Sunday, October 10, 2010

English Ivy by Catherine Palmer

book cover

English Ivy
by Catherine Palmer

ISBN-13: 9780842319270
Trade Paperback: 325 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Released: Feb. 2002

Source: Bought at a library book sale.

Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
On the eve of her 21st birthday, Ivy Bowden has much to anticipate. Engaged to be married to the man her father has chosen for her, Ivy hopes for a secure, contented future. But when she's injured by robbers and rescued by her roguish neighbor, her world is thrown into complete disarray. He's brought news that she's a rich heiress, but she won't inherit the money unless she marries a charming but dissolute man she's never heard of before. Then her adoptive father reveals that his family is dependent on her riches. She must marry to gain the money or the whole family will fall into poverty.

Ivy must marry the man chosen by her true father, the one chosen by her adoptive father, or abandon her riches to follow the leading of her willful heart. If she only knew what her heavenly Father's will was...

English Ivy is a historical romance set in 1815 England. The romance was a "sweet" romance, and the story mainly focused on the romance. Historical details were woven into the story, but there weren't a great deal of them--mostly setting, but some speech, manners, and clothing. The characters were engaging, and the main characters were earnest and wanted to do what was right.

It was obvious how the story would end, but Ivy was so innocent and willing to sacrifice for the good of others that I wasn't sure how we'd get to that ending. The suspense was created by seeing how the legalities of the marriage tangle would turn out.

The main characters were Christians who wanted to do God's will and so struggled with figuring out what God's will was. I agreed with the conclusion they came to. The characters searched the Bible for answers, and some Bible verses were quoted during their study. I liked how this was handled.

There was a very minor amount of British mild bad language. There was no sex (though past unmarried sex was implied for several of the men). Overall, I would recommend this novel as enjoyable, clean reading.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from Chapter One
Brooking House, near the village of Otley
Yorkshire, England, 1815

"At last," Ivy Bowden said to her three younger sisters as she placed the carefully penned instructions in her small beaded handbag. The printer in Otley would have plenty of time to prepare the invitations. In a few short months, she would celebrate her twenty-first birthday with a ball. By Christmas she would be wedded. Wishing for greater peace than she felt, she let out a deep breath. "And so--all is settled, and all is well."

"I should not say such a thing if I were to marry Nigel Creeve." Madeline gave a shudder. "And to have to live in Leeds in the same house with old Mr. Creeves and his wife. The pair of them give me nightmares."

"Maddie, you must not look on the dim side of things." Ivy tied her bonnet ribbons and wrapped a green wool shawl around her shoulders. "Nigel Creeve is a gentleman of the first order, and I am determined to be content with the arrangement."

Read more of chapter one.

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