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!
The Tutors Daughter by Julie Klassen
Emma Smallwood had a nemesis. Now that her mother has passed and her fathers boarding school hit hard times, they were going to the home of that very student. Her father would tutor his younger brothers at their manor. As much as she feared the older brother, she enjoyed the younger one. Perhaps neither would be home.
Henry Weston was no longer into pranks. He had responsibilities and family secrets to keep. The Smallwoods could not have arrived at their home during a worse time. Yet, he knew that Mr. Smallwood would be a good teacher for his younger step-brothers, Julian and Rowan.
This book was definitely a page turner and a book that was hard to put down. The Smallwoods arrival is not welcome, there are strange noises at night, odd occurrences, and Emma knows some of the family members are definitely hiding something.
The author keeps the reader guessing who is up to what and who can be trusted. And the characters personalities just come to life. The story takes place in Cornwall, giving insight to the dangers of ships along the rocky shores.
**Received through Bethany House for review
I see that in bookstores Julie Klassen is filed under "Christian fiction". What a shame. Regency fans (of whom I am one) won't see her books if they only check the Romance or General Fiction sections. I enjoyed this book because it's not a religious polemic - it's a book about people who went to church as people did in their time and thought about things. Some spirituals are over the top yet secular regencies don't seem historically correct to me. This book strikes a nice medium. Besides it's a good story.
The Tutor's Daughter is a great book by Julie Klassen. It may the the award-winning author's best to date. Highly, highly recommended!!
Age Appropriate For: Ages 12 + (for reading level, romance, and some mild scary scenes)
Best for Ages: Ages 18 and up
I had heard mixed reviews about Julie Klassens books. Although every one of my friends said they were well written, one of my friends had told me that she often throws one or two scenes in that diminished the enjoyment of the book. When I was offered a copy of The Tutors Daughter to review, I decided to check her out for myself.
It didnt take me long to realize that my friends were right; this woman knows how to write. Her style is excellent and she know how to weave historical details seamlessly into her stories. She also is just a solid story teller. I was captivated.
Klassen also is very good at making you feel the mood. She made me feel listless, happiness, joy, sorrow, and uncomfortable. She had several points in the book where she gave it just the right creep factor; enough to make you feel uncomfortable, without making you scared to go to sleep.
The characters themselves were well developed and very believable. I dont think there was one flat character in the whole bunch. That is saying a lot about her talent. Not many authors, no matter how good, can pull that off.
There was only one point where she really disappointed me, and that was her faith message. I felt like she built up to a great spiritual moment in her book but that moment never happened. It made me feel as if I was missing a page or two from the book
I highly recommend this to those who like period dramas, Jane Austen, historical fiction, or even just incredibly well written stories.
I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. I was under no obligation to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are entirely my own.
Emma Smallwood is the daughter of a tutor from Devonshire. Her father runs a small school for young men, Smallwood Academy. A young woman with a great love for books and education, she assists her father with the running of the school after her mother's death. Her father has sunk into a depression following the death of his wife, which has affected their prospects of keeping the school open. They are invited to move to Cornwall and provide a private education for twin boys, Julian and Rowan, younger brothers of two previous pupils, Henry and Philip Weston. Soon after their arrival, strange things begin to happen at night which lead to many questions surrounding what the Weston's could be hiding.
I have read and enjoyed every one of Klassen's novels. I believe this one is her best yet. Laden with intrigue, the story keeps you guessing at what kind of plot twist will come next. The characters are well developed and come across with great depth. There is plenty of complexity in the two main characters, Emma and Henry. My one minor complaint is that I would have loved an extra chapter or two or an epilogue to fully wrap up the storyline. Overall, this novel is highly recommended.
(Ive received this complimentary book from Bethany House Publishers through the Book Blogger program in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)
I enjoyed this one more than I thought I would. I am a sucker for all things Italy so that mentioned throughout was awesome and I really liked the main character. Saw a lot of me in her I guess, I can see why Henry was forever trying to get a reaction from her. I liked the other characters as well, especially the interactions with Adam. Was happy to see both fathers rise to the occasion in the end and take matters into their hands as they hadn't before, leading the way for happiness to triumph.