The Silent Governess
by Julie Klassen
Genre: Historical Fiction
Published 2009, Bethany House
Paperback, 438 pages
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.
Even though this book was a bit longer than I am generally used to, I didn't notice the length as the chapters were quite manageable and the plot had me guessing and speculating over what would happen next. The book reminded me of Jane Eyre, which I still have yet to finish, but with more modern language. I found it interesting how well the Christian elements were woven into the plot - dare I use the word tastefully. I've read books in which the use of Christian influence feels stilted and awkward, almost as if it were added in as an afterthought to appeal to a certain audience. This does not feel that way, this feels genuine and sincere, such as when Olivia does not feel she is following the path God wants for her and her father's remorse over his alcoholism. All of the characters were well-defined and the loose ends of each of their subplots were resolved by the end of the text very satisfactorily. I also found the "silent" theme entertaining in how it played a part throughout the text, and the various ways that it popped up, whether for humor or for a more serious note. While I likely would not have selected this text for my reading pleasure if it were not offered to me to review, I am glad that I was given the opportunity to read it, as I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent within its pages.
The Cover: The cover is beautiful in its simplicity, with a simple portrait of the main character, Miss Olivia Keene, and the background showing Brightwell Court. There isn't enough going on for there to be any mistakes lining up with what is in the text.
First Line: "For years, I could not recall the day without a smoldering coal of remorse burning within me."
This is a great first line, as I immediately want to know what happened on the "day" mentioned to warrant such strong feelings in the narrator.
Favorite Quote: "Come to think of it, she did not speak a word. Yet I could have sworn she had the most beautiful voice."
Read For: Pages Read Challenge, New Authors Challenge
*I received this book free of charge from the publisher for review purposes.*