Tuesday, January 01, 2013

The Tutor's Daughter

Klassen, Julie. The Tutor's Daughter. Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2013.

Emma Smallwood assists her father in his preparatory school for boys. As she's going through the accounts and trying to find ways to bring more students to the school, she notices that the younger brothers of Phillip and Henry Weston have not come as she had expected. When she writes on her father's behalf to inquire if they might be interested in attending, her father receives an invitation to come to Cornwall as their private tutor. Emma is surprised by her father's acceptance, and as soon as their home is rented, they travel to Cornwall only to be to not be met at the station and greeted by a bit of surprise on the wife's part although the letter of acceptance and information about their time of arrival was sent in advance. Emma finds Henry and Phillip away upon arrival although Henry soon returns from his trip on behalf of their estate and Phillip takes a break from his studies at Oxford to come home. Things are disappearing, music is playing, and some try to blame it on a ghost. Emma doesn't believe in ghosts and sets out to prove that wrong. She receives a little help from one of the brothers. As one might expect, there comes a point of danger for Emma and that brother. This novel reminds me so much of the Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt novels that I enjoyed in junior high and high school. Many of today's romantic suspense novels add an occultic element to the novel that, as a Christian, I'm uncomfortable reading. Klassen's work gave me the enjoyment of those novels without that uncomfortable feeling. Although this is produced by a Christian publisher, it is not really evangelistic in nature, relying upon prayer in the face of danger and difficulty instead to communicate the faith of the characters. I look forward to going back and reading other books by Klassen now that I've discovered her work. Thanks to the publisher for providing the advanced e-galley of this book through NetGalley.  (4 stars)

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