May 132013
 

Supremely Enchanting!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Publisher

TYPE OF NOVEL: Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Gothic Romance, Christian Fiction (lite)

TIME FRAME: 1817

MAIN CHARACTERS: Emma Smallwood, Mr. Smallwood, Phillip Weston, Henry Weston, Sir Giles, Lady Weston, Lizzie Henshaw, Julian Weston, and Rowan Weston

WHY I WANTED TO READ THIS NOVEL:
  • Everyone is always recommending Julie Klassen’s novels to me!
  • Julie Klassen is an ardent fan of Jane Eyre and Jane Austen (my kind of author!)
  • I liked the first book I read by Julie Klassen well enough to read some more!
  • I must branch out and read some non-Austenesque novels once in awhile!

WHAT I LOVED:
  • The Allusions and Nods: I loved spotting the many ways Julie Klassen paid homage to her favorite works of literature and authors! A secret engagement and a mercenary mother reminded me of Sense and Sensibility, a wing of the house that seems to be haunted by a ghost reminded me of Northanger Abbey and Jane Eyre, and with a father who boards and tutors young men I was often put in mind of Jane Austen’s father, Mr. George Austen.
  • Secrets and Intrigue: Mysterious piano playing, secret love notes, missing belongings – is Emma in danger at Ebbington Manor? What kind of family secrets are the Weston’s trying to keep from the tutor and his daughter? Oh boy! So many mysteries and suspicious activities! I just loved how leisurely they all unraveled!
  • Emma: Our heroine in this novel is just utterly delightful! She’s a nose-always-in-a-book, list-making, extremely organized perfectionist with a very giving heart. I loved that she kept a journal that held her astute observations and secret suspicions of the people in her life. And I loved that she had some flaws (she isn’t a “picture of perfection!”)
  • The Romance: *sigh* I thoroughly enjoyed the love story in this novel! With many misunderstandings, misjudgments, and mistaken first impressions – this loves story had a Pride and Prejudice feel to it. I adored the hero as much as the heroine in this novel and felt myself completely and resolutely riveted to their relationship!
  • Factual Fiction: Ms. Klassen portrays the hardships of a tutor’s life, the social norms of the era in regards to those with mental disabilities, and the profitable yet corrupt practice of “wrecking.” It was surprising to learn how much of the story was influenced and inspired real events and customs.
WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:
  • Sir Giles: I can’t really find anything that I didn’t love about this novel…the only mild complaint I have is with the character Sir Giles. I never really understood why he was so negligent and ignorant with his family and estate. I thought he might be because he was aging or losing his mental faculties, but that didn’t seem to be the case. It felt like he could have used a little more development.

CONCLUSION:

What a magnificent and magnetizing read!!! In her sixth published novel, Julie Klassen deftly and masterly weaves together a tale that combines romance, fiction, history, mystery, and faith.  I highly recommend this novel to readers who love and admire Jane Austen, Jane Eyre, and the Regency Era!

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  11 Responses to “The Tutor’s Daughter – Julie Klassen”

  1.  

    I haven’t read any of her books yet, but I’ve heard wonderful things and want to try them. This one sounds good. Thanks for sharing!

  2.  

    Meredith: I’m so very glad you enjoyed Ms. Klassen’s works. I have read all of her novels and I’ve enjoyed every one for different reasons. Only one was not my preferred cup of tea and just a personal preference. I finished reading this just before you did and I enjoyed your astute observations as usual. For me personally it’s a good thing to mix up my Austen and Bronte with a little Heyer, Klassen and Willig. When I go back to reading my Austenesque I’m a bit more refreshed for the topic again. I guess it just depends on the mood.

    •  

      Thank you, suzan! I was so happy I came across this one! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! I definitely agree with you about mixing it up! 🙂

  3.  

    The Apothecary’s Daughter was the first Klassen book I read, too. It wasn’t something I would normally have read, but I’m glad that I did.

    I thought I’d enjoy The Tutor’s Daughter for all of its nods to Austen, like Northanger Abbey (all the Gothic elements) and Emma (secret engagements, names Emma and Weston) and Jane Eyre (mentally ill people locked away), but it was actually a compelling story in its own right. I liked the intrigue and of course the oh-so-obvious romance. I thought some parts dragged a little bit, but Emma’s kindnes, bookishness and even her compulsion for organization won me over.

    Thanks for sharing your review. Even us Austenesque lovers like to step outside the box every now and then 🙂

    •  

      Yes, there were so many nods to Austen and Bronte in this one! Quite a lovely homage! I liked this one a lot more than I did The Apothecary’s Daughter. The romance was predictable but the mystery definitely had me guessing – in fact – I was quite wrong about who was behind all the misdeeds and mysterious occurrences. Emma was such a delight!

      Thanks for stopping by and expressing your thoughts, Heather!

  4.  

    The only problem I have with Julie Klassen’s books is that she copies names. I know, I know, I sound like a small whiny child, but it really bothers me. I’ve read two of her books, and there were Willoughbys, Ludlows, and Jennings’s. And now, in this one, there are Westons. But other than that, she’s a fantastic writer – cannot wait to get my hands on this one!

  5.  

    Hi Meredith!
    Today it’s raining in Madrid and I think this book would be a delightful way of spending the evening. Besides, the cover is beautiful! Don’ t you think a pretty cover is other charming reason to read a book? 😉
    Teresa

    •  

      Hola Teresa! I loved the cover, the colors and scenery are so beautiful and I can easily imagine it being inspired by a scene or two from this book. I know what you mean, sometimes a beautiful book cover is what attract me to pick up a book I normally would have thought of reading!

      I hope you enjoy some reading on your rainy day!

  6.  

    I just got the Apolthecary’s Daughter on my Kindle and am anxious to read it. Sounds like this one will be just as good! Thank you for the giveaway chance! Good luck in your future endeavors.

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