I found The Tutor’s Daughter to be wonderfully written and completely in style with the rest of Julie Klassen’s books. This was a compelling love story mixed some mystery mixed in. The Tutor’s Daughter opens with Emma assisting her father, John Smallwood, at his academy for boys, although the academy is facing hard times since the death of her mother. Her father just doesn’t seem to have it in him anymore to teach or enjoy life in general. Emma takes it upon herself to try to find more pupils to keep the school afloat. She writes a letter to Sir Giles Weston, father of former pupils, Henry and Phillip, hoping he will send his sons, Rowan and Julian to their academy.
The Smallwoods’ soon find themselves at Ebbington Manor in Cornwall where they are to teach Rowan and Julian for a year. They are seen not as friends or tutors but as nothing more than servants and are treated as such. This treatment is harder for Emma than her father. Emma has been labeled as a bluestocking (a woman who reads all the time) and a spinster. The boys, Rowan and Julian have a dark side them, as does Lizzie, a young woman who is a ward of the Westons.
We follow through as Emma struggles with her feelings for Phillip and her disapproval of Henry (although these feelings are from the last time she saw them), with hearing noises that go bump in the night, having her belongings stolen, seeing unsavory characters around the manor, and having her life threatened. Throughout the story, we are able to see Emma grow and lose her childlike demeanor.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed The Tutor’s Daughter and couldn’t put it down. The history of the town was fascinating and it was great to see Emma grow into a young woman. I loved how at the end, she didn’t regret any of her decisions at the end. I also enjoyed reading about Adam – a Weston brother that was hidden away from society because he was different – even while I disliked how he was treated in the story due to the norms of the time and his disability.
Amanda loves spending time at home with her husband and their dog, Oreo. She loves reading, playing puzzle games, beading and watching movies. When she’s not reading, she’s working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Bethany House Publishers. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.