A Festive Flavour
An Ivy Hill Christmas by Julie Klassen is a delightful Christian historical novella. It is part of the Tales From Ivy Hill series but can be read as a stand-alone.
The story is set in 1822 in England. At times it was reminiscent of A Christmas Carol and also Pride And Prejudice but it is a perfectly wonderful tale in its own right. Snow, the festive season and Ivy Hill all blend together to tantalise the reader’s imagination.
I loved catching up with old and meeting new faces. Love and welcome abound throughout. Lives are transformed from icy indifference to care. Philanthropic hearts are huge as people are rescued from their situations. This is a motif for god as He rescues us from a life of disconnection from Him as He draws us close to His heart.
It is not good to live with an eye on the past and a heart full of unforgiveness. We need to forgive and exchange a heart of stone for a heart of flesh.
A Delightful Tale
The Bride Of Ivy Green by Julie Klassen is a fabulous Christian historical novel set in 1821. It is the third book in the Tales From Ivy Hill series but can be read as a stand-alone. I enjoyed catching up with familiar faces and meeting new ones.
There is a wonderful community feel to the whole tale. The people pull together and offer their skills when needed. New people are welcomed and there is much rejoicing when fractured families are reunited.
All is not completely idyllic as there are some who believe they are above others. The class system was very much alive in nineteenth century Britain.
In contrast we see others who value all people regardless of their status or skin colour. We are all equal in the eyes of God and this is how it should always be.
Characters with philanthropic hearts believe in education for all, regardless of the ability to pay. This was very forward thinking for the time as compulsory education for all did not come in until the second half of the century.
The Bridge To Belle Island by Julie Klassen is a fabulous Christian historical crime novel that I just could not put down.
The action is set in the early nineteenth century in London and on the fictional Belle Island near Maidenhead. The air in the capitol is polluted in both physical and spiritual terms and is in sharp contrast with the fresher air and sunny personalities on Belle Island. Lives live here in community in contrast with the isolation of London.
After crimes are committed, a young lawyer seeks the truth. The truth will always set us free. Lies will imprison us. Sometimes it is the lies we tell ourselves in our minds that build up psychological walls meant to keep us safe but actually trap us.
Events in the past loom large in the present as lives pinpoint backwards to a moment in time. Old insecurities must be faced and dealt with.
The Ladies Of Ivy Cottage by Julie Klassen is a most delightful Christian historical romance. It is the second book in the Tales From Ivy Hill series but can be read as a stand-alone. I enjoyed reuniting with familiar faces.
The Ladies Of Ivy Cottage is quintessentially English. Set in 1820 near Salisbury, the reader really loses themselves in English village life. With references to Jane Austen, the book had a Pride And Prejudice feel to it – with strong young women and rich young men, the reader cannot help but match-make. There was even a hint of Charles Dickens as one character reminded me of Miss Havisham, frozen in time.
The young women are forward thinkers for their day with philanthropic hearts. Although they already educate a handful of girls, there is the desire to open “a school to educate… regardless of the ability to pay.” With education comes freedom and choice.