I loved, loved, loved this book! That's 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 1800's. The author's 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 father's school. Using her father's 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 wasn't 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 isn't 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 mother's 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. Klassen's 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.
After reading this book I couldn't "get into" anything else for days! The Tutor's Daughter was just that good, it haunted me for days. I loved everything about it, there wasn't a thing that I didn't like about it! I don't read much regency era novels, but when I read this one it skyrocketed to the top of my favorites list, and I will definitely be re-reading it!
Emma and Henry's characters had such depth, and realness to them, and their relationship grew naturally and beautifully. There were mysteries and secrets, against a breath-taking setting, that Ms. Klassen brought to life magnificently, I couldn't help but fall in love with this book and it's characters!
Overall, this book had a wonderfull Jane Eyre feel to it, with mystery, romance, intrigue, and so many intricate threads that kept me guessing until the end! A new favorite for me, that I highly recommend!
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!!!
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 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.
Book Review: I really enjoyed Emma, Henry and Aunt Jane. They were great characters that you really felt like they were friends and people you could relate to. I found the mysteries to be fun. I like the one on the north wing, although it ended too quickly. I like the events that came from that but I would have liked a couple more nights of fear from it. The BIG mystery was easy to figure out. The only disappointing thing was when Emma believed the very people she knew were liars. That bothered me tremendously. Somehow they should have someone duped into lying to her, because she should have known they could not be trusted. The relationship between Emma and Henry was great. How they went from being at odds to friends was great to watch. I would recommend this story to anyone. It was full of fun memories like Jane Eyre, Mansfield Park (for me). I did not really see any Downton Abbey in it because Carson the Butler far exceeds Davies.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Bethany House Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
"The Tutor's Daughter" by Julie Klassen is a novel that takes place in 1812 England. In classic Klassen style, Emma is an educated woman during a time when education on women was considered a waste of time. Emma was considered a "bluestocking". She was smart as well, and assisted her father in tutoring young men in preparation for university. At the age of 21, Emma and her father close up the school for boys and move to a manor to be the private tutor to a pair of spoiled, wealthy twins, Julian and Rowen Weston. While there Emma is surrounded in mystery, challenges, discrimination, and violence.
Klassen's books usually involve the same time period and a feminine empowerment of sorts, not typical of the time. I really enjoy Klassen and this book is no different. It is not a masterpiece, but it is a well written and enjoyable book. Emma is a clear character; Lizzie is a great contrast to Emma's straight and narrow. It is a long read, but with the mystery build, the action, and then the climax, I am not sure what could be cut out. I give it a B-.
Julie Lassen has written another one of her delightful, historical romance novels, The Tutor's Daughter. Sir Giles Weston has written requesting Mr. Smallwood and his daughter, Emma come to live in his castle and tutor his two youngest sons. The castle is located on a windswept coastal area of England and is, in Emma's mind, a very beautiful, but frightening place. Their presence however, is not exactly what Lady Weston would like, so she causes trouble for Emma and her father, treating them rather poorly.
Henry and Philip Weston, Mr. Smallwood's former students, are also both in residence at the castle. Emma often recalls the teasing and tricks that they would play on her when they attended Mr. Smallwood's school. Philip has grown into a very attractive man, but there seems to be something very special about Henry that draws Emma's attention. She has no business being attracted to either one, as their station is so far above hers. Then the tricks start.
A handprint on her mirror, pages missing from her journal, a toy soldier on her floor, the pitiful cry in the night.
Is there someone who is in trouble?
Who or what could be doing these things?
Harry and David can't still be doing these harmless but frightening tricks.
Then there is the ancient Chapel on the Rocks. What is it about the chapel that seems to draw Emma to it? Along with all the shipwrecks on the rocks far below, Emma has her work cut out for her. As Emma tries to solve all these mysteries, the truth seems to be just out of her reach.
You will enjoy the twists and turns of this 17th century story, The Tutor's Daughter, by Julie Klassen.