When Olivia Keene arrives home to find her father strangling her mother, she picks up the nearest blunt object and bashes him on the head. Fearing that she will be charged with murder, Olivia, with her mother’s help, flees. While en route to a potential position with an old friend of her mother’s, Olivia finds herself caught up in a series of dangerous adventures culminating in her arrival at Brightwell Court, where she accidentally eavesdrops on a conversation between Lord Edward Stanton Bradley and his father, the Earl. Realizing that the information the now speechless Olivia unknowingly possesses could ruin him, Edward insists that she accept a position in his family’s nursery, never expecting that the silent new governess might be his one hope of salvation.
The mystery is the main theme of Julie Klassen'd third book. Some descripbe it as Gothic, but it is really Regency with a great deal of surprises, some violence (nothing graphic, of course, just the mention of violent acts) and a new clue every few pages, which makes you keep guessing and reading on until the end. Mystery-wise it's excellent.
Of course, Ms. Klassen continues in the detailed period style and the easily-flowing written word of her previous books. This one is no different and just as good.
But there is a serious problem with the romance of this book. The hero distrusts the heroine from the very first, which is natural since he caught her eavesdropping on his life's most important and darkest secret. However, she is injured in the process and therefore he shows her some compassion, though not as much as would be expected from 'the man of her dreams', in my humble opinion of course. When she goes to live in his home, he gets to know her. He finds out about her integrity, her goodness, her intelligence and her capability with the children -that's why she becomes a governess.
However, his distrust of her doesn't diminish, in fact it grows in some aspects. To the point where his sister, who is openly antagonistic to the heroine, is readier to believe her than he is. This distressed me very much, especially since it is never redeemed in the book. At the end, he sort of apologizes, but his apology did not convince me nor did I feel happy about the heroine in her resulting relationship with him.
If a happy marriage is not based upon trust, then I don't know what it should be based upon.
On top of everything, the heroine has watched her mother being abused by her father for many years. I was sad to predict that she was forming a rather mal-functioning relationship herself, which was quite stupid of her.
Christianity doesn't play a great role in this book, but it is there.
P.S. This concludes our three-day delve into the works of Julie Klassen. I eagerly await her next book. Thanks to you all who read these three posts and also to you who commented. You are a great encouragement. Please let me know what would interest you for my next "Not Just With Words" post. Wallpaper (which movie?) or bookmark (which verse?). God bless :)