I loved, loved, loved this book! Thats one of the things I really like about historical fiction, you always learn something new! I knew very little about English boarding schools run by families in their home during the 1800s. The authors wonderful detail of day to day life and what education was like during that time was fascinating.
Emma Smallwood helped her father run one such boarding school, Smallwood Academy, for young boys during this time. The death of her mother sent her father in to depression. As he lost all interest in teaching and acquiring new students, Emma became very concerned about how not only how they would support themselves but that they could also possibly lose everything. She remembered the Weston family who had five years earlier enrolled their two sons, Henry and Phillip in her fathers school. Using her fathers name, she contacts Mr. Giles Weston concerning the opportunity to teach his younger sons Rowan and Julian. Mr. Weston sends a requesting the come to his estate, Ebbington Manor, and teach they boys. She wasnt expecting to leave their home and was even more surprised when her father is excited by the prospect and accepts the offer!
Henry and Philip Weston, their former students have grown in to handsome men. Emma is stuck in the past by still viewing them as they were when they boarded with them as young boys and she a young girl. Henry was a prankster and always tormenting her. Phillip had shown kindness and that gave her a soft spot for him. Up on arrival Emma finds the manor intimidating and isolated as sits high on a cliff overlooking the windy coast. Not long after they settle in, things that can only be described as supernatural and very disturbing begin to occur. Some speak of the Manor being haunted, something Emma definitely does not believe in, but how can these things be explained? At first she thinks Henry is up to his old tricks. When she realizes he isnt she wonders, how then can these things be explained? Emma shows great courage in seeking answers and makes startling discoveries of family secrets, even to the point of pointing herself in danger. To complicate matters and much against her will she finds herself drawn to one of older sons.
Emma is also comes face to face with her rejection of God since her mothers death. Many of her experiences and the straightforward faith of all people, Henry Weston, help her realize she cannot live her life apart from the Lord.
Ms. Klassens writing was so very descriptive that it was as if I was walking through the halls and grounds of the Manor with Emma. The anticipation at times in almost unbearable! Nothing is as it seems and the surprises are totally unexpected. That is why I kept reading and reading when I should have gone to bed!
Fiction, history, romance, mystery, and suspense, what more could you ask from a book. This one has it all. You will definitely want to read The Tutor's Daughter!
I received this book free from Bethany House Publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
I really wanted to like this story, based on the back cover copy. What I got was a book that dragged painfully slowly through the first half, then got better in the second half and raced to the conclusion, leaving ends loose and me feeling cheated that I'd spent $10 for this Kindle book. Emma refused to stand up for herself when all the crazy little incidents continued escalating to real threats, which I just don't understand. Furthermore, the reason revealed for all the threats and the punishment for those threats do not make sense, given the seriousness of everything that occurred. This story doesn't match the caliber of the author's earlier books. What a shame.
I'm so glad that the first book I read in 2013 was a Julie Klassen book. Her books are always so well written with intriguing settings and characters reminiscent of the classic romances. As was the case with her previous novels this starts out slowly but continually builds so much so that you can't put it down! At first I was bit worried that this was going to be too much of a Jane Eyre copycat with a mysterious "ghost" at Weston manor causing all sorts of mischief but I was genuinely surprised by just who that said ghost really was. The Tutor's Daughter not only is a romance but a unique look at what life was like for those who were considered to be "different" in the 19th century. It's what touched me the most in this book and I couldn't help but fall in love with such endearing characters like the elder Weston brothers, both the hero and his brother. All aspects of this story were perfection and The Tutor's Daughter has earned it's spot as my new favorite Julie Klassen read and quite possibly a favorite book of 2013!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.*
If I wrote a list of my top ten favorite books, Im pretty sure each of Julie Klassens books would be on the list. I always look forward to Julie Klassens new books and this one did not disappoint. The Tutors Daughter is full of secrets, mystery & romance.
Emma is a tutors daughter. Henry and Phillip Weston were both students at her fathers boarding school. A few years later, Emmas father is asked to come to Ebbington Manor and tutor Henry and Phillips younger brothers. Emma joins her father at Ebbington Manor only to find herself in the middle of a family full of secrets.
Who is performing these mysterious acts around the house? Who is sneaking into Emmas room at night? What will happen when the secrets of the house are brought to light? Will Emma fall for her childhood friend? Or will she find herself drawn to her childhood nemesis?
I highly suggest reading this wonderful book. You won't be able to put it down!