Silent Governess / by Julie Klassen.
Adult (HS) Rating: 5
Julie Klassen writes a tale of mystery, and romance, which includes a gothic influence (brooding hero, sweet heroine), and shows her love of Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. Klassen’s Silent Governess won the 2010 Christy award for historical fiction.
Olivia Keene arrives home to find a man strangling her mother. Hitting him over the head, Olivia thinks she has murdered him. Her mother encourages her to flee and seek a position at a nearby school. So Olivia leaves without knowing the identity of the man, and whether she has killed the man or not.
On her way, Olivia finds herself caught up in a dangerous adventure. She accidentally overhears a conversation between the Earl and his son, Lord Bradley. If Olivia repeats what she heard, Bradley will lose everything. So Bradley insists that she accept a position as his new governess and pretend to be mute, so she cannot spread his secret. As he gets to know her, Bradley finds himself drawn to her and realizes that Miss Keene has her own secret to hide.
Klassen infuses her Regency-era story with tidbits about expectations and life as a 19th century governess. Her story easily transports the reader back in time. The reader is so engaged by her richly-drawn characters and intriguing plot, one doesn’t notice the length of the book. Christian elements are tastefully and carefully woven into the plot. Klassen also includes discussion questions for the individual or book club reader. Silent Governess appeals to the general reader as well as historical fiction lovers.
Recommended for all high school libraries and fiction collections in public libraries.
–reprinted with permission, Christian Library Journal, August 2010.