Having never read Jane Austen, and not knowing anything about governesses beyond watching The Sound of Music, The Silent Governess was both thrilling and captivating, and definitely hard to put down. It was also my first experience with Regency Romance. Needless to say, I've found a new addiction.
I could visualize the entire book unfolding like a movie in my mind. Each scene was written with such breathtaking detail, and made me want to take my next vacation in England. Not only was the scenery described wonderfully, but I felt like I could smell the countryside after it rained, as well as all the delectable goodies that came from Mrs. Moore's kitchen.
In general, it wasn't hard to be swept into the story, but with characters like Edward and Olivia, I'd be amazed to find someone that didn't like the story. Edward's just discovered a secret into his family's past that affects him greatly, and what's worse is Olivia overhears it. She is then offered a position of employment at his estate, and is instructed not to speak to anyone there except for him. Personally, not being able to speak would be enough to drive me crazy, but Olivia looks for other ways to communicate. With this one hurdle that Olivia has to overcome, I thought the author did an excellent job of describing how Olivia used other methods to communicate. Writing something down on a pad of paper may take longer for a person that can't speak, but conveying that through a story in just the right way definitely takes talent.
Even though Edward and Olivia were the two main characters of the story, I couldn't help but be caught up with some of the other characters' stories that eventually wove themselves in with the main story. Croome is portrayed as a woolly-booger of a man, but inside, has a soft heart, and Olivia's mother, Dorothea, is surrounded by a cloud of mystery because no one seems to know if she is dead or alive.
With all that said, I feel that I am falling far short of really telling how much I enjoyed this book. When I turned the final page, I was literally speechless. I can't believe I haven't read Ms. Klassen's other two books--surely they're both as incredible as this one! Now, please excuse me while I go pick up one of those to read next....
Holding a flavoring of "Jane Eyre" and a hint of "The Importance of Being Earnest" fully in the environment of a regency tale, "The Silent Governess" brings forth mystery and intrigue with romance to make your heart melt. Previously while reading the first two novels by Julie Klassen I was appreciate, being after the second novel a true fan. The words on her page teach lessons and mold your heart loving her characters and their fictious lives. Just moments away from finishing this novel I can already tell you that I cannot wait for the next wonderful story from the imagination of Author Julie Klassen. Olivia Keene has a journey to endure before she can possibly get what she truly desires and that is only if the cards turn in her favor. Following the mystery of memories, inheritance, relatives and secrets with wild dogs, frightening poachers, scheming gentry, and spoiled cousins imaginations run wild and truths are hard to hold onto. What really matters in the end is a big question and each chapter gets the readers closer to solutions to the equations put forth. Once again Julie thrills with perfect quotes at the beginning of each chapter and it is truly apparent that her research it thorough and fun. More please! Now I just might have to go read some Jane Austen.
This was my first time reading Julie Klassen's work, but there will be more to come, as I have her first two novels sitting on my shelf just waiting to be read. I don't know why I've waited so long to give her books a try, because I absolutely fell in love with her characters in The Silent Governess.
Olivia Keene is running for her life when we first meet her, and she's harboring a very self-incriminating secret that could very well cause harm to befall both her and her mother if it's ever made public. As Olivia is on the run, she overhears another secret, and it lands her in lockup. Fortunately, Lord Bradley sees fit to have her released and brings her to Brightwell Court, he hires her as an under nurse for his niece and nephews. Olivia quickly falls in love with her charges, and makes quite a few new friends during her employment.
Lord Bradley, Edward, knows that Olivia is hiding something, and he has his suspicions as to what it might be. However, he has enough problems trying to find out the particulars of his own potentially life-changing secret, while doing his best to keep it under wraps. Edward's father, Lord Brightwell, isn't very cooperative with sharing what he knows, so Edward decides to find out what he can on his own.
The Silent Governess revolves around multiple mysteries...family secrets, mysterious blackmail letters, and missing family members are just the beginning. I thoroughly enjoyed the fast-paced flow of the story. The characters were really easy to get to know, and I fell in love with Olivia right from the beginning. Audrey and Andrew are real sweethearts. Edward was a little hard to get close to, but he was one of my favorite characters by the end. If you love Regency Romance, then you will really enjoy this book. Regencies aren't something I normally read, but I'm glad I took the time to read Olivia's story.
Loved this book - it was a great Regency romance with just the right combination of love, mystery and hidden family secrets. This one is considered an inspirational romance, but that just means there is no sex in it - it is not overly religious and it does not take away from the great story. You still have illegitimate children, scandal and even rape but it is done in a very tasteful way/behind the scenes way.
The story centers around Olivia who is an assistant in a school - she comes home late one night to find her mother being attacked by a man. She panics and hits him over the head, her mother recovering fears the worst and tells her she must flee now. Olivia is thrown into the world with hardly a coin to her name not knowing what will happen to her family. She meets misfortune after misfortune and ends up overhearing a great scandal to a prominent family. She is then attacked and loses the power of speech - to protect their secrets the family takes her in as their governess and thus starts an amazing journey of secrets and scandals.
There is just something about Julies writing that makes me feel like I am watching a lovely BBC Jane Austen movie. Seeing as the author enjoys BBC period dramas, I am not surprised!
The Silent Governess is by no means overly descriptive, in a tiring way, and yet, I could easily picture the clothing, the grounds, the rooms, the village.
I love the way Julie quotes different historical sources, such as journals of actual governesses and advertisements in the London Times, at the beginning of each chapter. These little tidbits give a fascinating look into Regency times and behaviors, as well as making the whole book utterly charming.
I found The Silent Governess to be a delightful read. I look forward to other stories that Julie Klassen will create!
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