Sunday, October 28, 2012

Review of "The Tutor's Daughter" by Julie Klassen

Rating: 5 Stars
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Summary from Bethany House: 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.

Review: Julie Klassen has created a novel Reminiscent of "Northanger Abbey" and "Jane Eyre." "The Tutor's Daughter" is exciting, mysterious, and charming.  Klassen captures British dialogue to perfection, and pays homage to Jane Austen and similar authors.  With a plot and characters that could step straight out of a British movie, "The Tutor's Daughter," is intriguing and memorable.

Mystery abounds as soon as Emma Smallwood and her father arrive at Ebbington Manor.  From residents who harbor secrets to unusual nighttime noises, the mystery builds into something more menacing.  Uncovering the answers kept me glued to the novel, as did the relationship budding between Emma and a certain Weston son. The romance is one of restrain and unexpressed feelings, which adds another element of anticipation.

Book-lovers can relate to Emma's bookish ways, and I related to her character on a few levels.  She is a dreamer, who relies on novels to live out her adventures.  Over the course of the novel, Emma learns to take risks and strengthen her faith. The result for Emma and the reader is sigh-worthy.

Klassen paints a dramatic scene for "The Tutor's Daughter" on the rugged coast of Cornwall, England.  The power and danger of the rocky coast mimics the underlying, deadly currents in Ebbington Manor.  The ocean is the background for several climatic and pivotal moments, adding to their drama and suspense.

"The Tutor's Daughter" is one of my favorite Julie Klassen novels to date. It is certainly a "must-read" for fans of historical fiction and delicious British dramas.

I received a complimentary copy of  from Netgalley, courtesy of Baker Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Read an Excerpt: 
The Tutors Daughter

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