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The Tutor's Daughter Paperback – January 1, 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 560 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

If Emma Smallwood doesn’t do something quickly, the Smallwood Academy will have to shut its doors permanently. So when the last student enrolled graduates, Emma persuades her father to write to Sir Giles Weston to see if he will consider sending his two youngest sons, Rowan and Julius, for tutoring. After all, John Smallwood had done an excellent job preparing Henry and Phillip Weston for university. Fortunately, Sir Giles is very receptive to the idea, but he wants Emma’s father to come to Ebbington Manor and teach the boys there. However, from the minute Emma and her father arrive at the Weston family home in Cornwall, someone, or something, seems determined to drive them away. In her latest captivating inspirational romance, Christy Award–winning Klassen effectively channels the gothic spirit of Austen’s Northanger Abbey, Du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn, and the classic novels of Holt by making effective use of her atmospheric Cornish setting and creating a plot packed with secrets and intrigue. --John Charles

From the Back Cover

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.

"[a] lovely addition to the genre...Regency/Klassen fans will love the mystery, romance, and drama." --Publishers Weekly

"A clever book that incorporates what readers love of Jane Austen, Downton Abbey and even a bit of Jane Eyre. The novel offers everything a historical romance reader looks for."
--Historical Novels Review about The Maid of Fairbourne Hall

"Klassen delivers another impeccably crafted romance rich in fascinating details about life both upstairs and downstairs in a country estate. An excellent choice for fans of faith-based fiction and readers who miss traditional Regency romances."
--Booklist about The Maid of Fairbourne Hall

"Well-developed characters, plot twists, and attention to period detail make this a sure bet for fans of Regency novels. A hint of romance will win Klassen readers who enjoy Catherine Palmer." -Library Journal

"A remarkable tale with many unpredictable twists and turns."--CBA Retailers and Resources

Discussion questions included.


JULIE KLASSEN loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. Three of her books, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Silent Governess, have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in St. Paul, Minnesota.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (January 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764210696
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764210693
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (560 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Emma Smallwood is the tutor's daughter. Her father has a school for boys--The Smallwood Academy. Together they're trying to run the academy after Emma's mother died two years ago. But now they have no students, Emma's father is melancholic and therefore not motivated to try to win new students.
Emma comes up with a plan and writes a letter to the Weston family. Two of their sons attended their academy a couple of years ago and Emma is hoping that the younger two sons will also attend their academy.
When a letter arrives from the Weston family, Emma and her father are invited to come to their manor in Cornwall to privately tutor the two youngest sons. Father Smallwood is exited and is looking forward to a new environment. Emma, on the other hand, is dreading to meet one particular Weston son--Henry, because he played a lot of pranks on her when he lived with them.

When they get there they are not expected and come at an inconvenient time. Nevertheless they are welcomed in the manor and bedrooms are hurriedly prepared.
Soon Emma will find out that someone is playing tricks on her. She is also hearing someone screaming in the night. On another night she's hearing someone playing the piano. And then she's hearing a story about a ghost who is hunting the manor...
Every member of the Weston family acts strange... they are hiding something, but what? Is there really a ghost? And who is trying to frighten Emma?

When Emma finds out about the family secret, will the pranks stop then, or will they get worse? And who of the Weston brothers will win Emma's heart?

I loved how Julie took me away across the pond to life in Cornwall. I also loved the mystery in this story.
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Format: Paperback
With shades of Austen and Bronte, Ms. Klassen has written this sweeping tale set in 19th century Great Britain. This novel gives you those delicious social class problems that only regency can give you and gothic settings reminiscent of Du Maurier. Emma Smallwood is a woman the reader will come to know well and love. I really like how Klassen tries not to let you know who the hero will be in the end, so I won't give away his name, but frankly, after meeting him you can't but love him as well. The Weston family--boy do they give Emma a run for her money with their mysteries and interesting ways. She stayed with that family far longer than I ever would. Spiritually, Emma has to learn to surrender to God; that she can't control every thing and every situation, and that ultimately you just have to trust God to work out situations. This novel has quickly become one of my favorites by Ms. Klassen, and I look forward to reading it again and again. Highly Recommended.

**I received this novel from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in any way.**
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Tutor's DaughterAs the back of the book states, in this book a young lady and her father, both teachers (private boarding tutors), are invited to be live-in tutors of two teenage boys. The family is know by the lady, Emma and her father, Mr. Smallwood, because they previously ran a type of boarding school whereby the two older brothers of the teens, namely Henry and Philip, had attended years prior. At that time, Emma's mother had been alive and Emma was a young girl--about 10 or so. It is with one of the two older brothers, now adults, that a romance springs with the heroine. The plot is intensified by the mysterious goings on that take place, much of which ends up happening to Emma.
The story is interesting and I do enjoy the writer's story telling skills. We are able to travel--through her pages--back into history, and visit a time and place that is very different from who we are now in the 21st century...and though I would not want to have lived during that time, I suppose if one needed to exist then, this house would not have been the worst of the lot. Well done. I do have some problems with the story - which is why I'm giving it 3+ and not the 4s or 5s the other reviewers have. It is related to the lack of proper reason for Emma being the brunt of so much hate and malice AND a lack of satisfaction regarding how she handled the various situations.
SPOILER ALERT*******
I felt Emma should have reprimanded Julian and Lizzie on numerous occasions--and ensured that they were properly dealt with--after all they're both under 18 years old--BUT she did not.
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2 Comments 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By Chels on February 15, 2013
Format: Paperback
All of the mystery surrounding the Ebbington Manor’s Weston family in Cornwall reminds me of Jane Eyre. Almost from the start, Julian gives off a dangerous vibe. His over-the-top anger at a tutor shows his true, nasty nature. Twin brother Rowen must step in to save the situation from becoming violent. Emma Smallwood appealed to me with her intelligence and her devotion to her father. Initially when she is still in her own residence and when she is with her Aunt Jane who lives and acts so independently, I admired Emma’s spirited independence in this era when women had no real voice. Later while in the Weston manor, Emma’s reactions surprise me. She doesn’t seem to have the same gumption anymore. Insults and threatening circumstances don’t bring her to speak up for herself, as they should.

Lady Weston is delightfully hateful! Her many secrets supply the cattiness, mystery, and danger in the story. I can’t believe that Henry tries to be kind, even apologetic…and calls her “Mamma” in the end. Her “business” dealings with the shady Mr. Teague aren’t the worst of her sins. Even when confronted with the crime against her stepson, she still tries to protect smirking Julian – claiming that a grudge has been held against her “natural-born” sons. Instead of apologizing for illegal activities, she threatens her husband with ruin if he does anything about them. Her reasons for keeping her “ward” at the manor are just as secretive and underhanded.

The story moves a little slowly at times despite the mysterious happenings at the manor. Henry and Emma’s romance is fun to read because of their history when they were younger.

*Received a copy for review, this in no way affects my review*
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