Author: Julie Klassen
Review by Grace Olson
Pride and Prejudice. Sense and Sensibility. Jane Eyre. If you’re a fan of Jane Austen or period romance novels/movies these titles are probably familiar to you. In the modern fiction writing world, such stories are called Regency novels. A fascinating time in the United Kingdom’s history, the years 1811-1820, this genre has exploded in recent years, and today I bring you a novel by an author well-recognized in this genre…Julie Klassen.
Taken from the back of The Tutor’s Daughter:
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 beings 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.
I really, really, REALLY liked The Tutor’s Daughter. Unlike so many books that can be very predictable (books I read and love, just so you know), this novel was peppered with surprises and mysteries that I, of course, tried to unravel by myself. To my great surprise ;), the unexpected answers caught me completely off guard. I mean, c’mon folks, there were hints, but they were so well-hidden and unobtrusive that I completely ignored them. It wasn’t like the mysteries in this novel had a completely implausible end, they all made sense and it ‘clicked’ together in my mind into a satisfying ending.
And yes, this book had romance, though Klassen keeps you guessing as to which young man will win Emma’s heart, and the even greater question: which gentleman can be trusted with it? I loved this uncertainty. But believe me, the conclusion to this question is everything the reader wants.
Emma is a very independent person. She long since stopped talking to God, instead deciding to work through her problems, the challenges of life, on her own. Where it seems there is no hope, that there is nothing more she can do, will Emma turn to the only One who can help her? You’ll have to read the novel to find out. 🙂
About the Author
Biography from Bethany House Publisher’s website. Julie Klassen loves all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She has won the Christy Award: Historical Romance for The Silent Governess (2010) and The Girl in the Gatehouse (2011) which also won the 2010 Midwest Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. ~ To learn more about her and the other books she has written, visit her web page: www.julieklassen.com
I had read some of Klassen’s novels before, and I enjoyed them, but The Tutor’s Daughter really caught me. It was fast-paced, engaging, and compelling as the suspense built and I wondered who-dun-it. This is a book I will be adding to my list of novels to read again in a couple years. For you lovers of the Regency period, this is one book you will not want to miss.
The Tutor’s Daughter is available for check-out, download, or paper copy.