Ivy Knight feels that her life may never start. Though her loving family assures her that her place in the world is close to home, she still feels a push to move out of her comfort zone. Hoping against hope, she travels to her old friends at McCale House, seeking a purpose.
Jordy McAllen has just returned to Scotland after his education in London. He fears that what everyone has always said about him may be true: he can’t be a good doctor, let alone a good man. Determined to prove himself, Jordy snatches up the opportunity to become the doctor in the village of Keefmore near his parents’ farm.
When an old friend decides to travel to Keefmore and visit a relative, Ivy follows. She soon finds herself drawn to Jordy, but as their attraction grows, they both face doubts. A relationship between the two of them feels improbable—and might just require a step of impossible faith.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Having read the third book of the series, At Her Fingertips, I was intrigued to see what Ivy’s story held. (She was my favorite character, after all.) And little did I know what was coming at me – a grand trip to Scotland!
Characters: Let’s start with Ivy. Sweet, innocent Ivy. She’s one of those characters who might’ve been too perfect, but it didn’t bother me at all. She’s just Ivy. I loved how the author wrote her inner dialogue – it was quite unique and true to who she was. Simple, but honest and so kind. her willingness to go wherever the Lord called her just showed what type of person she was. And of course, the music references were so much fun! Onto Jordy … dude was just a straight-up, wholesome, Scottish sheepherder-turned-doctor. (Mostly wholesome, but more on that later.) I really enjoyed his character. He again might’ve bordered on the too perfect side of things at first, but he definitely proved me wrong. And I also believe Ivy looked at him as somewhat of an exalted figure, so that might’ve accounted for his perceived perfection. Anyway … he as well was so kind, and such a gentleman. I think he made the perfect country doctor. And for the other characters … Violet was intense. I got annoyed at her, felt sorry for her, understood her … the whole slew of feelings. Ena was such a sweetheart, and Aunt Daphne was also so cool! She was great fun.
Plot/Setting: This book was set in Scotland, and if you don’t leave speaking with a Scottish accent, you are an incredibly strong person! But to be honest, the setting in Scotland was pastoral and quaint. The plot, overall, was pretty chill. This is not full of action and intrigue, but there’s enough character development to keep the ball rolling. Overall, the story was paced pretty well, although the last 15% or so dragged on for me a bit. I just knew what was coming, so I wanted resolution!
Theme/Morals: Judging from the title, you can see a lot of what this book touched on. I loved Ivy’s determination to find her calling, wherever and whatever that was. And of course, she went beyond everyone’s expectations of her – go Ivy! It was lovely to see her seek God’s Will and walk in it even when it was difficult or confusing. And of course, her kindness to Violet and speaking truth into Violet’s life just showed how wonderful of a friend she was. Jordy’s side of things was a bit more sketchy, at least for me. His main moral was dealing with past failings and the consequences that come with those. It was good to see him work through realizing the Lord had forgiven him but consequences still remained on earth. However, this part of the plot was probably my least favorite. Jordy’s six months of going wild (complete with drinking, gambling, and women) presented an obvious roadblock between his and Ivy’s relationship. Although this is quite realistic, and I appreciated how the author addressed it, I was just wasn’t too big into going through all of their ponderings and distress over it. (This was the last 20% or so.) However, these issues are real-life, and I thought they were well-discussed and an important fact of life for some people to face.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. I’m not the biggest fan of historical British books, but I loved the Scottish setting and the easy pacing. The writing style was quite nice and fit the book well. I’ll be on the lookout for the next in the series!
Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher/author. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
–Beyond Her Calling in paperback
-The first three novels in Audible (audiobook) format
-A painted ornament by Painted Prose Designs
-Begin at Stop #1 and continue on to the final post. At the end of each post, you’ll find a CLUE and a LINK to the next stop. Progress to each stop in order.
-Collect all the clues and submit the full phrase at the last blog stop via the linked form to enter the giveaway.
-While you’re at each stop, be sure to comment, as each comment wins you another entry in the Blog Tour Giveaway.
-Deadline for entries is Monday, January 31st, at 10 AM Pacific Standard Time.
-$25 Amazon Gift Card
-The first four novels in The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy in paperback
About the Author
Kellyn Roth is a historical romance & women’s fiction author who writes about the empty places where hope has the most room to grow. Her novels include the inspirational Victorian family saga, The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, and the Kees & Colliers series, which follows a broken family in the tumultuous years of the first half of the 20th century.
Kellyn is a student of the Author Conservatory, a virtual assistant, and a writing coach. When not building her author career, she is likely getting lost somewhere in the Pacific Northwest with her friends, watching period dramas and facetious comedies, or spending time with her husband.
Blog Tour Schedule
Saturday, January 22nd
“Why Christian Fiction is an Important Genre” — Guest Post Written for Jane Mouttet @ Library Lady’s Kid Lit
Sunday, January 23rd
4 — Interview with the Author by Grace A. Johnson
Monday, January 24th
A Post about Ivy & Jordy by Kellyn Roth @ Lilacs and Reveries
6Review of Beyond Her Calling by Jane Mouttet @ Library Lady’s Kid Lit
Interview with the Author & Review of Beyond Her Calling by Esther Jackson @ ‘Neath the Hackberry Reading Club
Tuesday, January 25th
“Handling Tough Topics with Respect to Historical Accuracy” — Guest Post Written for Michaela Bush @ Tangled Up in Writing
Wednesday, January 26th
A Post about My Other Characters by Kellyn Roth @ Lilacs and Reveries
Review of Beyond Her Calling by Grace A. Johnson
Thursday, January 27th
Review of Beyond Her Calling by Vanessa Hall
Review of Beyond Her Calling by Hannah Killian @ The Writerly Worm
Friday, January 28th
A Post about Scotland by Kellyn Roth @ Lilacs and Reveries
Review of Beyond Her Calling by Marguerite Martin Gray
“Why Christian Fiction CAN End with a Kiss” — Guest Post Written for Grace A. Johnson
Saturday, January 29th
“My Least Favorite Christian Fiction Tropes” — Guest Post Written for Merie Shen @ Imperial Scribis
Review of Beyond Her Calling by Megan Jones @ Why I Read
Review of Beyond Her Calling by Katja L. @ Old-Fashioned Book Love
Review of Beyond Her Calling by Alexa Mintah @ Thus Far
Final Post by Kellyn Roth @ Lilacs and Reveries
Monday, January 31st
Wrapup Post by Kellyn Roth @ Lilacs and Reveries