Jane Bell suddenly finds herself reluctant landlady of The Bell, a historic coaching inn in the quaint village of Ivy Hill. Jane is unsure why she was left the inn since she has no experience managing it and learns it has a substantial debt attached to it, a debt she is uncertain she will ever be able to repay. She hesitantly turns to her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, for assistance, hoping Thora’s experience managing the inn can save them. Thora has her own reasons for returning to Ivy Hill, but she did not expect to interact with two men from her past, nor did she expect the feelings they stir in her. As Jane and Thora are forced to work together to save the inn, they both learn new things about themselves and about their relationships with others.
I have always loved Julie Klassen’s novels due to the wonderful character depth, poignant scenes, and fascinating storylines. This is the author’s first installment in her first series and, due to this, I thought the storyline and character depth developed at a slower pace than her previous novels. It took me just a little longer to connect with the characters, but like all of her books, once I understood them better, I did indeed enjoy reading about them. This particular novel set up the stage well for subsequent books. The point of view in this book is interesting as it alternates only between two females, and I must say I missed the male perspective. I am greatly anticipating the next book and cannot wait to see how the characters continue to develop. Like all of Julie Klassen’s books, I recommend this novel!
I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.