English Ivy

Written by Catherine Palmer
Review by Nan Curnutt

Ivy Bowden has always enjoyed the Yorkshire country life she leads with her parents and three younger sisters. Now, in 1815, she is anticipating a celebration of her 21st birthday and her marriage to the man her father has chosen for her, unaware that her whole life is about to change in ways she never imagined.

Colin Richmond, the son of the Bowden’s long-absent neighbor, returns to Yorkshire and turns Ivy’s life upside down with the truth he reveals. As Ivy struggles to obey the will of both her heavenly Father and her earthly father, Colin tries to trust and obey the God he has recently come to know. The story is enhanced by the wisdom of the elderly gardener who is revitalizing the Richmond conservatory. He teaches Ivy lessons about how God tends His people’s lives like a good gardener tends his plants.

Ms. Palmer’s book is warm and inspiring, interspersed with charming descriptions of the Yorkshire countryside during the Regency period and glimpses of the mystery and warmth of India during the early nineteenth century.