The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen – My Review

Bethany House (January 1, 2010)
I should have guessed other readers of the genre knew what they were talking about. Though this was my first taste of Klassen’s writing she has definitely become a must read after just one book. Thankfully I have her two earlier books somewhere in my TBR to sate my reading appetites for historical novels if needed till another new one comes along. Olivia Keene though the daughter of a villager and a displaced gentlewoman, is raised with as complete an education as possible and goes on to use her knowledge and talents to educate young ladies of the following generation. When she happens upon a man attacking her mother, she attempts to protect her and attacks him thinking it is her father under the influence of liquor. As time goes on both her mother and father disappear as does Olivia herself but their paths are fated to intersect mysteriously once again and truth that was garbled then eventually arrives at the logical conclusion of a tangled course. Though it takes several tries to piece together the perplexing bits of fact that can still be traced, the reality of circumstances eventually corroborate a very different story from what anyone expected to encounter. While Klassen’s tale is much brighter in tone than Bronte’s Jane Eyre, it is still highly reminiscent in content of that famous narrative involving orphaned youngsters with unknown or questionable lineage who still managed to acquire the knowledge of a privileged education. Unfit by provenance for a life of leisure they find themselves limited to the position of a governess where they are considered not a servant yet not an equal of the family either or teaching in a school where station doesn’t signify provided they are bright enough to impart the esoteric subjects to children whose family name or status won’t gain them entry to the famous institutions that the noble classes enjoy despite their nonchalant attitudes at times toward an honest education.
(ISBN#9780764207075, 448pp, $14.99)

Codicil:
Stop by Julie’s site. Click the bookcover above for more information or to purchase a copy. Thanks to the publisher for a review copy.

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