Monday, January 14, 2013

The Tutor's Daughter



Title:  The Tutor’s Daughter
Author:  Julie Klassen
Pages:  405
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Bethany
                Julie Klassen is a new author to me so I wasn’t sure what to expect upon my reading of the first of her novels for me.  I certainly wasn’t disappointed.  The story is set in 1817 England.  There are many supporting characters that round out the well-written, suspense/romantic storyline.
                The main character is Emma Smallwood, daughter of John Smallwood, a tutor who runs a school for boys.  Due to depression from the death of his wife, he has not been out drumming up business so there are no longer any students for his next term of the school year.  In an effort to gain new students, Emma contacts a former pupil’s father regarding sending his remaining two younger sons to her father’s school.  He offers instead for them to come live with him for a year and tutor his boys at home.  Emma doesn’t want to leave their home, but for the first time in months her father seems excited about something.  So sets in motion the story.  They arrive at the Weston home and settle in to a routine of teaching the younger Weston boys.  Emma dreads running in to the eldest Weston son, Henry, as he used to play pranks on her while he was at her father’s school as an adolescent boy.  She would much prefer to spend time with his younger brother, Phillip, who was always nice to her while he was at school.  Emma wakes up one morning to find that someone has been in her room during the night.  This happens on more than one occasion and things begin to go missing.  Is Henry up to his old school boy tricks again?  But Henry doesn’t play the piano, especially in the middle of the night, so who could that be?  Emma tries to sneak down to discover who it is, but by the time she reaches the music room, the player is gone.  Other mysterious things happen.  Can Emma trust Henry?  Has he really changed since boyhood?  She can’t really be feeling any sort of affection for Henry, can she?
                Henry Weston is the eldest son and has taken over the responsibility of running the manor from his father, who has gotten them in some financial trouble.  His second wife, who is not the mother of Henry or Phillip, is not happy having the Smallwoods underfoot.  Henry is glad to see them.  He regrets the pranks of his youth and really wants Emma to like him and trust him, but can she after all he has done to her in the past?  Henry knows there is something mysterious going on at his home, but he can’t put his finger on it.  Will he be able to discover the guilty party before someone gets seriously hurt, maybe even killed?  He has suspicions, but no proof.  He is determined to find out who is harassing Emma.  As life becomes more dangerous for them, Henry discovers Emma no longer prays or has a close relationship with God.  He shares with her and encourages her to get right with God.
                My rating is 4 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/.  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457
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