Emma Smallwood, determined to help her widowed father regain his spirits when his academy fails, agrees to travel with him to the distant Cornwall coast, to the cliff-top manor of a baronet and his four sons. But after they arrive and begin teaching the younger boys, mysterious things begin to happen and danger mounts. Who does Emma hear playing the pianoforte, only to find the music room empty? Who sneaks into her room at night? Who rips a page from her journal, only to return it with a chilling illustration?
The baronet's older sons, Phillip and Henry, wrestle with problems--and secrets--of their own. They both remember Emma Smallwood from their days at her father's academy. She had been an awkward, studious girl. But now one of them finds himself unexpectedly drawn to her.
When the suspicious acts escalate, can the clever tutor's daughter figure out which brother to blame... and which brother to trust with her heart?
First-off, I love reading anything that takes place in England during the early 1800's, so I knew that I would enjoy the time period and setting of The Tutor's Daughter! Secondly, the cover-art captured quite a beautiful scene, which very much piqued my curiosity. I had never read anything by Julie Klassen before this book, but I heard that she had a way with descriptions and well-constructed characters, which in my new-found opinion, is true. I identified with Emma from the beginning - more interested in books than a husband. Her mannerisms were well-developed and realistic, causing me to feel as if I was in the room observing her. The interactions between characters, especially Emma, Henry, and Adam were emotionally precise; the dialogue was very timely and properly accented. I appreciated that the plot held equal parts mystery and romance with humor and Christian thought interspersed throughout. The story was one that I had not heard before, and one of the characters (no spoilers!) had an affliction that I found very interesting to read about, especially because of the time period. However, there were a few grammar errors, and little more snogging would have been nice, but one must not be too picky! Overall, I quite enjoyed my trip to the cliff-top expanses of Cornwall, and hope to have the opportunity to read more from this author soon.
Rating: On the Run (4/5)
*** I received this book from the author (Bethany House) in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.