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.
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction/Romance
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Goodreads Rating: 4.23 Stars
Why I Chose This Book
I was so happy to hear that the third book in the Tales From Ivy Hill series came out in December of last year. When I received it in the mail from the publisher- I was even more excited to review it here on the blog. If you remember from previous review, I absolutely adored the second book in the series!
First Initial Thoughts
This book picks up right after the second book in the series. So, I recommend that you read this whole series in order.
The book starts off with Mercy after her school closed down. When her school closed down I really felt for her. She was just so lost on what to do afterward. it was her life purpose! Her brother and sister in law move in to her home. Her new sister in law, Helena, ugh she was a rude woman! She was a stuck up B&**! who demanded and complained about everything. She also had Mercy move upstairs to the attic so that she could make room for her family. I have no idea what her brother saw in Helena. But I guess that is what that time period was like - marriage was often arranged.
James Drake adopted Alice from the previous book. He sets up his home in Jane’s old home. Alice is a previous pupil of Mercy. Mercy absolutely adored Alice. Alice is such a sweet child - I really loved her sweet and charming character. James needs a governess for Alice and Mercy signs up despite what her family thinks.
Rachel and Sir Timothy are settling in after their honeymoon in Scotland. At home Rachel is trying to get along with her new mother in law. Her mother in law, I wouldn’t say is rude or mean but she can be demanding and forward about things. Her new sister in law Justina is a young lady who is set up to marry Sir Cyril. She is not happy about it. Rachel tries to play matchmaker - which I found quite adorable. But her mother in law is not too happy about it.
Jane is finally getting her happily ever after in the beginning. Her and Gabriel are so sweet together and I love them together. I was so happy to see her finally get the life she deserved! But then someone from her past comes into the picture - and can she move on with that person in the picture?
A new character comes into the picture in this book. A new seamstress, Victorine, comes into town bringing high fashions. Many in the town swear they have seen her before, but can’t recall where. Who is she? And why did she decide Ivy Hill of all places?
I love Ivy Hill. It is just the ideal place I could see myself living in. The old country village, the English countryside, riding horses, friendly people - yep sign me up! Julie just brings England to life during this time period in such a beautiful and idyllic kind of way.
I was so happy to read the conclusion to this series. Klassen has a true talent with attending to every detail. With that being said, this book took a little while to pick up. And be forewarned, like the previous books, there is a lot of conversation and not so much “action”. It kind of reminded me of Downton Abbey - if it was a series of books instead of a TV series.
I really enjoyed the mystery of the new comer to the town, Victorine. I chuckled when all the ladies in the town would go into her shop to “look around” when they were really trying to find answers. While some other readers thought it wasn’t needed to have a new character so late in the series, I kind of liked it. It kept the series fresh. And I won’t give anything away, but it helped answer some impending questions from the previous books.
I really liked Justina’s story line. I admired Rachel for sticking up for her when she needed it. Rachel was so sweet to be there for Justina, when she didn’t have the courage to stick up for herself. I really wanted more page time with her though.
Mercy and James - I was praying and hoping that they would end up together. I won’t spoil anything but I though they were so sweet together - and not to mention she would become the mother of Alice. And Alice just adored her!
Overall, I throughly enjoyed the third book in the series. I found that not every character got a “Happily ever after” but I liked that. It seemed relatable in a way. I think the message here is that, things don’t always go as planned. And it can be frustrating! But we have to lean into God and trust him. Trust that he has a plan for us despite the heartache and frustrations we are feeling.
Would I Recommend?
Yes. Fans of Pride & Prejudice and Downton Abbey will absolutely adore this series. Also, if your a fan of the English countryside - you will absolutely love this!
Have you read this series? If so, share your thoughts in the comments!
Note: I was sent a copy of this book to review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.