Tales from Ivy Hill #3
448 Pages, December 4th 2018, Bethany House
Print, Ebook and Audio
Much has happened in idyllic Ivy Hill in recent months, and while several villagers have found new love and purpose, questions remain--and a few dearly held dreams have yet to be fulfilled.
Jane Bell is torn. Gabriel Locke is back and has made his intentions clear. But Jane is reluctant to give up her inn and destine another man to a childless marriage. Then someone she never expected to see again returns to Ivy Hill. . . .
Mercy Grove has lost her school and is resigned to life as a spinster, especially as the man she admires seems out of reach. Should she uproot herself from Ivy Cottage to become a governess for a former pupil? Her decision will change more lives than her own.
A secretive new dressmaker arrives in the village, but the ladies soon suspect she isn't who she claims to be. Will they oust the imposter, or help rescue her from a dangerous predicament?
In the meantime, everyone expects Miss Brockwell to marry a titled gentleman, even though her heart is drawn to another. While the people of Ivy Hill anticipate one wedding, an unexpected bride may surprise them all.
Don't miss this romantic, stirring conclusion to Tales from Ivy Hill.
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Bride of Ivy Green was a satisfying conclusion to Regency author Julie Klassen's first series. The Tales from Ivy Hill Trilogy follows three young women, Jane Bell, Mercy Grove and Rachel Ashford who live in the small fictional Berkshire village if Ivy Hill.
Unlike some of Klassen's previous standalone stories, the books in this series are more reminiscent of Cranford or Lark Rise to Candleford and has a gentler, more sedate pace and tone. There isn't any real intrigue, mystery or action, but there isn't meant to be.
Instead, the main focus in on the three leading ladies, as well as their neighbours and the village community.
Really its just a very gentle and heartwarming story with themes about love, forgiveness and the important of family, especially reconnecting with unknown or long lost family. The faith elements are not preachy or overwhelming, but instead inform the character's attitudes and ideas in a way that's realistic for the time. 1821 to be precise.
I will say that its not advisable to jump straight in with this story. Its the third in a trilogy, and there is a lot of backstory that underpins the interactions and relationships between the characters. Its easy to get lost otherwise.
Others have remarked that some situations felt a little forced towards the end to bring about a happy ending. That was the case, and a couple of things came across as predictable, but that was true to the spirit of the story (this is not meant to be a thriller after all), and its very satisfying for the reader.
I will say that I loved the way Mrs Klassen worked some real and unusual historical events into the story. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction at times. She also uses details about everyday lives and events that might traditionally be considered mundane to weave a realistic and historically authentic story.
Recommended for loves of Regency Fiction, Historical Fiction and established fans of Julie Klassen.