I had read at least one other book by Julie Klassen, so when I saw The Silent Governess at my local public library, I was excited to read it.
I wasn't disappointed. The book begins with the heroine in a desperate plight, and the tale never loses the reader's interest.
Olivia Keene is a lovely, gracious and sympathetic heroine, and Edward is an attractive but subtle love interest.
This summary from amazon.com:
"When Olivia Keene arrives home to find her father strangling her mother, she picks up the nearest blunt object and bashes him on the head. Fearing that she will be charged with murder, Olivia, with her mother’s help, flees. While en route to a potential position with an old friend of her mother’s, Olivia finds herself caught up in a series of dangerous adventures culminating in her arrival at Brightwell Court, where she accidentally eavesdrops on a conversation between Lord Edward Stanton Bradley and his father, the Earl..."
Initially speechless due to an injury, Edward hires Olivia to help in the nursery, but demands she remain silent about what she knows, even when her speech returns.
This story has fully enough romance, suspense, and Gothic atmosphere to please any Jane Eyre fan, and I am certainly that!
One of the many things I love about Julie Klassen's writing is that her characters AND her narrative have a voice that's authentic to the period she's writing about. You won't find Klassen's 19th-century characters poppping up with any modern-day slang, and not only the dialogue, but the narration, use language befitting the era.
Klassen also seems to find a way to put an extra twist or two into the story to make sure it's not a cookie-cutter tale.
This is the perfect book to snuggle up with on a chilly fall evening with a cup of hot tea or cider. I highly recommend it!
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