Book Review: The Tutor's Daughter by Julie Klassen

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Age Appropriate For: Ages 12 + (for reading level, romance, and some mild scary scenes)
Best for Ages: Ages 18 and up
Description: Emma Smallwood, determined to help her widowed father regain his spirits when his academy fails, agrees to travel with him to the distant Cornwall coast, to the cliff-top manor of a baronet and his four sons. But after they arrive and begin teaching the younger boys, mysterious things begin to happen and danger mounts. Who does Emma hear playing the pianoforte, only to find the music room empty? Who sneaks into her room at night? Who rips a page from her journal, only to return it with a chilling illustration?

The baronet's older sons, Phillip and Henry, wrestle with problems--and secrets--of their own. They both remember Emma Smallwood from their days at her father's academy. She had been an awkward, studious girl. But now one of them finds himself unexpectedly drawn to her.
When the suspicious acts escalate, can the clever tutor's daughter figure out which brother to blame... and which brother to trust with her heart?

I had heard mixed reviews about Julie Klassen’s books. Although every one of my friends said they were well written, one of my friends had told me that she often throws one or two scenes in that diminished the enjoyment of the book. When I was offered a copy of The Tutor’s Daughter to review, I decided to check her out for myself.

It didn’t take me long to realize that my friends were right; this woman knows how to write. Her style is excellent and she know how to weave historical details seamlessly into her stories. She also is just a solid story teller. I was captivated.

Klassen also is very good at making you feel the mood. She made me feel listless, happiness, joy, sorrow, and uncomfortable. She had several points in the book where she gave it just the right creep factor; enough to make you feel uncomfortable, without making you scared to go to sleep.

The characters themselves were well developed and very believable. I don’t think there was one flat character in the whole bunch. That is saying a lot about her talent. Not many authors, no matter how good, can pull that off.

There was only one point where she really disappointed me, and that was her faith message. I felt like she built up to a great spiritual moment in her book but that moment never happened. It made me feel as if I was missing a page or two from the book.

I highly recommend this to those who like period dramas, Jane Austen, historical fiction, or even just incredibly well written stories.

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I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. I was under no obligation to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are entirely my own.

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