The Tutor’s Daughter by Julie Klassen (Book Review)

A girl will go to any lengths to help her tutor father, but she might fight more mystery and drama than she had bargained for when they move to a cliff-top home of a baronet and his sons.

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Title: The Tutor’s Daughter
By: Julie Klassen

ISBN: 9780764210693 (Paperback)
ISBN: 9781441261090 (E-book)

You can watch a video trailer or read an excerpt.

My Review: Four Stars
After leaving the boarding school and their only family behind for a live-in tutoring position, Emma and her father are dismayed at their less-than-warm welcome in their new cliff-top home. The Westons have their share of secrets and Emma still can’t bring herself to trust the oldest son Henry after his cruel pranks when he attended the boarding school. Still, she is glad to find a friend in Mrs. Weston’s ward, Lizzie. Philip Weston seems to be happy to resume their friendship where it left off when he left the boarding school years ago. But who mysteriously plays the piano and enters Emma’s room at night? Who is responsible for the theft of her journal and threatening picture left in her room? Why are members of the community and some of the Weston family not interested in Henry’s project to make it easier to save lives during shipwrecks? And how is it that Emma finds herself letting her guard down in Henry’s presence?

The Tutor’s Daughter has a distinct traditional gothic novel feel, with mystery and suspense woven through each chapter. It’s easy to empathize with Emma as she copes with the turn her life has taken and learns that God does indeed answer prayers – just not always in the way we might want or expect. Even when her circumstances are frightening and she doesn’t know what will happen, God is still in control and she needs to trust in Him. In the people around her she can see the dire consequences of not following God. While she is learning these important lessons, she is able to find love and happiness along the way in a place she didn’t expect to find it.

Julie Klassen’s stories are written in the spirit of Jane Austen. The issues are real, the characters are believable, and the settings are vividly described. She is one of my favorite authors and I highly recommend all her books for anyone who enjoys historical romance and drama.

Visit JulieKlassen.com for more information. The book is available from Bethany House, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Be on the lookout for her new novel releasing July 2015, Lady Maybe.

 

Cover of The Tutor's Daughter by Julie Klassen

Cover of The Tutor’s Daughter by Julie Klassen

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Author recommendation: Melanie Dickerson

In keeping with the topic of fairy tales, I have an author to recommend to you – Melanie Dickerson.

I discovered her books in the bookstore at the 2012 ACFW conference. I was browsing around in between workshops and not looking for anything in particular when a couple of books caught my eye. They had pretty covers and intriguing description and they had the tantalizing hint of happily-ever-afters. Plus they were a good deal since it was at the conference. So I bought them. And fell in love with them.

We’ve already established how much I love fairy tales, and you all know I write fantasy. Melanie Dickerson’s books combine both of those things. The two I’ve read so far incorporate a fairy tale theme in a Christian-based fantasy taking place in a historical type of setting with people that could be real. And don’t forget the romance! The characters are distinct and have their individual struggles and I was enthralled from the first page of both.


The Healer’s Apprentice
– Rose has been given the change to act as healer’s apprentice, despite her queasiness at the sight of blood. She’s determined to succeed in this opportunity. Her only other option is to marry a (in my opinion, disgusting) merchant who is much older than she is. Because she is in this place, she is the one who tends the future duke when he is injured. There is no way she can allow herself to fall in love with him – the young lord is betrothed already. His betrothed has been in hiding most of her life because of a threat made against her long ago.

The Merchant’s Daughter – When Annabel’s family finds themselves no longer wealthy, she ends up an indentured servant to a reclusive lord. All the rumors she’s heard of him make him out to be a frightening person. His bailiff certainly is horrible, and does nothing to hide his interest in Annabel. His advances cause more discomfort for Annabel. Over time, she comes to enjoy her time spent with Lord le Wyse, but she gets wrapped up in circumstances that could severely endanger him.

 

These are the kinds of stories I think of when I say “historical fantasy.” With the fairy tale aspect they are right up my alley. These books will appeal to readers who enjoy reading fantasy, and readers who enjoy reading historical fiction. You don’t have to like both to enjoy the stories woven in these settings. The covers are gorgeously done, too!

I have ordered Melanie Dickerson’s other books and eagerly await their arrival. Let me know what you think if you have read her stories, and if you have anything similar to recommend, do share.