|The Tutor's Daughter|
Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
Traverse the continents to England and the windswept coast of Cornwall where you’ll find the sprawling Ebbington Manor upon the high cliff tops of North Cornwall. Peer over the cliffs of giddy heights and you’ll behold turquoise seas and pounding surf off the dramatic coastline. With this exquisite setting as a backdrop, ‘A tutor’s Daughter’ will fully engage your senses as you get lost in the Regency era of this outstanding story.
Emma Smallwood lives with and helps out her widowed father who is a tutor. However, his boarding school is failing and her father is feeling melancholy and unmotivated, which is not boding well for the future of the school. In the bid to acquire some new pupils, Emma drafts a letter to the Weston family whose older sons had previously attended, knowing they also had two younger boys. Emma receives a reply that Sir Giles Weston requests that her father consider coming to Ebbington Manor to teach his sons there for a year, and that Emma was welcome to come along. John Smallwood perks up at the prospect and is eager to go, longing for a change. On the other hand Emma, remembering one in particular of the two older Weston sons, is not so keen. Nevertheless, knowing her father needs her assistance, she accepts Sir Giles’ invitation and soon they are on their way by coach to Ebford, Cornwall.
When Emma and her father arrive they seem to be unexpected, and Lady Weston even upon discovering Sir Giles’ forgotten invitation to the Smallwood’s, still seems rather cool toward them. When tense words were heard behind doors between the hosts, Emma had the distinct impression they were not welcome.
The Manor in which the Weston family lived was a grand place that had expanded over the years, creating an awkward mixture of Medieval, Tudor, and Georgian architecture. With an ancient two-story hall that displayed crossed swords and shields on the darkly paneled walls, an off-limits north wing, and creaking stairs, the old Manor took on a mysterious ambience. The mysteries surrounding this place and the Weston’s, magnified when Emma began to hear strange happenings throughout the night, including high pitched wailing; hurried footsteps; and ghostly piano playing. What are the closely guarded secrets that surround this family?
The older sons of the Baronet, Phillip and Henry, have grown up quite a bit since Emma last saw them. While she is drawn to one of them by his gentle and helpful nature, she finds the other brother intimidates and perplexes her. But someone is playing pranks that are escalating in intensity and Emma doesn’t know who is responsible. At times, Emma’s heart is being pulled in two directions but as her feelings grow for one of them, will it be one who will hurt her? She knows only too well also, that any relationship has very little chance of working out as they are the sons of a Baron and she is simply a Tutor’s Daughter.
I enjoyed this historical journey to Cornwall and Ebbington Manor immensely. This adventure was just brimming with tangible atmosphere and characters of great depth and charisma. There were inspiring moments of faith renewed, along with heart-stopping suspense and danger. This was a page-turner edged in intrigue. Including a breathtaking romance, this story had it all!!
GIVEAWAY: A Kindle copy of The Tutor's Daughter for one commenter who answers the question. And don't forget to leave your email address as well.
QUESTION: Have you ever been in a dangerous or scary situation and experienced the Lord rescuing you from that place?