Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Tutor's DaughterThe Tutor's Daughter by Julie Klassen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this beautifully written Regency era romance/mystery novel. Reminiscent of Jane Eyre, there appears to be a mysterious stranger (a mad woman in the attic?) who is prone to wandering around late at night. That mystery is solved about halfway through the book but there are many more sinister goings-on which kept me anxiously turning the pages. The character development is excellent--believable and consistent. The various plot threads, with plenty of unexpected twists, are skilfully woven together and the romance is charmingly done. Klassen is known as a "Christian author" who tastefully weaves her message into her fiction without beating you over the head with it. Here is an example:

“Do you not pray, Miss Smallwood?'
She avoided his gaze. 'No.'
'God is speaking to you every day,' he said softly. 'You might return the favor.'
She raised her chin. 'I don't hear Him.'
'Do you listen?'
She looked at him, clearly offended, then turned away again. 'I used to pray, until I found God was not listening, at least not to my prayers.'
...[He] heard the inner voice of caution but barreled ahead. 'He was listening. But He doesn't always answer the way we would like Him to.”

Downtown Abbey fans along with readers who love Jane Austen and Daphne du Maurier, will enjoy this entertaining book.

More favorite quotes:
“We all of us die, Miss Smallwood,' he interrupted. 'But we don't all of us make our lives count for something. How much better to die saving another soul than to stand safe on shore and do nothing while others perish?”
"Thunder and turf!"
“Make your life count, Henry David Weston. For when you reach the end of your days, you will not look back and wish you'd garnered more money, or power, or fame. You will look back and wish that you had been a better parent, spouse, friend, and Christian. And you will wish for just a little more time with those you love.”

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