Saturday, March 23, 2013

Review: The Tutor's Daughter by Julie Klassen




Emma Smallwood, determined to help her widowed father when his boarding school fails, accompanies him to the cliff-top manor of a baronet and his four sons. But soon after they arrive and begin teaching the two younger boys, mysterious things begin to happen. Who does Emma hear playing the pianoforte at night, only to find the music room empty? And who begins sneaking into her bedchamber, leaving behind strange mementoes?   The baronet's older sons, Phillip and Henry Weston, wrestle with problems--and secrets--of their own. They both remember the studious Miss Smallwood from their days at her father's academy. But now one of them finds himself unexpectedly drawn to her....   When suspicious acts escalate, can Emma figure out which brother to blame and which to trust with her heart?
  Filled with page-turning suspense, The Tutor's Daughter takes readers to the windswept Cornwall coast--a place infamous for shipwrecks and superstitions--where danger lurks, faith is tested, and romance awaits. 

My Review:

I very much enjoyed this book. As always, Klassen has done an outstanding job bringing the story alive through vivid description, historically accurate detail, and interesting characters. With a thread of mystery winding through the plot, the reader is drawn through book. Unexpected twists in the plot keep it interesting - I could hardly put it down.
What I most liked was the look inside the 19th century English Manor House. From the tensions between the servants and the tutor, and the in between nature of his position (not family, but higher than a servant) to the look at the life of the maids, I found the detail quite interesting. 
I also enjoyed the glimpse of Cornwall history found in this book.
The only thing I didn't like was the  "Jane Eyre" part of the plot. I won't give any spoilers here, but it just seemed to me that one of the major plot lines was quite similar to Bronte's work.
Overall, I found it do be a good piece of historical fiction.

*I must mention that I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for a honest opinion.

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