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How steamy is it? Simmering

Publisher's Summary

The lifeblood of the Wiltshire village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. But when the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant owner. Jane has no notion of how to run a business. However, with the town's livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must find a way to bring new life to 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 find her place in the world. As she and Jane work together, they form a measure of trust, and Thora's wounded heart begins to heal. When she encounters two men from her past, she sees them - and her future - in a different light.

With pressure mounting from the bank, Jane employs innovative methods to turn the inn around, and puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place. Will her efforts be enough to save The Bell? And will Thora embrace the possibility of a second chance at love?

©2016 Julie Klassen (P)2016 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • KN
  • 03-18-17

Most enjoyable Book!!

If you could sum up The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill in three words, what would they be?

A book with substance

What about Elizabeth Jasicki’s performance did you like?

I loved her voicing for the different characters. She stayed "in character" for each person or character. Her cadence is great and she is very pleasant to listen to.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It was too long to listen to in one setting, but I always anticipated the next time of listening. With this book, I learned about Audible's sleep timer.

Any additional comments?

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill: Tales From Ivy Hill, Book 1, is a book of substance. The characters have depth, are well developed, do not simper, and it really is hard to know what will happen next. I feel like I know these people. Julie Klassen is not afraid to weave true faith in God and prayer through the story. I love an unpredictable plot that is not 'cut and dried' and the conclusion cannot be deducted early... Julie is a wordsmith and crafts a story in a most delightful way.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A gem! I can hardly wait for book 2!

This was very well read and written. I loved the characters and that the breadth of the story demands follow up. I have questions about what really happened in the past? What will become of our favorite characters? Will the criminal be brought to justice?

This is not a book of simpering females who all get their man. Real life regret and pain amidst acceptance and triumph. If you are looking for a good read, this book is for you!

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A gentle "feminist " story

In this book, the Julie Klassen gives us a very well written story of women existing in a world not made for or really accepting of women - the business world of the early 19th century. Within this world the various female characters draw from each other and from their own talents to fashion meaningful, successful and happy lives. In essence they create a world within a world. Yes, there is romance but it doesn't dominate the story. Men are presented in the most part not as ogres but human beings trying to understand and connect with women they admire and respect. Highly recommended.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another good book from Julie Klassen

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, if they enjoy period pieces. The characters are well rounded and the story is intriguing. It was a bit of a mystery and a lot about the friendship between women. All in all, it was well written.

What other book might you compare The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill to and why?

Other books by Ms. Klassen have been equally as good as they capture your imagination and you get lost in the telling of the story. Her writing paints a picture that you can envision, making the story come to life.

What does Elizabeth Jasicki bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Ms. Jasicki is an excellent reader and her transition between voices is excellent. You're never left wondering who is speaking and she's great with male voices too.

Any additional comments?

As always, I'm looking forward to Ms. Klassen's next book.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Engaging Story

I listened to this while on my commute and it definitely made my drive more enjoyable. I felt the narration was spot-on, and the wide variety of characters was interesting. Certain characters made me think of other characters in book and film. Sir Timothy made me think of the squire in Lark Rise to Candleford and the mother of Mr. Ashford made me think of John Thornton's mother in North and South. I plan to continue reading this series, as I am invested in the rich cast of characters.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Slow to start but ....

this book gets so much better. It's slow and meandering at first and I think the narration kept me with it. Eventually the story shapes and becomes so lovely with a surprising feminist perspective, especially for the time. I recommend highly.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

The Story was fine but the narrator wasn't

The book's plotline was an old one, the bank trying to foil a woman by taking back her home (or business), but that was fine because there were some interesting side plots, however it was hard to listen to the narration. Elizabeth Jasicki made all the men's voices (and some of the women 's) sound like morose undertakers. All of her men's voices were the same.....slow-drawling, semi-low, and unhappy-sounding. It was difficult to distinguish which of the character's was speaking. She really needs to expand her scope of real men's voices. She could have made at least a few of them sound excited, or happy, or bemused. I really wonder if she thinks that all men sound as she portrayed them? It puts me off wanting to listen to any more of the Audible books she has narrated. Especially since the narrator can make or break a book on Audible. So you can see that I haven't listened to her narrate any other books, but I'm very hesitant to do so. I sometimes wonder if the author has any input on who is to narrate their book, because I can't picture any author wanting the men's voices in their book narrated so badly. I place so much value on good narration. If Elizabeth Jasicki plans to continue narrating, she needs to take some time to study how real men's voices truly sound. It can be done. I've heard several other women narrators that can portray men's voices well. Because of the poor narration, I can't recommend this book

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fine historical novel; slow narration

This is a delightful English story of a gently-bred young widow coming to terms with her new life as an innkeeper in the 19th century. The characters are well described and not stereotypical. The plot moved forward steadily, although with a few twists.

The narration was, however, very slow, and I listened to the majority of the book at 1.25 speed, which worked well. Ms. Jasicki's accents were sometimes plodding, as well, but effective in the long run to differentiate between characters.

No foul language, sex, or violence. Recommended for Regency romance readers and historical novel enthusiasts.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Liz
  • Indiana
  • 07-28-17

Enjoyable to listen to

There were parts of the story that seemed a little unnecessary to me and made it longer, but overall I enjoy Julie Klassen's books. It had too few references to Christiani living for my taste, but it didn't really take away from the story. The narrator was pleasant and used different voices for different characters, as well as different accents, to fit their roles. I recommend this book for anyone who likes Regency Era novels.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Wonderful Story, SLOW Narrator

I enjoyed the story. It was entertaining and interesting. However, this narrator is so slow that I almost returned my purchase and changed my mind about Julie Klassen books all together. I don’t like speeding up my books because I feel as though narrators make artistic choices about their performance but I couldn’t help myself this time. I truly wanted to know this story but would not have stuck with the slow pace. I listened at 1.5 speed and felt that pace was perfect.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Roslyn
  • 05-03-17

A great listen

If you like a gentle story with strong characters and an interesting plot this is for you! This period story is an enjoyable step into 18th century England. Sprinkled with friendship, romance and a little intrigue this is a satisfying story which is well read and keeps you interested until the last page. Loved it.