By: Julie Klassen
Once again, Julie Klassen delivers an engrossing tale from regency England. The Bride of Ivy Green is the third (and final?) installment of Tales of Ivy Hill, a small town in Wiltshire. This book follows the aftermath of Mercy Grove’s decision to decline an offer of marriage from a visiting professor whom her parents recommended. Her school is gone, her brother and new sister-in-law have moved into the cottage and Mercy finds herself feeling trapped. It’s no wonder she jumps at the chance to become governess to a former beloved pupil.
The story covers the continuing friendship of Jane, Mercy and Rachel though this is truly Mercy’s story. Interesting new characters are introduced that help tie up loose ends in other community members’ lives. The return of Jane’s estranged father, and half-brother brings an interesting light to cross-cultural marriages of the time.
The title is a bit misleading, there’s not just one bride in Ivy Hill in this book. But to be fair, there is only one that has her wedding on Ivy Green (the park in the middle of town).
This series is quite different from Julie Klassen’s stand alone titles in that suspense and mystery is conspicuously absent. That’s not to say the series isn’t as enjoyable, just not a typical novel one would expect from this author. The plot is character driven, and the story pacing is satisfactory.
If there is one complaint about this story (and it would be a first for any novel I’ve read by Ms. Klassen), it’s that I’m not entirely sure I’m satisfied with Mercy’s happily ever after. Throughout the novel a tug of war plays between two possible marriage prospects. The loser, who really isn’t a loser, was the one I was rooting for. I can see why she ended up with the other guy but my guy was sweet, honorable, and genuinely cared for Mercy. They had a solid friendship.
I think I’m still venting over that one…
I received an ecopy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.