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 state 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 in, and to her empty heart as well?
The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill is another beautifully written story by Julie Klassen. Julie takes her time developing her characters, fleshing out their personalities to make them so real they could jump off the page. The story itself was a little bit slower than her previous novels, but still well written with a historical setting that felt very authentic. There were multiple relationships showcased throughout the story, romantic and family alike, which makes me eager to read the sequel. Another well-done historical novel!
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.