Monday, October 28, 2013

The Tutor's Daughter

The Tutor's Daughter
Julie Klassen
Bethany House Publishers
January 2013 

Set high on the cliff tops of Cornwall sits Ebbington Manor. With sweeping views of the ocean and windswept paths waiting to be explored that is where Emma Smallwood finds herself. She and her father have come to be live in tutors for Sir Giles Weston and his family. Years before Emma and her father had had the two oldest Weston boys, Henry and Phillip, enrolled at their small boarding school. 
Emma only remembers Henry as a rude prankster and a bully. When the letter arrives asking her and her father to live at Ebbington Manor Emma is relunctant, afraid she'll run into Henry. Her worry was founded when she does encounter Henry at the Manor and finds him to be just as arrogant and rude as he was as a youth. 
Soon after their arrival at Ebbington Manor mysterious things begin happen. Phantom music plays through the halls, the sounds of someone in Emma's room at night, and some of Emma's things go missing. The youngest Weston boys think it's a ghost, but Emma fears something much worse. 
Danger and mystery seem to stalk Emma at every turn. Henry too seems to be nearby every time Emma needs something. She finds herself shockingly drawn to him and it seems as if he might hold some affection for her as well. 
Hats off to Julie Klassen yet again for writing a wonderful read. She remains in my list of very favorite authors. If you enjoy Jane Austen you'll love her writing and the writing in this book. There were gothic elements and Lord and Lady of the Manor  discussions and gray cloudy skies set as a backdrop for drama and love. You'll be transported. 
Emma was a strong female heroine, she was kind hearted and likeable. Well educated she was confident and self possessed. Her love for learning and teaching was woven throughout, as was her love for her father. I love how she did her own independent things and Henry always managed to "stumble" upon her. Contrived? Yes, but it worked here. 
Henry’s quickly became endearing. He was vulnerable, kind hearted, romantic, but yet a shy brooding hero as well. My initial impressions were changed as he went from arrogant to soft and open. Seen in a different light he was still all man yet with a romantic and sweet side. He constantly came to the rescue just when Emma needed it. Sigh.
The story will capture you, the mystery will have you turning lights on in the night, and the romance will delight you. Not overly done at all this is a book to read. While not my favorite Klassen book I thoroughly enjoyed it and read it within two days. 
Grab some tea and prepare to be transported to the cliffs of Cornwall. You won't want to come back, but you should, your kids are probably hungry. 
My sincere thanks to Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my real and honest review. 

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