Saturday, February 9, 2013

Book Review: The Tutor's Daughter by Julie Klassen

Book Details:
Title: The Tutor's Daughter
Author: Julie Klassen
2012, Bethany House
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Book Summary:
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 mementos?
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:
Another lovely novel by Julie Klassen! I love the way the author weaves her love of Jane Austen into her stories. This is not one of those novels that attempts to be an Austen copy, but you can feel the influence in the story. Even the names, such as Emma and Jame Smallwood and Lizze reminded me slightly of Austen novels. 
Emma's father is not himself. Ever since her mother died, her father's heart has not been in his work of teaching a boy's school. Emma takes it upon herself to find them a suitable place for her to teach - the younger brother's of some former students. They uproot and move themselves to live in Cornwall. 
There Emma is reunited with Henry and Phillip Weston. Henry who played mean tricks on her and Phillip who be-friended her during their times at her father's school. We are also introduced to some shady neighborhood characters and Mrs. Weston's ward, Lizzie Henshaw.
But strange things are happening at Ebbington Estate.... strange noises and people. Emma does not know what to make of it all.
The character development is wonderful in this  book. There are many different family members and their stories all intertwine in a way that you are not sure who to trust and who to fear - just like Emma. The story is beautifully written and keeps the reader entertained until the very end.
Austen fan or not, this book is definitely worth the read!

Disclosure: The book was provided to me free of charge by Bethany House Publishers for my honest review. All opinions in this post are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.

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