Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Tutor's Daughter - Ficton, Historical

The Tutor’s Daughter
By Julie Klassen

When Emma Smallwood’s father accepts a position as a live-in tutor for an upper class family, they never expect the mystery and intrigue and even danger that will befall them in their new lodgings.  Long having run a small academy for boys, Mr. Smallwood is devastated by the death of his wife, and unable to continue offering a quality education for his students.  As the enrollment dwindles to nothing, Emma realizes they must have a new means of income.  An unexpected invitation from a former patron takes Emma and her father to live at Ebbington Manor with the Weston family.  Thought excited by the fresh outset for her father, Emma is nervous about her reintroduction to the two brothers who were former students of the Smallwood Academy - Henry and Phillip.  She is wary of Henry because he was known to pull all sorts of pranks on her, and was generally unkind during his time at the Academy.  Phillip was always kind and friendly, and Emma fears she might have feelings for Phillip, and he for her.  As they settle into life at Ebbington, strange things begin to happen around them – music and wailing in the night, secretive behavior among the family, and even someone sneaking into Emma’s bedchamber and taking her things.  The Smallwood’s new students, the youngest Weston brothers, are reluctant pupils with a propensity for fighting and causing mischief.  Can Emma sort out her feelings for the eldest Weston brothers, and figure out who is leaving threatening messages for her?  Can the Weston family sort out their secrets and keep the family’s honor unspoiled?

If you like Jane Austen’s works, combined with a little bit of Nancy Drew, then this is a great book for you.  The author did a great job of sketching out the character of each person in the story.  The storyline was well developed and paced well throughout the book, with little bits of the plot coming to light all along the way.  I really enjoyed the author’s depiction of Emma’s fledgling faith, and God’s way of bringing her back to Him. One of the characters (not going to spoil it for you) does a great job of explaining the grace and mercy of God to Emma at her lowest point.  The faith aspect of the book greatly added to my enjoyment of the book.  Overall, I give this one an A: a great read for the Christian historical romance reader.  I am looking forward to reading more by Julie Klassen!

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

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