Keeping Secrets and Uncovering the Truth
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
TYPE OF NOVEL: Historical Romance, Regency Romance
TIME FRAME: 1815
MAIN CHARACTERS: Olivia Keene, Edward Bradley, Judith Howe, Lord Brightwell, Mr. Croome, Simon Keene, and Dorothea Keene
WHY I WANTED TO READ THIS NOVEL:
- Loved the previous two books I read by this author – The Apothecary’s Daughter and The Tutor’s Daughter
- I love reading novels about governesses (especially if there is romance involved!) Jane Eyre is one of my all-time favorite novels. My great-grandmother was a governess.
Forced to leave her home without any notice, Olivia Keene makes her way to a girls school a few towns away to seek employment. Waylaid by mishaps and misfortunes, Olivia ends up on an earl’s estate, temporarily unable to talk (due to damaged vocal chords), forced to work as an under nurse, and inadvertently aware of a very damaging secret…
WHAT I LOVED:
- Incredibly Readable: I loved how this book consumed me! It was excessively well-written and the story unraveled in such a way that I felt compelled to read more and more. Not at all easy to put down, I snatched every spare moment I had to read another chapter. (Finished it in 2 days)
- Embroiled With Secrets: Everybody has a secret in this novel. While we are privy to some secrets, like why Olivia ran away from home and what is the truth about Lord Bradley, we don’t know what became of Olivia’s parents, what connection Olivia’s mother has with Brightwell Court, or who is sending Lord Bradley these threatening notes…
- The Hero and Heroine: Once again, Julie Klassen creates a splendidly admirable heroine; Olivia is gentle, brave, caring, intelligent, and compassionate. I loved seeing her affectionate interactions with the children under her care. Lord Bradley is a complex character. He is untrusting, hard, changeable, and unhappy, yet at the same time he is generous, playful, and fond of children. It was such a delight to witness these two together and see the moments were their hearts begin to soften towards one another.
- Unpredictable: I thought I was so smart! I thought I had it all figured out, solved the puzzles, guessed the secrets…and…I was wrong! I love that I was wrong. I love that this story had a couple of unexpected twists and a surprising outcome.
- Factual Fiction: You can just tell that these novels by Julie Klassen are impeccably researched. Ms. Klassen’s portrayal of the governess’s plight is sympathetic and illuminating. The loneliness, the lack of appreciation, the tenuous feeling of security governesses experience are all superbly illustrated in this novel.
WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:
- Can’t think of a thing… 😉
A mesmerizingly beautiful tale with an abundance of intrigue and romance! Julie Klassen adroitly weaves together a story that immerses the reader and transports them to a bygone world of manor houses, governesses, and birthrights.