Bethany House Publishing, 2013
Reviewed by Diana Flowers
Riveting Historical Fiction!
In The Tutor's Daughter, Julie Klassen takes the reader away to the beautifully haunting and mysterious Ebbington Manor, set high upon the cliffs overlooking the windswept coast of Cornwall -- a house of secrets, deceit, and lies.
Emma Smallwood and her father had tutored the baronet's eldest sons, Henry and Phillip Weston, several years before and are now being asked by the new Mrs.Weston to move to Ebbington Manor to tutor the younger Weston brothers. Memories of Phillip bring nostalgic, pleasant thoughts to Emma's mind -- of kindnesses shared and the youthful blush of a first crush. Henry morever, strikes fear into Emma's heart as she recalls the hateful barbs and terrifying pranks she received at his hands. But hoping to help relieve her father's melancholy after the death of her mother, Emma agrees to accompany him to the sprawling stone manor nestled high above the sea.
Almost immediately upon their arrival, mysterious happenings begin to occur in the manor. Emma hears someone playing the pianoforte and when she investigates no one is there, finds threatening notes under her door, and smells the odor of perfume lingering in her room. Is it the ghost of the former Mrs. Weston?...or is Henry up to his old tricks again? And who is occupying the secluded room where no one is ever permitted to go? Which Weston brother shares an undeniable attraction with Emma?...although she is aware that Mrs. Weston would never allow a lowly tutor's daughter to wed one of the heirs of Ebbington Manor.
As always, Julie Klassen knows how to capture the readers' attention and leave them spellbound until the very last page is turned. This is a finely written story, reminiscent of Charlotte Bronte's, Jane Eyre, and I simply loved it. With its many plot twists and turns, and plenty of excitement throughout, this one is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your chair. I have always prided myself on guessing "who is doing it" in whodunits, but I was totally wrong this time. Julie almost had me believing in ghosts -- almost. :) I loved how the characters evolve throughout the book, the strong salvation message throughout, and oh, the breathtaking romance! My fav to date of all Ms. Klassen's books - very nicely done!
A copy of this book was given to me from Net Galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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