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December 23, 2020

Julie Klassen Pens a Beautiful Christmas Story in AN IVY HILL CHRISTMAS

by Donna Huber

The gorgeous cover of Julie Klassen's new novel An Ivy Hill Christmas matches the beautiful story inside. 

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

An Ivy Hill Christmas
September 2020; Bethany House; 978-0764233814
audio, ebook, print (224 pages); holiday romance
This novel kept catching my eye whenever I went to the Netgalley website because of the wonderful cover. But I kept skipping over it because it is set in 1822 - not really a time period I read. Resistance was futile and I finally gave in to the call of the cover. Since it is a Christmas story I figured that I would at least enjoy some aspects of the novel.

I'm so glad I picked up An Ivy Hill Christmas as it turned out to be one of my favorite Christmas books this year. I haven't read any of the other books in the Tales from Ivy Hill, but that's okay as I understand the entire series contains stand-alone novels. Now that I've read this book, though, I would like to read more in the series. 

When it started out I thought perhaps it was going to be a bit of A Christmas Carol (though that novel wasn't even written yet - it published in 1843). But the opening scene is reminiscent of that Christmas classic with Richard Brockwell being accosted by a charity woman but refuses to contribute, preferring to spend his money on himself at the coffee house and bookstore. However, when Richard gives into his family's plea to come home to their country estate for Christmas glimmers of another classic Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice emerged. In the author's note at the end, Klassen acknowledges that there are several nods to that novel as well as Emma (I haven't read Emma but as the whole novel had a Jane Austen feel I'm sure Austen fans will recognize those bits as well). 

I must admit I'm not an Austen fan. An Ivy Hill Christmas is similar in themes but thankfully for me not in writing. I loved Klassen's writing: her ability to bring to life the characters and the time period. It is really a fantastic read. 

While it is technically a romance, there is much more to this story. It is about family, charity, community, and the forgiveness that entered the world on Christmas Day. I liked how the themes of forgiveness, helping your fellow man, the true meaning of Christmas was interwoven into the story. It felt natural and never preachy. It's a definite must-read for fans of Christmas stories.

Buy An Ivy Hill Christmas at Amazon

Start reading An Ivy Hill Christmas

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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