The cover of An Ivy Hill Christmas sold me. While my daughters are enormous fans of Julie Klassen, I had not read anything by her. However, the festive air of snow on hedges, evergreen boughs, a manor house, and a gentleman… well, who wouldn’t be impressed?
By the time the book arrived, I couldn’t remember what it was about, so I read the back. Ugh. As you may surmise from the synopsis, Richard Brockwell did not impress me. Though I love a good character growth arc as much as the next person, come on! I felt like I was about to embark on reading about Jane Austen’s reprobate, Wickham, coming home for Christmas. Blech.
Thankfully, I was wrong.
Note: links may be affiliate links that provide me a small commission at no extra expense to you.
A Regency Christmas to Delight Your Heart
Combining excellent characterization, sincere, effective faith elements without becoming preachy, and a story you want to savor, Julie Klassen ensured that my first book of hers will not be my last.
While Regency novels can be tiresomely predictable, not all are. In some ways, this one is no different. However, despite my saying that, there is nothing tiresome about An Ivy Hill Christmas. Instead, we’re treated to a realistic look at Regency nobility–all their faults and virtues.
One of the best things about this book is that despite being a novella, the story has rich layers that provide depth to a story that a weaker writer couldn’t have delivered. Brava! Indeed, characters are multi-faceted and while flawed, not irredeemable. The cast of characters is large without being cumbersome, and the author does credit to each one.
No, really. She does.
Although there were a few small things that I questioned historically, I doubt anyone would notice, and I suspect I am likely wrong. I didn’t look them up. Frankly, the story was so good and they were so minor that I didn’t care.
Thrilled to have been provided a review copy, I toss a delighted five stars like confetti without compulsion of any kind. In fact, I bought my own Kindle copy because it was on sale for just $1.59. Recommended for lovers of Austen, lovers of good historical fiction, and for lovers of fiction that “shows” the truth of Scripture in action instead of yammering on about it.
Book: An Ivy Hill Christmas
Author: Julie Klassen
Genre: Christmas Historical Romance
Release Date: September 2020
Richard Brockwell, the younger son of Ivy Hill’s most prominent family, hasn’t been home for Christmas in years. Though he prefers to live in the London townhouse, far away from Brockwell Court, the old family secret that haunts him, and the shadows of his past mistakes.
But then his mother threatens to stop funding his carefree life–unless he comes home for Christmas. Out of options, he sets out for Ivy Hill, planning to be back on a coach bound for London and his unencumbered bachelor life as soon as the festivities are over.
However, Christmas in the country presents many surprises, including encounters with an orphaned apprentice, the first love he disappointed years ago, and Arabella Awdry, a young lady who is far more appealing than he recalled–and determined to have nothing to do with him.
Will Christmastime in Ivy Hill, with its village charm, kissing boughs, and joyous songs, change his heart . . . and hers as well?