story and I loved it. It’s not her normal story telling style, but I so enjoyed that it wasn’t fully what I expected and the various points of view wo
Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)
The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill is a cozy book to sink into and enjoy at an unrushed pace. Before reading it I had heard that it was different from Klassen's other books, and I agree- but definitely not in a bad way. There is less suspense, but still a good amount of intrigue. The story is told from the perspective of three main characters: Jane, the innkeeper; Thora, her mother-in-law; and Rachel, Jane's estranged childhood friend. There is a wide cast of community members that interact with the ladi ...more
Julie Klassen is one of my favorite authors, so of course, her first series was of great interest to me. And I'm not sure if the stars just aligned perfectly with my reading mood, but I adored this story. I typically don't prefer stories that focus on several different characters, and I knew this one did, but that didn't bother me in the least. I enjoyed each characters' story, and I liked their different perspectives. Sure, I didn't warm to one of them as much as the others, but that's also bec ...more
This novel is a delightful, slow-moving, atmospheric read. You'll feel immersed in Jane and Thora's troubles and in the innkeeping story. By the time I finished reading, I felt ready to travel to the town of Ivy Hill because it felt so very real. Jane especially felt like a new friend.

Thora's story is the most resolved in this book; Jane's continues to the next.
Jane Bell is a young widow running the family inn of her late husband, John. Brought up as a gentlewoman, Jane was not raised to work, and struggles with maintaining a business. She gets help from her farrier, Gabriel Locke, but little to none from her brother-in-law Patrick. And Jane is beginning to learn that John was keeping secrets from her, financial and maybe worse.

As if Jane weren’t stressed out enough, she has to make room for her uptight, disapproving mother-in-law, Thora. Thora’s prese
Aimee (Getting Your Read On)
I have been struggling to get through this book for months now. It's almost embarrassing how long it's taken me. This book moves at a snail's pace- the forward momentum is so slow. I had a hard time sticking with it. I hate saying that because I've enjoyed other books by this author but this one was not the same as her others.

I didn't connect with the characters emotionally. It was all just a struggle for me.

I do love the cover and I also loved the setting. Visiting a place like Ivy Hill would
Melanie Kilsby
Okay, wow.
I am so impressed by Julie Klassen right now...
Her very first novel Series!

The setting of this beautiful country side village is so appealing with all the English charm you would expect from Mrs. Klassen's writing. Though not the pace you would expect, I love how Julie stays true to the time, allowing history to breathe through her stories and her characters.

Being Scottish by blood only, I loved Charlie's character. But I could'na say who was my favourite out of the lot. Even the so
Dec 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
I would describe this read as a warm family drama. Three women points of view are written in this novel and I was elated that the mans view was left out. My favorite to read about was Thora a fifty something plain spoken breath of fresh air. Jane came across a little dull for me. I wanted to see courage and fire and a touch of wisdom from her. There is plenty of romance in this book and actually a little more than what I wanted; but I do realize The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill is low romance for most ...more
Aug 19, 2018 rated it liked it
The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill was a fine read, although I found it a bit slow. I liked the story and the characters, but wish it would have held my attention more. I found myself easily distracted from the novel and could set the book aside and forget about it easily...this made the read take much longer than it should have to finish.

I like that this is a series -- a first for the author -- and I am excited to continue on to the next book to see where things go.

All in all, I liked this book. It wa
Dec 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
What could be better than a Julie Klassen Regency? A Julie Klassen Regency Series! The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill is book one of the Tales from Ivy Hill Series.

The novel is delightful and introduces the reader to many characters in the village. There is main character Jane, a widow who finds herself owner of an inn and it is not a profession she would have chosen. The supporting cast includes brother-in-law Patrick, mother-in-law Thora, childhood friends Mercy and Rachel and many more. Knowing the bo
Rating 3.5 stars

This was my second book by Julie Klassen, the first being The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen which I found a lot more fast paced and intriguing due to the mystery it had. That being said, I still enjoyed this story, which is the first of a series (a first series for this author) and being the first, had to take some time to introduce the settings and the various characters.

This series is ultimately about three friends, Jane, Mercy and Rachel, all introduced in this first book, but with the focus on Jane. Jane
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill is the first book in a new series by Julie Klassen. It centers on the Inn that is at the heart of a little coaching village in nineteenth century England. Jane Bell has been the new innkeeper for a year now, ever since her husband’s death, but she has been in too deep grief to take much care of it. Just as it falls deeper into disrepair, she becomes aware of a large loan that her late husband had taken out without her knowledge. Jane now has a mere three months to repay ...more
Apr 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I gave this 5 stars because it was a wonderful story. Julie Klassens books are so comforting to me. No one tells a story like her. I snuggled up with this book every morning in a cozy chair and latte and read and read. I loved all the characters and am so exciting that it is a trilogy. I can't wait to find out more about Ivy Hill and wished I could visit this place in real life.
Well, I rather enjoyed this book. Three very different women in the town of Ivy Hill have lost much recently.

Jane was raised a gentle woman of means, but fell madly for a working man who owned the family's coaching inn. But a year ago she lost her husband and sense of purpose, and now with a huge loan she didn't know about, no business sense because she was not allowed to work at the inn, she may go under.

Thora, Jane's mother-in-law, also lost her husband then most recently her son. After Jane
This was a good introduction to Klassen's new series. I found it a little slow at the beginning, but as more of the characters of the town of Ivy Hill were introduced, it got more interesting. The main characters were certainly a varied group of people. Jane, a widow, has been left an inn by her dead husband a descendent of the Bell family. She has never been involved with the inn so is clueless as to running it and it's needed upkeep. I liked how she was able to listen to others and consider th ...more
Ruth Ferguson
Apr 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I don't usually really historical fiction but completely enjoyed this story of a woman rebuilding her life. Delighted to see it is part of a series
Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)
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
Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Strong Women with Mettle, Perseverance, and Resourcefulness

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

TYPE OF NOVEL: Regency Romance, Historical Fiction

SETTING: 1820 Wiltshire, England


- Jane Fairmont Bell: A refined gentleman’s daughter who surprisingly married an innkeeper.
- Thora Bell: Jane’s no-nonsense mother-in-law who has lots of experience working as a landlady of an inn and doesn’t have the best of relationships with Jane.
- Patrick Bell: Jane’s charming brother-in-law, who at times seems

A bustling small English village of Ivy Hill and it's iconic coaching inn are the setting for this first in the Tales of Ivy Hill series. New colorful characters, complex relationships, and a troublesome situation that brings everyone together. In the spirit of Austen, Gaskell, and Hardy, the author weaves a heartwarming story that gently pulls the reader into the Ivy Hill world and had the reader cheering soundly for Jane and her friends to win against the odds and keep the inn from closing.

Apr 17, 2019 added it
DNFed somewhere in the middle. Just wasn't really my style of writing. :P
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
Who would have ever thought I would be a fan of Traditional Regencies? But after watching Downton Abbey I was addicted! Both in the lives of the wealthy and also those of the common folks as well. Something I think I would fall into if I had been born a long time ago. One thing is certain, the rights of women have definitely come a long way. In those days if a woman was married but her husband died, all of her property, wealth and assets went to the next male in the family. Either a brother, cou ...more
Dec 08, 2016 rated it liked it
After much deliberation I have settled on 3.5 stars for Innkeeper of Ivy Hill. I've followed Julie's books for some time, and read them all. After her last book, which took us to a rather risqué new level for her, I'd decided I was done. Then, it appeared she had returned to Bethany House & they had another book listed for her. The first in Julie's series 'Ivy Hill'. Purely due to the publishers sterling reputation, I figured it was worth one more try.

To begin with, I could not understand what
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Charming and exciting. I enjoyed it.
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Opening up this book is like settling in for a binge-viewing of a British mini-series. It put me in mind of Larkrise to Candleford or Cranford. Has the same sense of community and village life -- including all the tension and drama that goes with it. Not to mention the strong women who make a place for themselves in a male dominated society. I made that BBC connection early in my reading so imagine my surprise and delight when the author mentions the same shows as a source of inspiration in her ...more
Susan Snodgrass
Dec 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I started reading Julie Klassen's books when she wrote her very first: The Lady of Milkweed Manor.
I loved that one and I've kept buying her books. This one is no exception. Over 400 pages and I love that! It is like watching a compelling mini-series, a full and rich saga that you can't wait to get back to each night.

Well turned out characters, locales and events, complete with great emotional elements keep the reader coming back for more each time the book must be set aside for life's interrupt
Great start to this new series - colourful characters, well described settings, intrigue -can't wait for more...
Anne Osterlund
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Jane is a young woman in mourning. Mourning the loss of her childhood home, a series of miscarriages, and her husband's death. Then--as if life could get any worse--her mother-in-law shows up. But, yes, it turns out life can get worse. Because the next person to arrive is the banker, who informs Jane that not only is her dead husband's coaching business in debt; but the time for paying up has all but passed.

Out of desperation comes action.

Fair Jane, daughter of the landed gentry, must put her no
3:5 Stars!

Julie Klassen transported me to Ivy hill, England in the 1820. While it was a slow and long journey I can not deny that this author is a very talented writer. Her writing is beautiful. However this story was a little too long and slow for me hence the low rating.

I listened to the accompanied audiobook. Performed by Elizabeth Jasicki. I rate her 4 stars for a engaging and elegant performance.

I will be reading more by this author in the future.
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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 Governess, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. She has also won the Midwest Book Award, the Minnesota Book Award, and ...more

Other books in the series

Tales from Ivy Hill (3 books)
  • The Ladies of Ivy Cottage (Tales from Ivy Hill, #2)
  • The Bride of Ivy Green (Tales from Ivy Hill, #3)

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There's something great about a paperback book: They're perfect book club choices, you can throw them in your bag and go, and they've been out in...
26 likes · 3 comments
“You don't wear jewelry, do you? Besides your wedding ring, I mean?'

'Now often. If is not that I disapprove. I simply don't take the time to bother with it. I've been given a few trinkets over the years, but rarely wear them.' Thora looked down at her hand, the plain thin wedding band, the unadorned wrist, and a memory struck her. She said, 'Frank gave me a gift once - a find gold bracelet with a blue enamel heart dangling from it. He said it was to remind me that I was more than his helpmeet and housekeeper, but also an attractive woman. I was sure I'd break the delicate chain, and the heart clacked against the desk whenever I wrote in the ledger. So I put it back in its box, and there it has remained ever since.'

Nan said gently, 'We've all been given gifts, Thors, and ought not to hide them away. They remind us that we are blessed and loved. They give pleasure to those who see them - especially to the one who bestowed the gift in the first place.”
“Village life is like an ivy vine climbing a great oak. You cut off the vine at the root, and all the way up the tree, the leaves wither. We’re all connected.” For” 0 likes
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