The Tutor’s Daughter by Julie Klaussen is unexpected. The usual predictable love story takes a sharp right turn from ordinary into beautiful.
Emma Smallwood is the daughter of a local tutor of a private school. However, since her mother’s death the school’s population has petered. Fewer children are enrolled. Emma’s father has lost most of his enthusiasm for teaching. Emma worries about their future. She writes the Weston’s, hoping the presence of their younger children might encourage greater enrollment from other wealthy parents.
Writing the Westons brings back memories of Henry and Philip Weston—brothers who shared the same grade with Emma. Henry always picked on Emma when they were children. Philip was the opposite of Henry—kind-hearted and thoughful. Emma is still very much in love with Philip. After writing to see if the Westons intend to send their other younger children to the private school, Emma is surprised to get a favorable reply. Moreover, a reply which includes excellent money to teach the two younger sons. The job comes with strings.
Emma and her father must move into the Weston house as Mrs. Weston doesn’t like to be far from her two youngest. Her father is thrilled. In a touching father-daughter moment, Emma’s father mentions how much the school and the house bring him down. Everywhere he walks he sees his deceased wife. This new job would get him away from the memories. Reluctantly, Emma agrees to the job in spite of her insecurities and fears. She hopes to find Philip at the Weston house and find a way to totally avoid Henry. Her father and Emma’s first day is anything but ideal.
No one waits for them in the village at the bottom of the hill to escort them to the Westons’ property. Emma and her father hire a carriage and arrive at the Westons’ home only to discover Mr. Weston had forgotten about their hiring and Mrs. Weston feels immediate contempt for Emma. And things become weird.
Music is played at night. Things go missing from Emma’s room. Something dark threatens Emma’s life every day that she resides on the Weston property. The story begins to change from predictable to unpredicatable as the mystery grows. Snatches of conversation are heard that only intrigue Emma more and her feelings for Philip change. Unexpectedly, it is Henry her heart flutters after, but Henry is wealthy and Emma is a tutor’s daughter. As the danger increases so do the feelings between Henry and Emma to the very explosive end when all intrigue is revealed. Then, the agonizing suspense of separation that make you wonder if Emma and Henry will ever get back together.
The Tutor’s Daughter earned five stars. I began and ended the novel on the same day. The action and romance kept me turning the pages.
*Book given to me by the publisher to review. Leave a comment on this post until Friday, March 8. One entry per person. Winner will be drawn on Saturday, March 9.