Monday, January 23, 2017

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill

GIVEAWAY

KLASSEN, JULIE
THE INNKEEPER OF IVY HILL

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 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 inn, and to her empty heart as well?

My Review:

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 notes at the end of the book! Kind of tickled that I'm on the same wave length as a multi-published author!

The story unfolds with an unhurried grace as Klassen transports her readers into another time and place. It celebrates the unique connections found within a community. Every action has a reaction. I couldn't read fast enough to see how things played out -- even though I wanted to slow down and savor every descriptive word.

I love the sweeping multi-character approach Klassen uses. She writes from the viewpoints of very different women facing unique challenges. Exquisite detail and subtle nuances sparked my imagination and kept me desperate to for answers. Mind you, I didn't find them all...the author has left some loose ends to continue with in the next installment of the Tales of Ivy Hill series. But there is some closure and the story ends on a high note, for all that there are still questions left unanswered. But I'm fine with that. I'll bask in the glow of a story well told while eagerly anticipating what comes next in 'season 2'. Can't wait for The Ladies of Ivy Cottage to come out in December 2017!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publication Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:
 If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of  The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the  subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday January 29 2017. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

52 comments:

  1. Excellent review, KAV! I adore Julie' stories. Thank you for the chance.

    psalm103and138 at gmail dot com

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  2. Love this author; thanks for the chance!
    jslbrown2009 at aol dot com

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  3. I've only read one of Julie's books, and I can't wait to read more! I read The Dancing Master, and I heard that her other stories are even better! mylittlebirdie (at) yahoo (dot) com

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    1. I love Julie Klassen's books as well...not to be missed in my book. Good luck, Karen.

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  4. I love going back in time to the English villages.
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

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    1. You'll love this book then, rubynreba. You'll live in one for a time. Good luck!

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  5. I'm really looking forward to reading this series. I love the that it revolves around a village of people. Thanks for the great review and the giveaway!
    momrain(AT)aol(DOT)com

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    1. I do too! There's been some controversy over that because it's so unlike her other books, but I love this book and am giddy with anticipation for more. Good luck, Loraine.

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  6. Thanks for the chance to win This looks like a great book I'd love to share it with a friend iamabho (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Definitely the kind of book you want to share! Good luck, Linda!

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  7. I've had my eye on this one. Thanks for the giveaway.
    dianemestrella at gmail dot com

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    1. You're welcome, Diane. Good luck!

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  8. I've been wondering if this one is good. Would love to read it!
    campbellamyd at gmail dot com

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    1. I really loved it. Good luck, Amy.

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  9. I am a huge fan of Julie. Thanks for the chance to win. truckredford at gmail dot com

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    1. You're welcome, Truck, good luck!

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  10. You are such a good reviewer. I love the way you said "The story unfolds with an unhurried grace. . ." I've read some other reviews that complained the story was slow for much of the beginning. Julie Klassen is an author whose works I really enjoy, so I'm fine with a slower start. I'm sure there is a purpose. Thanks for the chance to win The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill.
    pmkellogg56[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. Thanks so much, Pam. I've read those reviews and obviously I don't agree. It's different from her other books and sometimes readers don't look kindly on change. But this is more a real slice of village life and I found it totally fascinating and not slow at all. Good luck, Pam.

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  11. I absolutely loved Cranford on PBS so this book definitely appeals to me and I'm learning so much about how to write better reviews from reading and enjoying yours, Kav! I'm adding this book to my library list and will eagerly await the next book in this charming series. Thanks!

    Dblaser(at)windstream(dot)net

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    1. You'll love this book then, Diane. It's rich with village life and quirky characters. Good luck.

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  12. Eek! I can't wait to read this one! I loved Larkrise and Cranford, and this sounds like one that could sit side-by-side with those stories.
    pocoauthorATgmailDOTcom

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    1. I don't know many people who have watched both. I discovered them in my library this summer. Wonderful viewing! Good luck, Nicole.

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  13. Great, great review and sounds like a great, great book. Thank you, Kav! mauback55 at gmail dot com

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  14. Love her books. So rich in history and prose.

    mindyhoungATmsnDOTcom

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    1. Exactly right! Good luck, Mindy.

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  15. Enter me, please.
    Elly -Indiana-

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    1. You're entered, Elly. Good luck.

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  16. Julie Klassen is one of those authors that are an automatic must-purchase for me. So I had already pre-ordered a while back and have this beauty sitting on my shelf. I've heard this doesn't tie everything up in a neat bow at the end, so I'm debating whether to wait for the next book to begin this series, or go ahead with reading it. I know either way I'm always in for a treat with this author!

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    1. Oh, I don't know if I'd have the fortitude to wait a whole year before reading this one. It really isn't like a torturous cliff-hanger of and ending. More like you know there's more to look forward to. And it does have a lovely , hope-filled ending.

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    2. LOL, therein lies the dilemma!! I don't wish to wait until December :-) Good to know it's not as torturous as I was thinking it was. Guess I'll be moving this up on my TBR pile!

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  17. Thank you for the opportunity. This will be a new author for me.
    Karenpturner@att.net
    Karen Turner

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    1. You're welcome, Karen. Good luck.

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  18. Love her books!

    gracelz1(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  19. I love the regency era, and I love Julie's writing. Thanks for the giveaway, Kav! I appreciated reading your review.
    Amber
    visionwriter2 at Gmail dot com

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    1. I do too and Julie Klassen does it so well. Good luck, Amber.

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  20. A series from Julie? Sounds great, looking forward to reading it.

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  21. Love her books. cheetahthecat1986(at)gmail(dot)com

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  22. Thanks for the chance to win. Julie is wonderful!!!!
    kathrynlvoss(at)gmail(dot)com

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  23. Oh, I love books like this! Larkrise to Candleford was one of our favorite shows.
    Dianna G.

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    1. Squealll...so glad to know some other people love that series as well. You'll really enjoy this book then. Good luck, Dianna.

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  24. Julie Klassen is amazing, but I have yet to put my order in for The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill. You've convinced me. Well...I will try to win first, but after that, it is on! Oh...you also reminded me to watch Larkrise to Candleford. My sister-in-law told me about it a while back and I totally forgot the title. Now season one is on hold at the library. Yay! Thanks!

    kellyblackwellwrites(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Aren't libraries fantastic???? I get such great British shows on DVD from my library. Loved Wives and Daughters as well which is puts me in mind of this book as well. Good luck, Kelly.

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  25. I have never read a Julie klassen in my life. time to change that?

    Count me in, please.

    janka(dot)halcinova(at)gmail(dot)com

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  26. Innkeeper of Ivy Hill grabbed my attention from the first time I read about it. Now after your review I'm more intrigued. Your comparison to Larkrise to Candleford raised the bar even higher! Thanks for another great review, Kav!
    ~Alison

    nj(dot)bossman(at)gmail(dot)com

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  27. Good luck, Janka and agboss.

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