Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Book Review: The Bride of Ivy Green

The Bride of Ivy Green. Julie Klassen. 2018. Bethany House. 448 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Mercy Grove could no longer put off the painful task.

If you enjoyed The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill and The Ladies of Ivy Cottage, you are definitely going to read the third book in the series, The Bride of ivy Green. The only complaint I have is that I think it should have been called the BRIDES of Ivy Hill instead.

This historical romance series by Julie Klassen is set in a small English village, Ivy Hill. The series follows the romantic adventures and misadventures of three women primarily: Jane, Rachel, and Mercy. Though really a dozen more characters are introduced and followed. One really gets a sense of time and place. (I believe this one is set in 1821; the others might be set a year or two earlier. The county is Wiltshire.)

Mercy Grove, the heroine, is a school teacher, or WAS a school teacher. Her brother returning with a wife has closed down--at least temporarily--her dreams and her means of independence. (The school was in her home.) She remains in his house, but make no mistake, she feels it is HIS house now. Her new sister-in-law soon has her living in the attic so that her former room can be a guest room. Mercy feels trapped--not trapped enough to regret turning down a loveless marriage offer--but trapped. So when Mr. James Drake mentions he's looking for a governess for his daughter, Alice, she volunteers for the job. (Alice was a former pupil, a beloved former pupil.)

Mercy, of course, is not the only woman adapting to big changes. Other women are as well. Rachel is loving getting to know her new sister-in-law, Justina. But her need to advocate for her may cause tension in her relationship with her mother-in-law. Justina is falling for someone....and her mother already has definite opinions on whom her daughter should marry. Jane is oh-so-close to getting her happily ever after. But someone from her past shows up, and difficult conversations must be had before she can be at peace with where she is in her life. There is also the matter of the brand new seamstress in town....there is something OFF about her. But what?!

I love, love, love this series. There is something COZY about this series. It is definitely character-driven. Don't expect much action or drama.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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