The Tutor's Daughter

August 23, 2013

Title: The Tutor's Daughter
Author: Julie Klassen
Publisher: Bethany House
Pages: 412
ISBN: 978-0-7642-1069-3

Emma Smallwood, determined to help her widowed father when his boarding school fails, accompanies him to the cliff-top manor of a baronet and his four sons. But soon after they arrive and begin teaching the two younger boys, mysterious things begin to happen. Who does Emma hear playing the pianoforte at night, only to find the music room empty? And who begins sneaking into her bedchamber, leaving behind strange mementoes?

The baronet's older sons, Phillip and Henry Weston, wrestle with problems—and secrets—of their own. They both remember the studious Miss Smallwood from their days at her father's academy. But now one of them finds himself unexpectedly drawn to her...
When suspicious acts escalate, can Emma figure out which brother to blame and which to trust with her heart?

Filled with page-turning suspense, The Tutor's Daughter takes readers to the windswept Cornwall coast—a place infamous for shipwrecks and superstitions—where danger lurks, faith is tested, and romance awaits.
This was the first book I've read by Julie Klassen and I'm looking forward to reading more! The Tutor's Daughter was such an interesting story. As I worked my further into the story, I saw so many dimensions to it. As I read the book, I saw a lot of fun similarities to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, along with Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. The Tutor's Daughter is a story filled with mystery and questions. None of them are given up quickly and each clue or new questions keeps pulling you in, to try to figure it out.

Emma Smallwood has only ever known the life of a tutor's daughter. Her father has run an established school for many years. In those years, Emma has helped in many ways from keeping this neat to helping the boys of the school with their dancing lessons with the dance instructor. After the death of her mother, Emma's father has left more of the teaching to Emma and hasn't tried to bring in new students. Emma takes it into her own hands to try to find new students. Thinking of a couple of former students, she remembers that they had two younger brothers. Instead of the boys sending the younger brothers to the Smallwoods, the father asks if the Smallwoods could come and be the boys personal tutor at their house. From there, the mystery starts.

Emma Smallwood is a girl on the edge of spinsterhood at twenty one years of age. She is a girl who loves her orderly life. Everything has a place and everything in place. Her mother before she died kept getting onto Emma about her love of reading of scholarly books and how it isn't suitable for a lady. She never gave them up and held on tightly to them. Emma was a fun character to follow. She was smart, but she knew sometimes, you can't think your way out of things and help is needed. Emma was also a character that grew through the story.

Henry Weston was a great male lead. He was one of the first mysteries of the story and it was one that had to be pulled back layer by layer. He was an interesting character and a good example of that memories from childhood don't always stand up through the test of time. He is a determined character who in his own way compassionate, but he is careful as well. He doesn't flaunt his feelings around freely, which adds to the mystery of who he truly is.

I can't wait to read more by Julie Klassen! If you enjoy the stories (movies) from Jane Austen, I think you will enjoy The  Tutor's Daughter.

Too Read!
4 out of 5


  1. Hands down Julie Klassen is one of my favorites. I'm working through all of her books as well (about half way through!). I definitely recommend The Girl in the Gatehouse. Very Austen-ish and I saw lots of Mansfield Park (which is one of my fav Austen novels). So glad you've experienced Klassen!

  2. Jamie, I'm happy to hear that! I'm looking forward to reading more by Julie Klassen. Love that another book has an Austen feel about it! :-)


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