I enjoyed a lovely pot of Flavors of France tea, from a local tea room in Southern California. I hope you enjoy something warm and wonderful today as well.
I'd like to share with you a lovely book I read this past weekend, in which, appropriately tea abounds.
The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill – Book #1 Tales from Ivy Hill
Ivy Hill, Wilshire, England, May 1820
A small English village is such a charming place to visit. It draws you in, and welcomes you to stay, find community and become invested in its people.
That is how I felt in Ivy Hill, while slipping out of my every-day-life and between the pages this story centered around. Jane Fairmont Bell (age 29) has inherited her husband’s coaching inn, The Bell, after his sudden death.
She lives her life in a daze, wearing her “widow’s weeds”, relying on the staff to see to running the inn, until one day, its needs can no longer be ignored. Her brother-in-law, Patrick, has returned to help and eventually her cantankerous mother-in-law, Thora Bell, also returns to shape things up. There are many problems at hand. The inn has fallen into disrepair, the bank reveals a large loan that is past due, many people don’t believe Jane can handle the responsibility of being a business woman; particularly the abrasive cook Bertha Rooke, and mystery lies in wait. Additionally, as the story progresses, three potential suitors hint interest at Jane. Personally I am rooting for Gabriel Locke, the Bell’s horse farrier. But, book 1 is not about Jane finding new love, but rather learning what she is made of, and how to rely on her neighbors.
A favorite storyline was the Ladies Tea and Knitting Society, where local business women meet to discuss business concerns.
|Photo courtesy of Teatime Magazine|
–Ch.14 “So the knitting is merely a guise?” “Basically,” Mercy agreed, eyes twinkling. “What about the tea?” Jane asked. “Heavens no. Tea is mandatory. What would a clutch of women do without tea?”
There is an entire patchwork quilt of characters in this story, much like a real village. I got to know them, enjoyed some, wanted to punch others, fellowshipped in their faith, grieved their losses, and in the end was so delighted to share in their lives.
The author has some lovely pictures, character directory, map of the town (featured herein), etc. all found under TalesFromIvyHill.com.
I enjoyed this story very much and recommend it to others.
Book #1 - © December 2016 Bethany House
444 pages with discussion questions
Book 2 – The Ladies of Ivy Cottage, due out Dec. 2017
I received a copy from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.
Read: 1/7&8/20176 - Reviewed: 1/12/2017 - 5 stars
Reviews Posted to: Amazon.com / Amazon.CA, Amazon.Co.Uk / Alibris / Barnes And Noble / BooksAMillion / CBD / DeeperShopping /GoodReads / Google Play /Indigo.CA / Kobo / Scribd.com / My FB page / Author’s FB page / My Pinterest
Hugs and cup of tea,