Beyond Ivy Walls: Book Review

BOOK BY: Rachel Fordham


This retelling of Beauty and the Beast was fabulous. Beyond Ivy Walls is one of my favourite stories of 2024 so far! Rachel Fordham brought the classic tale to life in 1903 Iowa, through Sadie West and Otis Taylor’s tale.

Sadie is working hard to help her family keep their farm after an accident renders her father unable to walk. Her life is difficult. What little money she has, she sends home, sacrificing her own comforts. She finds shelter in an abandoned factory, with only a curious dog for a friend.

Otis Taylor reluctantly returns home after he learns of his inheritance. He is chased by the past as he steps foot back in his childhood home. Scarred from treatments for an ailment as a child, he avoids stepping out in public and covers his face from prying eyes.

Emotions run deep in this story, tugging at the reader’s heartstrings with every turn of the page. Self-sacrifices, grand gestures, and heartwarming moments pepper the pages of this turn-of-the-century story.

Readers will fall in love with Otis Taylor – seeing past his physical scars – as he learns to trust and love someone who cares deeply for him in return.

The faith aspect of the story sticks to brief mentions of faith. Still, hope is woven through the text.

Yeah. This was a fantastic read. One I’ll read again.

I received an ecopy from the publisher through Net Galley. All opinions expressed are my own.

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