Thursday, January 14, 2010

Julie Klassen's The Silent Governess ~ Reviewed

The Silent Governess
by Julie Klassen
Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Bethany House; Original edition (January 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0764207075

Book Description:

Believing herself guilty of a crime, Olivia Keene flees her home, eventually stumbling upon a grand estate where an elaborate celebration is in progress. But all is not as joyous as it seems…. Lord Bradley has just learned a terrible secret, which, if exposed, will change his life forever. When he glimpses a figure on the grounds, he fears a spy or thief has overheard his devastating news. He is stunned to discover the intruder is a scrap of a woman with her throat badly injured. Fearing she will spread his secret, he gives the girl a post and confines her to his estate. As Olivia and Lord Bradley's secrets catch up with them, will their hidden pasts ruin their hope of finding love?

Review and rating: 5 of 5 stars

Holding a flavoring of "Jane Eyre" and a hint of "The Importance of Being Earnest" fully in the environment of a regency tale, "The Silent Governess" brings forth mystery and intrigue with romance to make your heart melt. Previously while reading the first two novels by Julie Klassen I was appreciative, becoming after the second novel a true fan. The words on her page teach lessons and mold your heart into loving her characters and their fictitious lives. Just moments away from finishing this novel I can already tell you that I cannot wait for the next wonderful story from the imagination of Author Julie Klassen.

Olivia Keene has a journey to endure before she can possibly get what she truly desires and that is only if the cards turn in her favor. Following the mystery of memories, inheritance, relatives and secrets with wild dogs, frightening poachers, scheming gentry, and spoiled cousins imaginations run wild and truths are hard to hold onto. What really matters in the end is a big question and each chapter gets the readers closer to solutions to the equations put forth.

Once again Julie thrills with perfect quotes at the beginning of each chapter and it is truly apparent that her research it thorough and fun. More please! Now I just might have to go read some Jane Austen.

*Thanks to Julie Klassen and Bethany House Publishers for providing a copy for review.*

Reviewed by: Margaret Chind

Bonus Review:

Olivia Keene is fleeing her own secret. She never intended to overhear his. But now that she has, what is Lord Bradley to do with her? He cannot let her go, for were the truth to get out, he would lose everything—his reputation, his inheritance, his very home.

He gives Miss Keene little choice but to accept a post at Brightwell Court, where he can make certain she does not spread what she heard. Keeping an eye on the young woman as she cares for the children, he finds himself drawn to her, even as he struggles against the growing attraction. The clever Miss Keene is definitely hiding something.

Moving, mysterious, and romantic, The Silent Governess takes readers inside the intriguing life of a nineteenth-century governess in an English manor house where all is not as it appears.

This is author Julie Klassen’s third novel, and I must say, my favorite one so far. Her attention to detail, to historical accuracy, completely transports the reader to Regency England. I can only imagine how much time she puts into research.

Ever since Jane Eyre, the life of a governess has been somewhat romanticized. Klassen puts a stop to that by relating just how lonely that life can be. Not part of the staff yet not part of the family, a governess spends her time with children or by herself. No wonder they tended to be cranky or depressed.

But The Silent Governess isn’t only about such a position. There’s plenty of intrigue and romance as the plot twists and turns so that sometimes you might wonder which end is up. Klassen ties it all up neatly, however, at the end.

This is a definite must read for lovers of historical fiction, but there’s also a fair amount of mystery and romantic interest for fans of those genres as well. Overall, a delightful read that ought to be on any book hound’s shelf.

Reviewed by: Michelle Griep

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