When her widowed father agrees to tutor a baronet's four sons, Emma finds herself living in a grand Cornwall manor---and confronting an eerie mystery. Who's sneaking into her room at night? Who tears a page from her journal, only to return it with a chilling illustration? Can she identify the culprit before it's too late? 416 pages, softcover from Bethany. eBook.
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Customer Reviews for Tutor's Daughter, The - eBook
The Tutor's Daughter is Julie Klassen's best novel yet. Not only is it a puzzling suspense rich in historic detail, but also a believable love story.
Klassen addresses several common practices of the regency era - education by a tutor, wreckers scavenging and profiting from shipwrecks, and sending away handicapped children to foster families. Her note at the end of the novel adds additional detail about Cornwall's history of shipwrecks and Jane Austin's own family - one of her older brothers was sent to a foster family due to his mental or physical affliction.
One of the things I like best is that there is no sudden, inexplicable attraction that Emma feels toward Henry, like in so many novels where the hero and heroine are at odds from the start. While Henry appears to have been attracted to Emma from their first meeting nearly a decade ago (and promptly showed it in typical schoolboy fashion through insults and practical jokes), Emma's attraction is based on slowly getting to know him as a man who cares for people and his home. Yes, she is incredibly suspicious of him at first - and who wouldn't be after years of practical jokes? - and as long as she suspects him of his old tricks, she really does not feel any attraction toward the man. However, as he proves himself time and again to be a mature and compassionate man, her heart changes toward him. It is a much sweeter and more realistic (and healthier!) love story than most romantic novels can boast, be they secular or Christian.
While the book is not full of scripture quotes or zealous characters, Klassen still weaves in a good message. Throughout the book Emma grows from a very regimented girl who prefers to order her life in the safest and most predictable way possible to an open woman who refuses to let fear and order imprison her. In opening her heart to Henry and God, she opens her heart to pursuing her own dreams. I especially liked that Henry cares enough about Emma's spiritual state to make sure Emma turns to God with her whole heart, and that it is not just in the heat of the moment because she is about to die.
Emma Smallwood is the daughter of a tutor from Devonshire. Her father runs a small school for young men, Smallwood Academy. A young woman with a great love for books and education, she assists her father with the running of the school after her mother's death. Her father has sunk into a depression following the death of his wife, which has affected their prospects of keeping the school open. They are invited to move to Cornwall and provide a private education for twin boys, Julian and Rowan, younger brothers of two previous pupils, Henry and Philip Weston. Soon after their arrival, strange things begin to happen at night which lead to many questions surrounding what the Weston's could be hiding.
I have read and enjoyed every one of Klassen's novels. I believe this one is her best yet. Laden with intrigue, the story keeps you guessing at what kind of plot twist will come next. The characters are well developed and come across with great depth. There is plenty of complexity in the two main characters, Emma and Henry. My one minor complaint is that I would have loved an extra chapter or two or an epilogue to fully wrap up the storyline. Overall, this novel is highly recommended.
(I’ve received this complimentary book from Bethany House Publishers through the Book Blogger program in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)
When I started reading this book, I knew I recognized the writing style, but I couldn't place it until I noticed it was the same author as "The Maid of Fairbourne Hall." And then I knew I was going to love the book, and that is a vast understatement! This book reads like a classic. The author loves Jane Austen and "Jane Eyre," and this comes through clearly in the style and the story. Indeed, Julie Klassen has got to be one of the finest Christian historical fiction authors out there today, and I would love to read every single book she has ever written and ever will write.
This book has it all--romance, history, mystery, intrigue, and so much more. I found myself so enraptured with the story that I did not want to put it down. It is a 400-something page book, but it never dragged. The characters were well-developed, and you couldn't help but love Emma and Henry. I have to admit that I wasn't even sure how the romance would play out, but the ending was exactly as it should have been. No sappy romance--just true love. Oh, and it almost goes without saying--no sex scenes nor profanity.
The Christian message is woven expertly into the novel without beating you over the head with it. This is always what I appreciate about well-written Christian fiction. The gospel is never out of place in the book. The characters are real and come to rely on God in a special way. I would not think that this kind of book would appeal to any historical romance fans out there, and you are guaranteed a clean read.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
Julie Klassen’s The Tutors Daughter is set in Cornwell England in 1812. There we are taken on a journey through an English manor, a forbidden romance, and forbidden north wing which hold a household mystery. When John Smallwood accepts a job tutoring the younger son’s on Giles Weston, he takes along his daughter, Emma as his teaching assistant. But they soon find that what seems to be an ideal job turns into anything but. There were a wide variety of characters and a number of them that I thought were well done, among them Emma, Henry, and Lizzy, but there were a several that also didn’t quite measure up, John Smallwood, Sir Giles Weston, and Phillip Weston.
Emma Smallwood I really liked her. She was great combination of spunky and daring, but she is also compassionate and intelligent. She doesn’t act impulsively, she thinks things through before she acts. The one thing that really didn’t seem in character for her, when she thought that someone was sneaking into her room at night to watch her sleep and she didn’t say anything to her father for fear of worrying him. Given their close relationship and the fact that he is her father, I would have thought that he would have been the one person that she would have confided in, instead she tells Henry, who she wasn’t all that confident of. This was not a major item by any means, just an observation.
Henry Weston was you typical gothic hero. Strong, mysterious, yet willing to put his heart on the line when the time is right. I have to admit, when we first hear about him, I didn’t like him at all. But once the story started to unfold within Weston Manor, and we got to see the real Henry, the one who could let his guard down with those that he really tursted, that is when I really thought he began to shine. He was always careful with Emma, always protective of her, willing to sacrifice for her, I mean what’s not to like?!
Lizzie was the most carefully crafted character of them all. When all was revealed, her part and why she did what she did, was marvelous! As a reader who loves mysteries, it’s always a thrill for me when the author can give me a twist plot I never have seen coming.
This is a bigger book, over 400 pages so the reader definitely gets their monies worth.
I thought the author did a brilliant job of combining the Jane Austin style with a creepy gothic feel as well as giving us several different viewpoints about people view on autism at this time.
This is the first book I have read by author Julie Klassen. I would have to say, I did enjoy reading this book, however, I felt there was a lack of connectivity. There was difficulty connecting to the characters and the fluidity of the plot was disjointed. The first half of the book was long and drawn out, then at the half-way point there was a plot twist that was more "random" than an "intriguing surprise." Then, towards the end, the romance and climax escalated rapidly in an awkward manner leaving several loose ends. I liked the author's writing style, the descriptions, and the history. However, I was sad about how un-relatable the characters were. Emma was, for the majority of the story, a very "boring" character. Prim and proper, and up until the end, she showed little backbone when situations were escalating to dangerous. Overall, this was a pleasant read. I enjoyed reading this book while on my lunch break at work. I would read more by Julie Klassen so this wasn't an utter disappointment. I guess to sum this review up, I would have liked to have seen more connectivity from beginning to end. I would have liked to see more consistency in the character's actions and behaviors and would have liked the plot to have been more fluid. (Plot twists are fine, just make sure they connect). Mainly, I would liked to have felt some connection with the characters, and that was not achieved in this book. The Biblical theme was well incorporated into the story and I think that this was the saving piece to this book. Emma did undergo a change of heart throughout the pages that brings her back to a relationship with God. I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
I loved, loved, loved this book! That’s one of the things I really like about historical fiction, you always learn something new! I knew very little about English boarding schools run by families in their home during the 1800’s. The author’s wonderful detail of day to day life and what education was like during that time was fascinating. Emma Smallwood helped her father run one such boarding school, Smallwood Academy, for young boys during this time. The death of her mother sent her father in to depression. As he lost all interest in teaching and acquiring new students, Emma became very concerned about how not only how they would support themselves but that they could also possibly lose everything. She remembered the Weston family who had five years earlier enrolled their two sons, Henry and Phillip in her father’s school. Using her father’s name, she contacts Mr. Giles Weston concerning the opportunity to teach his younger sons Rowan and Julian. Mr. Weston sends a requesting the come to his estate, Ebbington Manor, and teach they boys. She wasn’t expecting to leave their home and was even more surprised when her father is excited by the prospect and accepts the offer! Henry and Philip Weston, their former students have grown in to handsome men. Emma is stuck in the past by still viewing them as they were when they boarded with them as young boys and she a young girl. Henry was a prankster and always tormenting her. Phillip had shown kindness and that gave her a soft spot for him. Up on arrival Emma finds the manor intimidating and isolated as sits high on a cliff overlooking the windy coast. Not long after they settle in, things that can only be described as supernatural and very disturbing begin to occur. Some speak of the Manor being haunted, something Emma definitely does not believe in, but how can these things be explained? At first she thinks Henry is up to his old tricks. When she realizes he isn’t she wonders, how then can these things be explained? Emma shows great courage in seeking answers and makes startling discoveries of family secrets, even to the point of pointing herself in danger. To complicate matters and much against her will she finds herself drawn to one of older sons. Emma is also comes face to face with her rejection of God since her mother’s death. Many of her experiences and the straightforward faith of all people, Henry Weston, help her realize she cannot live her life apart from the Lord. Ms. Klassen’s writing was so very descriptive that it was as if I was walking through the halls and grounds of the Manor with Emma. The anticipation at times in almost unbearable! Nothing is as it seems and the surprises are totally unexpected. That is why I kept reading and reading when I should have gone to bed! Fiction, history, romance, mystery, and suspense, what more could you ask from a book. This one has it all. You will definitely want to read The Tutor's Daughter! I received this book free from Bethany House Publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
After reading this book I couldn't "get into" anything else for days! The Tutor's Daughter was just that good, it haunted me for days. I loved everything about it, there wasn't a thing that I didn't like about it! I don't read much regency era novels, but when I read this one it skyrocketed to the top of my favorites list, and I will definitely be re-reading it!
Emma and Henry's characters had such depth, and realness to them, and their relationship grew naturally and beautifully. There were mysteries and secrets, against a breath-taking setting, that Ms. Klassen brought to life magnificently, I couldn't help but fall in love with this book and it's characters!
Overall, this book had a wonderfull Jane Eyre feel to it, with mystery, romance, intrigue, and so many intricate threads that kept me guessing until the end! A new favorite for me, that I highly recommend!
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!!!
Book Summary: Emma Smallwood, determined to help her widowed father when his boarding school fails, accompanies him to the cliff-top manor of a baronet and his four sons. But soon after they arrive and begin teaching the two younger boys, mysterious things begin to happen. Who does Emma hear playing the pianoforte at night, only to find the music room empty? And who begins sneaking into her bedchamber, leaving behind strange mementoes? The baronet's older sons, Phillip and Henry Weston, wrestle with problems--and secrets--of their own. They both remember the studious Miss Smallwood from their days at her father's academy. But now one of them finds himself unexpectedly drawn to her.... When suspicious acts escalate, can Emma figure out which brother to blame and which to trust with her heart? Filled with page-turning suspense, The Tutor's Daughter takes readers to the windswept Cornwall coast--a place infamous for shipwrecks and superstitions--where danger lurks, faith is tested, and romance awaits.
Book Review: I really enjoyed Emma, Henry and Aunt Jane. They were great characters that you really felt like they were friends and people you could relate to. I found the mysteries to be fun. I like the one on the north wing, although it ended too quickly. I like the events that came from that but I would have liked a couple more nights of fear from it. The BIG mystery was easy to figure out. The only disappointing thing was when Emma believed the very people she knew were liars. That bothered me tremendously. Somehow they should have someone duped into lying to her, because she should have known they could not be trusted. The relationship between Emma and Henry was great. How they went from being at odds to friends was great to watch. I would recommend this story to anyone. It was full of fun memories like Jane Eyre, Mansfield Park (for me). I did not really see any Downton Abbey in it because Carson the Butler far exceeds Davies. I would like to thank Net Galley and Bethany House Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
"The Tutor's Daughter" by Julie Klassen is a novel that takes place in 1812 England. In classic Klassen style, Emma is an educated woman during a time when education on women was considered a waste of time. Emma was considered a "bluestocking". She was smart as well, and assisted her father in tutoring young men in preparation for university. At the age of 21, Emma and her father close up the school for boys and move to a manor to be the private tutor to a pair of spoiled, wealthy twins, Julian and Rowen Weston. While there Emma is surrounded in mystery, challenges, discrimination, and violence.
Klassen's books usually involve the same time period and a feminine empowerment of sorts, not typical of the time. I really enjoy Klassen and this book is no different. It is not a masterpiece, but it is a well written and enjoyable book. Emma is a clear character; Lizzie is a great contrast to Emma's straight and narrow. It is a long read, but with the mystery build, the action, and then the climax, I am not sure what could be cut out. I give it a B-.
Julie Lassen has written another one of her delightful, historical romance novels, The Tutor’s Daughter. Sir Giles Weston has written requesting Mr. Smallwood and his daughter, Emma come to live in his castle and tutor his two youngest sons. The castle is located on a windswept coastal area of England and is, in Emma’s mind, a very beautiful, but frightening place. Their presence however, is not exactly what Lady Weston would like, so she causes trouble for Emma and her father, treating them rather poorly.
Henry and Philip Weston, Mr. Smallwood’s former students, are also both in residence at the castle. Emma often recalls the teasing and tricks that they would play on her when they attended Mr. Smallwood’s school. Philip has grown into a very attractive man, but there seems to be something very special about Henry that draws Emma’s attention. She has no business being attracted to either one, as their station is so far above hers. Then the tricks start.
A handprint on her mirror, pages missing from her journal, a toy soldier on her floor, the pitiful cry in the night.
Is there someone who is in trouble?
Who or what could be doing these things?
Harry and David can’t still be doing these harmless but frightening tricks.
Then there is the ancient Chapel on the Rocks. What is it about the chapel that seems to draw Emma to it? Along with all the shipwrecks on the rocks far below, Emma has her work cut out for her. As Emma tries to solve all these mysteries, the truth seems to be just out of her reach.
You will enjoy the twists and turns of this 17th century story, The Tutor’s Daughter, by Julie Klassen.
Emma Smallwood and her father have the opportunity to become tutors in residence for the family of two former students, the Westons. One, Philip, was a good friend of Emma’s, the other, Henry, an adversary. But when they arrive confusion arises. Not everyone seems pleased to see them and there are secrets everywhere. While Emma’s father is happy to focus on the education of the two youngest sons of the house, Emma manages to become entangled in the intrigue of family dynamics and the beauty of the surrounding countryside. She soon begins to question who is her friend after all. I first read Julie Klassen when I picked up one of her earlier books from the library. I was looking for a new author and in the absence of a new book from my favorite author, Lawana Blackwell, I had heard that Klassen’s work was similar in some ways. It was good book. So when I was presented the opportunity to review The Tutor’s Daughter, I looked forward to it. Perhaps the most compelling part of this book is the beautiful descriptions of Cornwall. While Ebbington Manor itself is fictional it is based on several places Klassen visited on her tours of the Cornwall coast. This isn’t the first time I have been drawn to this beautiful place by the description of a talented writer. (Rosamunde Pilcher has made me want to pack my bags on more than one occasion). The descriptions of the Chapel on the Rock were especially poignant. I found myself wishing I had a retreat like that. While I was able to predict certain parts of the story line, others were total surprises to me until near the end
Julie continues to speak to my soul. She provides it all: mystery, intrigue, deep characters, history, romance, twists and turns. Just when you think you have it figured out, you get a twist. This book really keeps you guessing. I can see why others say there is a bit of Jane Eyre and Jane Austen in this book. I love Jane Eyre and I have enjoyed a few Jane Austen stories, and this really does have a touch of both.
This book starts the action pretty quickly, with in a few chapters. I really had a hard time putting it down. I even read it on Easter Sunday while with family (who were all taking after lunch naps) because I just couldn't resist. I kept reading because I just had to know who was doing what and who was really who they said they were, or were not, and who was doing all the "mystery" things.There were love letters slid under doors, things disappearing, smell of perfume where no one was, or so you think! Music coming from the pianoforte but no one there by the time you get there. A mysterious Mr. Teague that no one really seems to know much about, but he always pops up.
My favorite characters would be Emma, the main character, Lady Weston, the evil step mother if you will, and Henry who is one of the eldest of the Weston boys. There is one character that most would probably like, but not me, and that is Lizzie. She was very annoying to me, which makes her a good character in general. She talks way too much and is hyper, at least that is how I took her, so if she was a real person, she would drive me bonkers. I could hear her all squeaky voiced like Prissy in Gone With the Wind.
Emma Smallwood accompanies her father, former owner and headmaster of Smallwood Academy, to Ebbington Manor to privately tutor the two younger sons of Sir Giles Weston. The two elder sons, Henry and Phillip, had attended and received their tutelage from Mr Smallwood but since then the boarding school has gone asunder.
In this almost gothic-like novel, there is ample distress and mystery surrounding Ebbington Manor. The mood is weighty and dark much of the time. While the characters are likeable for the most part, it takes some adjusting to the time period to understand consequences to certain actions. The two young sons are teenagers and their behavior is quite bizarre at times. Aristocratic families certainly had a different way of dealing with their wayward young. What may seem too lenient to me today, was most likely considered appropriate action back then.
I thought Emma could have been a more dynamic character although she is the epitome of a well bred lady so perhaps she is portrayed just as she should be. From early on, though, I couldn't see what she saw in Phillip. He appeared too soft to me. I was routing for Henry the whole time. Was I disappointed? I'm not telling.
This book is teeming with intrigue and mystery. Strange cries and piano playing in the middle of the night, mysterious notes appear in Emma's room while she's sleeping, and so much more! When it seems so obvious who the villain is, the story line switches to focus on someone else and you are left hanging....and wondering....and plotting. Who is the villain?! I believe it almost drove me crazy that I couldn't be sure. I usually figure these things out by the half way point but I was absolutely in the dark until the very end and completely taken by surprise with who the villain turned out to be.
It's an enjoyable read but not my favorite of Julie's books. I was expecting more of an Austenesque type story and less Bronte. Maybe a bit more romance too. I still recommend it for fans of Historical Fiction because it kept me turning the pages to answer that one question: Who is the villain?
Bethany House provided a copy for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review, just my opinion of the book, which I have done.
Do you enjoy the English classics by Jane Austin or better yet the Bronte sisters? If so you are going to be delighted by The Tutor’s Daughter. Julie Klassen’s writing style is evocative of that classic form. I love to read works by Austen and the Bronte’s but one of the drawbacks is the old English style of language of the time frame and the multiple characters with similar names. Julie’s works are written in modern language and her characters are easily identifiable from the others.
The storyline is filled with twists and turns that add depth and dimension to the plot. The characters have a quality of realness that draws you deeper into the mystery. Up until the very last page you are led on a merry chase to find out exactly who is behind all of the sinister acts that keep happening.
For a modern quality of historical fiction, pick up a copy of The Tutor’s Daughter. In fact any book you see with Julie Klassen’s name on it is worthy of purchasing and savoring.
John Smallwood and his daughter Emma run a boarding school for boys. The story focuses on Emma, who is a young lady. When the family has trouble getting new students to enroll, they take up an offer to go live in a wealthy household to personally tutor 2 boys. The home is a manor house in England. It is fascinating to see how the family operates in such an environment. There are plenty of servants who work very hard. The description of the different rooms and the meals is wonderful to read about.
The story has mystery, and a little bit of suspense. There were also a few references to Gothic novels, which I didn't like. The brief romantic descriptions did not interest me, but I enjoyed reading about the student's lessons. Overall, it seems like a book that would do very well in the general/secular marketplace.
*Disclosure - I received this book for review purposes.*
The Tutor’s Daughter is Julie Klassen’s latest offering in the Regency Historical Fiction genre, a genre that she simply excels at. Verging on a gothic romance with her sweeping landscapes and mysterious moments of “things that go bump in the night”, she brings home a story full of secrets, romance and some pretty suspenseful scenes as well. We see her main character Emma Woodhouse, who is extremely prim, proper and structured, show growth in this story as her faith grows and her relationships with others as well. She truly learns to let go of the control she desperately tries to hold onto and surrender her life to God’s control. This story is reminiscent of Jane Eyre as it takes place in a grand sweeping house named Ebbington Manor in Cornwall, England. There lives the Weston family- the older sons, Henry and Phillip Weston- former pupils of Emma’s father-, their father Sir Giles, their stepmother Lady Weston and half brothers Rowan and Julian. Add in Lizzie a ward of Lady Weston’s and you have a houseful of people that add to the mystery and suspense that unfolds at Ebbington Manor. Who of these people is sneaking in to Emma’s house late at night leaving mysterious messages in her room, stealing her journal and playing music downstairs in the wee hours of the night?
Julie Klassen crafts a fun, mysterious and lovely historical fiction novel in The Tutor’s daughter. She is quoted as saying that she loves “all things Jane”- I do too! So for those that love to see the influence of Jane Austen, “Jane Eyre” and some well researched history of Cornwall thrown in , placed in a faith based novel, I am sure that you will enjoy this journey to Ebbington Manor in the form of The Tutor’s daughter.
I was provided with a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
I have read a few of Julie Klassen's books, and this was by far one of the better ones. This book delivered a beautiful story of love, and family. I was immediately intrigued by the characters and I wasn't disappointed as the book wore on. Although not an all time favorite book, this is a great read for all you lovers of historical romance peppered with a dash of suspense.
Emma Smallwood assists her father with Smallwood Academy, the boarding school in their Devonshire home. Enrollment is down, and her father hasn’t been himself since her mother’s death. Mr. Smallwood accepts an invitation from Sir Giles Weston to tutor his teenage sons at his home in Cornwall. Although hesitant to leave Devonshire, Emma accompanies her father to Ebbington Manor, hoping a change of scenery will lift her father’s spirits.
Philip and Henry, the older Weston sons, studied at the Smallwood Academy years before. Emma got on well with Phillip, the more personable of the two brothers. Henry was another story. He seemed to enjoy making Emma’s life miserable. Imagine her delight at the prospect of seeing Phillip again, and her trepidation over bumping into Henry.
The Tutor’s Daughter contains mysteries large and small. Unfortunately, the Smallwoods arrive at the Manor at a bad time. The Westons are in a bit of an uproar over something, but Emma cannot place her finger on what is happening behind the scenes. Unexplained events pop up at the most unusual times, and about the time one mystery appears solved, another surfaces.
More questions than answers find Emma puzzled and a little nervous. Does Emma’s friendship with Phillip fare well despite the mysterious happenings? Is Henry cold and uncaring, or has time and maturity mellowed his personality? Is Emma drawn to either brother, or one of them to her? If you like historical fiction with a dash of intrigue and a hint of romance, I suggest you pick up a copy and find out.
This book is a wonderful read. I liked Emma immediately; she is complex yet relatable, as are the other key players. The plot twists and turns had me guessing and always on my toes. Klassen’s classic, consistent style of well-developed characters and rich, appealing storylines is evident once again. Her vivid tales engage the senses, and direct readers to look beyond the surface and examine where their faith lies.
"The Tutor’s Daughter" is a book that has everything! Shipwrecks, ghosts, historical setting, Jane Austen-type romance, family secrets, mystery, a touch of adventure and suspense. Author Julie Klassen knows how to pack it in with characters whose actions intrigue and surprise. When the main character, Emma Smallwood, chose to pack her books instead of extra clothes, I was sold.
In this story Emma’s father, a grieving widower, is invited to leave his established, but struggling, boarding school for boys in order to become a live-in tutor for the two younger sons of a man whose older sons had attended his school. Emma, who has served as his assistant for years, is invited to come along. She hesitates to do so, but realizes, with the encouragement of her aunt, that a change of scenery will be good for her father at this time.
What makes Emma most nervous is the two older sons. Henry, the eldest, had teased her mercilessly while attending her father’s school. Emma doesn’t have much use for him. Phillip, on the other hand, had been a good friend, leaning toward a romantic interest. Emma worries over where they stand.
From her very first night in the Weston home, mysterious happenings keep Emma perplexed. Is Henry up to his old tricks? Who can she trust to help her learn whatever else is going on?
This is my favorite of Julie Klassen’s novels, so far. Fans of regency fiction will enjoy it, too. I thank Bethany House Publishers for sending me a complimentary copy for this honest review.