John Smallwood and his daughter Emma run a boarding school for boys. The story focuses on Emma, who is a young lady. When the family has trouble getting new students to enroll, they take up an offer to go live in a wealthy household to personally tutor 2 boys. The home is a manor house in England. It is fascinating to see how the family operates in such an environment. There are plenty of servants who work very hard. The description of the different rooms and the meals is wonderful to read about.
The story has mystery, and a little bit of suspense. There were also a few references to Gothic novels, which I didn't like. The brief romantic descriptions did not interest me, but I enjoyed reading about the student's lessons. Overall, it seems like a book that would do very well in the general/secular marketplace.
*Disclosure - I received this book for review purposes.*
The Tutor's Daughter is Julie Klassen's latest offering in the Regency Historical Fiction genre, a genre that she simply excels at. Verging on a gothic romance with her sweeping landscapes and mysterious moments of "things that go bump in the night", she brings home a story full of secrets, romance and some pretty suspenseful scenes as well.
We see her main character Emma Woodhouse, who is extremely prim, proper and structured, show growth in this story as her faith grows and her relationships with others as well. She truly learns to let go of the control she desperately tries to hold onto and surrender her life to God's control. This story is reminiscent of Jane Eyre as it takes place in a grand sweeping house named Ebbington Manor in Cornwall, England. There lives the Weston family- the older sons, Henry and Phillip Weston- former pupils of Emma's father-, their father Sir Giles, their stepmother Lady Weston and half brothers Rowan and Julian. Add in Lizzie a ward of Lady Weston's and you have a houseful of people that add to the mystery and suspense that unfolds at Ebbington Manor. Who of these people is sneaking in to Emma's house late at night leaving mysterious messages in her room, stealing her journal and playing music downstairs in the wee hours of the night?
Julie Klassen crafts a fun, mysterious and lovely historical fiction novel in The Tutor's daughter. She is quoted as saying that she loves "all things Jane"- I do too! So for those that love to see the influence of Jane Austen, "Jane Eyre" and some well researched history of Cornwall thrown in , placed in a faith based novel, I am sure that you will enjoy this journey to Ebbington Manor in the form of The Tutor's daughter.
I was provided with a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
I have read a few of Julie Klassen's books, and this was by far one of the better ones. This book delivered a beautiful story of love, and family. I was immediately intrigued by the characters and I wasn't disappointed as the book wore on. Although not an all time favorite book, this is a great read for all you lovers of historical romance peppered with a dash of suspense.
Emma Smallwood assists her father with Smallwood Academy, the boarding school in their Devonshire home. Enrollment is down, and her father hasn't been himself since her mother's death. Mr. Smallwood accepts an invitation from Sir Giles Weston to tutor his teenage sons at his home in Cornwall. Although hesitant to leave Devonshire, Emma accompanies her father to Ebbington Manor, hoping a change of scenery will lift her father's spirits.
Philip and Henry, the older Weston sons, studied at the Smallwood Academy years before. Emma got on well with Phillip, the more personable of the two brothers. Henry was another story. He seemed to enjoy making Emma's life miserable. Imagine her delight at the prospect of seeing Phillip again, and her trepidation over bumping into Henry.
The Tutor's Daughter contains mysteries large and small. Unfortunately, the Smallwoods arrive at the Manor at a bad time. The Westons are in a bit of an uproar over something, but Emma cannot place her finger on what is happening behind the scenes. Unexplained events pop up at the most unusual times, and about the time one mystery appears solved, another surfaces.
More questions than answers find Emma puzzled and a little nervous. Does Emma's friendship with Phillip fare well despite the mysterious happenings? Is Henry cold and uncaring, or has time and maturity mellowed his personality? Is Emma drawn to either brother, or one of them to her? If you like historical fiction with a dash of intrigue and a hint of romance, I suggest you pick up a copy and find out.
This book is a wonderful read. I liked Emma immediately; she is complex yet relatable, as are the other key players. The plot twists and turns had me guessing and always on my toes. Klassen's classic, consistent style of well-developed characters and rich, appealing storylines is evident once again. Her vivid tales engage the senses, and direct readers to look beyond the surface and examine where their faith lies.
"The Tutor's Daughter" is a book that has everything! Shipwrecks, ghosts, historical setting, Jane Austen-type romance, family secrets, mystery, a touch of adventure and suspense. Author Julie Klassen knows how to pack it in with characters whose actions intrigue and surprise. When the main character, Emma Smallwood, chose to pack her books instead of extra clothes, I was sold.
In this story Emma's father, a grieving widower, is invited to leave his established, but struggling, boarding school for boys in order to become a live-in tutor for the two younger sons of a man whose older sons had attended his school. Emma, who has served as his assistant for years, is invited to come along. She hesitates to do so, but realizes, with the encouragement of her aunt, that a change of scenery will be good for her father at this time.
What makes Emma most nervous is the two older sons. Henry, the eldest, had teased her mercilessly while attending her father's school. Emma doesn't have much use for him. Phillip, on the other hand, had been a good friend, leaning toward a romantic interest. Emma worries over where they stand.
From her very first night in the Weston home, mysterious happenings keep Emma perplexed. Is Henry up to his old tricks? Who can she trust to help her learn whatever else is going on?
This is my favorite of Julie Klassen's novels, so far. Fans of regency fiction will enjoy it, too. I thank Bethany House Publishers for sending me a complimentary copy for this honest review.