Emma Smallwood, determined to help her widowed father regain his spirits when his academy fails, agrees to travel with him to the distant Cornwall coast, to the cliff-top manor of a baronet and his four sons. But after they arrive and begin teaching the younger boys, mysterious things begin to happen and danger mounts. Who does Emma hear playing the pianoforte, only to find the music room empty? Who sneaks into her room at night? Who rips a page from her journal, only to return it with a chilling illustration?
The baronet's older sons, Phillip and Henry, wrestle with problems--and secrets--of their own. They both remember Emma Smallwood from their days at her father's academy. She had been an awkward, studious girl. But now one of them finds himself unexpectedly drawn to her.
When the suspicious acts escalate, can the clever tutor's daughter figure out which brother to blame...and which brother to trust with her heart?
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About the Author
JULIE KLASSEN (www.julieklassen.com) loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full-time. Three of her books, The Silent Governess, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Secret of Pembrooke Park was honored with the Minnesota Book Award for genre fiction. Julie has also won the Midwest Book Award and Christian Retailing's BEST Award, and has been a finalist in the Romance Writers of America's RITA Awards and ACFW's Carol Awards. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.
Read an Excerpt
The Tutor's Daughter
By JULIE KLASSEN
Baker Publishing GroupCopyright © 2012 Julie Klassen
All right reserved.
Chapter OneBefore, however, Lucy had been an hour in the house she had contrived a place for everything and put everything in its place.
The Naughty Girl Won, circa 1800
Five Years Later April 1817
Twenty-one-year-old Emma Smallwood carefully dusted the collection of favorite books atop her dressing chest. It was the one bit of housekeeping she insisted on doing herself, despite Mrs. Malloy's protestations. She then carefully wiped her cherished teacup against any dust particle daring to lodge there. The cup and saucer were a gift from her motherfine porcelain rimmed with real gold.
Emma set the cup and saucer back atop the leather-bound volume of Sterne's A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy. She angled the cup to best display the image on its sidea lovely painting of a graceful gondola in Venice.
Emma had never sipped from the gold-rimmed cup. But she did like to look at it. To remember her mother, gone these two years. To remember a young man who had once left roses inside it. And to imagine visiting Italy someday herself.
Morning ritual finished, Emma stowed her cleaning supplies and checked the chatelaine watch hooked to her bodice. She closed the cover with a satisfying snap. Precisely as she'd thought. Time to go down and send off their last remaining pupil.
Reaching the bottom of the stairs, she saw Edward Sims standing in the hall, fidgeting with his valise. He wore a smart frock coat and top hat, and looked the picture of a young man ready to take on the world.
"All set, Mr. Sims?"
He turned. "Yes, Miss Smallwood."
Though she was only four years his senior, Emma felt a fondness bordering on the maternal when she looked at the young man who had lived with them for most of the last three years. She glanced around the empty hall. "Has my father bid you farewell?"
Mr. Sims shifted and shook his head. "I have not seen him this morning."
Emma forced a smile. "What a pity. He shall be so sorry to have missed you. I know he wanted to be here to see you off."
Her father ought to have been there. But no doubt he had gone to the churchyard to visit her grave. Again.
Mr. Sims gave an awkward smile. "Tell him good-bye for me, and thank him for everything."
"And I thank you especially, Miss Smallwood. I learned a great deal from you."
"You are very welcome, Mr. Sims. I wish you every success at university."
From the front window, she watched the young man walk past the Smallwood Academy sign, and down the cobbled lane, feeling the wistful letdown she often felt when a pupil left them. This time all the more, since there were no new students to replace him.
The house seemed suddenly quiet and empty. She wished Mr. Sims had a younger brother. Six younger brothers. She sighed. Perhaps even amiable Mr. Sims would hesitate to recommend Mr. Smallwood as tutor, considering how little her father had actually been involved in his education. But how would they pay their cook-housekeeper and maid, not to mention the languishing pile of bills, without more pupils?
Emma walked to the desk in the family sitting room, pulled out the bound notebook she kept there, and flipped past previous lists:
Books read this year.
Books to read next.
Improvements needed to boys' chambers.
Places to visit someday.
New texts and primers to order for next term: None.
Diversions to improve Papa's moods/Improvement noted: None.
Pupils by year.
Her pupil lists, which had grown shorter with each passing year, included notes on each young man's character and his plans for the future.
She turned to the list from three years before, running her finger over the few names, lingering on one in particular.
Phillip Weston. Kind and amiable. Second son. Plans to follow his brother to Oxford and read the law.
The brief note hardly did him justice. Phillip Weston had been her only true friend among her father's pupils over the years.
Seeing his name caused her to turn to another page. Another list.
Prospective pupils for the future: Rowan and Julian Weston?
Emma thought again of the letter she had sent a fortnight before. She knew perfectly well Henry and Phillip Weston had two younger half brothers. Phillip had mentioned them often enough. Julian and Rowan were at least fifteen by nowolder than Phillip when he'd been sent to the academy.
But they had not come.
She had broached the subject with her father several times in the past, suggesting he write to the boys' father. But he had hemmed, hawed, and sighed, saying he was sure, if Sir Giles meant to send his younger sons to them, he would have done so already. No, more likely, Sir Giles and his second wife had eschewed their humble establishment in favor of prestigious Winchester, Harrow, or Eton.
"Well, it would not hurt to ask," Emma had urged.
But her father had grimaced and said maybe another day.
Therefore Emma, who had been acting with increasing frequency as her father's secretary, had taken up quill and ink and written to Sir Giles in her father's stead, to ask if he might consider sending his younger sons, as he had his older two.
She still could hardly believe she had done so. What had come over her? In hindsight, she knew very well. She had read an account of the daring travels of the Russian princess Catherine Dashkov. Reading about the princess's exploits had inspired Emma's rare act of braveryor foolishnesswhichever the letter had been. In the end, her letter apparently made no difference. Her assertiveness had been in vain, for there had been no reply. She hoped if Sir Giles had been offended at their presumption that word of it had not reached Phillip, who was, she believed, still away at university.
Turning a page in her notebook, Emma tapped a quill in ink and began a new list.
Measures to acquire new pupils.
Someone knocked on the doorjamb, and Emma looked up. There stood Aunt Jane, who had let herself in through the side door as usual.
"Mr. Sims departed on schedule?" Jane asked with one of her frequent smiles, punctuated by slightly crooked eyeteeth.
"Yes. You only just missed him." Emma set her quill back in its holder.
Her aunt laid her bonnet on the sideboard and smoothed back her hair. Amidst the brown, Emma glimpsed a few silver hairs that had escaped her ruthless plucking.
Jane, her father's sister, younger by six years, had never married. She lived in the house next door, which had been their parents' home. There she ran a sister school to the Smallwood Academya boarding school for young ladies.
Jane peeled off her gloves. "Dare I ask where your father is?"
Emma shook her head. "He's been gone since breakfast."
Aunt Jane pulled in her lips in a regretful expression, her shaking head mirroring Emma's.
Mrs. Malloy, the Smallwoods' cook-housekeeper, brought in the tea tray and seemed not in the least surprised to see Jane Smallwood there. In fact, three cups already sat upon the tray.
"You will join me, I hope?" Emma asked politely, knowing full well her aunt had planned to do so all along.
"Thank you, my dear."
As if drawn by the warm trail of steam from the kettle or the smell of Mrs. Malloy's shortbread, the front door opened and Emma's father shuffled in, head bowed, thin mouth downturned, looking older than his forty-eight years.
Mrs. Malloy bustled over to take his hat and muffler, scolding, "Mr. Smallwood ... yer shoes are a right mess! And wet trouser 'ems in the bargain. Did ya swim 'ome?"
"Do forgive me, Mrs. Malloy," he said dryly. Irony glinted in his round, blue eyes. "I did not step in that puddle to spite you." He wiped his shoes and looked across at his daughter and sister. "Am I in time for tea?"
"Yes," Emma replied. "Though you have missed Mr. Sims."
Her father blinked, clearly surprised and chagrined. "Left already? Good heavens. I wanted to be here. I do hope you passed along my gratitude and farewells."
"Of course I did."
Her father sat down, rubbing his hands together. "Chilly day. Damp too."
"You ought not to have stayed outdoors so long, John," Jane said. "You'll catch your death."
"I should be so lucky," he murmured.
Aunt and niece shared a look of concern.
Emma poured tea into their plain everyday cups, and conversation dwindled while they partook of the simple repast of hot tea, bread, cheese, and shortbread. Her father ate a little of everything, she noticed, though his appetite was not what it once was.
Emma nibbled bread and cheese but resisted the shortbread, though it was her favorite. Her slim figure was one of the few things her mother had praised. Emma allowed herself sweets only at Christmas and her birthday.
She sipped her tea, then set down her cup. "Well, Papa," she began, "I have started a list."
"Another? What is it this time?"
She felt a flicker of annoyance at his condescending tone but replied evenly, "A list of things we might try to acquire new pupils."
"Ah." He waved a dismissive hand as though the topic were trivial.
Her aunt said more encouragingly, "And what have you thought of so far?"
Emma looked at her gratefully. "A new advertisement in the paper. Perhaps expanding to other newspapers as well, though that would be expensive. A larger sign might help. Our old one is showing signs of wear, I fear. And hardly visible unless one is looking for it."
Aunt Jane nodded. "Yes, a smart, well-maintained sign is very important, I feel."
"Ours is fine," John Smallwood muttered into his tea. "It is not as though parents go wandering through the streets in search of a tutor."
Emma weighed her best course, then said, "You are exactly right, Papa. It is not passersby we need to attract, but rather well-to-do families farther afield."
His eyes dulled, and his mouth slackened. "I just don't have the energy for all of that, Emma. I am not a young man anymore."
"Oh come, John," his sister said. "You have many good years ahead of you."
He sighed. "What a depressing thought."
With a glance at her niece, Jane said, "You have Emma to think of, John, if not yourself."
He shrugged, unconvinced. "Emma is more than capable of taking care of herself. As are you."
At that, Emma and her aunt shared another long look.
If Emma didn't think of some way to help her father soon, they would be in serious trouble, both financially and otherwise. They might very well lose their home and schoolhis only livelihood ... and hers.
* * *
Emma spent the next two days combing her memory and the newspapers for names of families with sons who were not already enrolled elsewhere, as far as she knew. She was hunched over the desk when Mrs. Malloy entered the sitting room with the day's post. "'Ere you go, love."
Needing to stretch, Emma rose and looked idly through the stack, dreading to find more bills or final notices. Her hand hesitated on one of the letters addressed to her father. The return direction: Ebbington Manor, Ebford, Cornwall.
Ebbington Manor was the primary estate of Sir Giles Weston and his family. Excitement and fear twisted through her stomach and along her spine. She had all but given up hope of a reply.
Because her father left it to her to open his correspondenceespecially the increasingly depressing billsshe felt only minor qualms about lifting the seal and unfolding this letter as she had so many others.
She glanced toward the door with a twinge of self-consciousness, then read the lines written in what appeared to be a somewhat hurried hand:
My dear Mr. Smallwood,
Thank you for your letter and your kind interest in my younger sons. You are correct that they have reachednay, surpassedthe age when my two older boys left us to spend a few years with you there in Longstaple. However, Lady Weston feels that our youngest are too delicate to live apart from their mamma. While I personally think the experience would be as good for them as it was for Henry and Phillip, and would no doubt strengthen their developing characters in the bargain, I feel I must defer to my wife's wishes in this matter.
I don't suppose you would consider coming to Ebbington Manor and teaching the boys here at, say, twice the boarding rate? If you could but spend one year here preparing them for university, how ideal that would be for us. Of course I realize that is a great deal to ask, especially considering the loss of your wife, which I was very sorry to hear of. But if you ever desire a change of scenery, do not hesitate to let me know. You would be most welcome. Your daughter as well.
Yours most sincerely, Sir Giles Weston, Bart
Good heavens, what a thought. That her father would give up his established academy to tutor two pupils. What personal service that would be! Many young gentlemen, fresh from university but without fortune, served as tutors in grand houses. But to presume that Mr. John Smallwood would leave his home and academy to do the same ...? Emma felt offended on her father's behalf. Had word gotten around that the Smallwoods were in dire straits? Emma huffed and tossed the letter back onto the pile.
She stood there, stewing. But after vexation passed, she read the letter again. In reality, Sir Giles's tone was perfectly polite, nearly apologetic to even suggest such an idea. He merely wanted to see his sons well educatedall while kowtowing to his wife's irrational coddling.
The first Lady Weston, Phillip and Henry's mother, had died when the boys were quite young. And Emma knew from comments Phillip had made that his stepmother, the second Lady Weston, was somewhat difficultand that she favored her sons by birth far above her sons by marriage. Emma recalled feeling sorry for Phillip when he'd described his tenuous relationship with the woman.
Emma did not recall Henry speaking of his stepmother one way or the other, though she and Henry had not been friends and therefore had not spoken of such personal matters.
Emma thought of Ebbington Manor, a place she had never seen but had often imagined, high on a cliff on the windswept Cornwall coast. Of course she would enjoy seeing Phillip Weston again. But she reminded herself that he was away at Oxford, likely in his third year at Balliol. Not sitting at home waiting for her to visit.
Should she show the letter to her father? She doubted he would even consider the notion, not when he spent hours each day visiting his wife's grave. And if he did agree, what would she dopack up her father and send him off to Cornwall for a year while she remained behind with Aunt Jane?
On one hand, that scenario appealed to her. How many times had her aunt suggested Emma teach with her someday, eventually becoming Jane's partner in the girls' school, if and when she felt comfortable leaving her father on his own?
But her father still needed her. Emma had been helping him for yearsfirst during her mother's long illness and then even more so after she'd passed on and her father's depression of spirits began. Emma wasn't certain he was capable of managing on his own. Although, at Ebbington Manor, he would be responsible for only the boys' education, and not the administration of an entire academyjuggling day scholars, tuition notices, as well as special sessions with the dancing master, drawing instructor, and French tutor. Yes, it might help her father if his focus were narrowed. Yet Emma couldn't be certain, and she couldn't abide the thought of sending him away on his own. What if he should fail? Embarrass himself and suffer the mortification of being dismissed? That would be too much for him to bear in his current state.
You're fretting over nothing, Emma, she chided herself. He won't want to go.
But when she broached the subject after dinner, her father stunned her by straightening and becoming alert, looking at her with more animation than she'd seen in years.
"Did Sir Giles really invite us to come and live there?" he asked.
"Yes, but ..."
"Interesting notion ..." His eyes brightened as he looked toward the ceiling in thought.
"Father, I assure you I did not hint at any such arrangement, only asked if he might consider sending his younger sons to us here."
Her father nodded, but he seemed not at all vexed about the invitation, nor her presumption in writing.
He asked to see the letter, and she produced it.
Excerpted from The Tutor's Daughter by JULIE KLASSEN Copyright © 2012 by Julie Klassen. Excerpted by permission of Baker Publishing Group. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
i bought this book knowing i was going to the beach. I wanted a fun easy read. It was more than just that...i enjoyed the storyline, the characters the setting. all in all it exceeded my expectations. I enjoyed it so much i recommended this to my daughter
The book was very engaging but the plot and ending were pretty easy to figure out early on in the book. It's a good summer read... light, not complicated. Klassen's research into all aspects of life during this time is always thorough too.
Emma Smallwood and her widower father are the daughter and tutor of the title. They’ve been invited to Ebbington Manor, the seat of the Weston baronetcy to tutor twin younger sons from a second marriage. The two older sons - Henry Weston who went out of his way to tease Emma and his gentler brother who she considered her friend - had studied at the Longdale School with Mr. Smallwood. Other characters inhabit the Manor, some menacing, some inconsistent in behavior, one downright mean and ugly, are supposed to create a menacing atmosphere, especially when things begin to happen with Emma’s belongings, when there are strange sounds in the night, and when she and Henry are trapped in a rising tide. None of the hinted-at evil is truly evil though, and none of the characters were interesting enough to overlook weaknesses of plot, etc. Nothing that was revealed by book's end was at all surprising. In fact it took determination to finish reading.
THE TUTOR’S DAUGHTER by Julie Klassen is an interesting inspirational Regency historical fiction set in 1817 on the Cornwall coast. A fast paced story with a bit of Jane Eyre attached. Filled with secrets,faith,betrayal,education,healing,forgiveness,deception, a bit of romance and a lot of love. Follow, Emma Smallwood,and her father,an educator of young men on a journey of dark family secrets,as they embark to a cliff-top manor to educate a baronet’s two younger twin sons. Mysterious things begins to happen,Emma will learn a dark secret and find herself in danger. Henry Weston is the eldest Baronet son and has secrets of his own. He and his younger brother,Phillip were both taught by Emma’s father at his academy. If you enjoy Jane Austen,Jane Eyre,historical fiction,romance,Regency England,smugglers,shipwrecks,and superstitions, you will enjoy this adventure filled story of faith and love. Love blossoms as danger lurks. Family must stick together to get through the future,and leave the past far behind. A must read! Ms. Klassen has created another interesting tale of faith and love with her engaging,likable,and believable characters with an intriguing plot. Received for an honest review from the publisher. RATING: 4 HEAT RATING: SWEET REVIEWED BY: AprilR, My Book Addiction Reviews/My Book Addiction and More
It was with great relish that I received my advanced reader copy of The Tutor’s Daughter by Julie Klassen, published by Bethany House Publishers. As a long-time fan of Julie Klassen’s work (The Apothecary’s Daughter, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, among others), I hoped for a tightly-woven, historically interesting Regency romance. I was truly not disappointed. Emma Smallwood loves all things orderly and in their place. However, her devotion to her desolately widowed father drives her to join him in Cornwall, England as a tutor to a wealthy baron’s twin sons. Her memories of the twins’ older brothers, while they attended her father’s boarding school years before, bring both pain and excitement. Once Emma and her father arrive at Ebbington Manor, Emma’s life of order is set in disarray. Night-time visitors, chilling messages, and family secrets combine to threaten Emma’s peace. Of course, her feelings for one of the brothers disrupts her carefully arranged life as well. Who is causing the mayhem and how far will it go? Which brother has caught Emma’s eye and will he return her affection? The Tutor’s Daughter does not disappoint in its fully developed characters, descriptive setting, and interesting plot. Not only are the main characters’ reactions believable and accurate, but also the supporting casts’. Klassen’s attention to historical detail adds remarkable depth to the plot and characters. I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Tutor’s Daughter and joyfully give it five stars. « Fun and Fast-paced Remarkable Plot and Characters – Book Review of The Tutor’s Daughter by Julie Klassen December 13, 2012 by mixednutts | Edit Tutor'sDaughter_mck.indd It was with great relish that I received my advanced reader copy of The Tutor’s Daughter by Julie Klassen, published by Bethany House Publishers. As a long-time fan of Julie Klassen’s work (The Apothecary’s Daughter, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, among others), I hoped for a tightly-woven, historically interesting Regency romance. I was truly not disappointed. Emma Smallwood loves all things orderly and in their place. However, her devotion to her desolately widowed father drives her to join him in Cornwall, England as a tutor to a wealthy baron’s twin sons. Her memories of the twins’ older brothers, while they attended her father’s boarding school years before, bring both pain and excitement. Once Emma and her father arrive at Ebbington Manor, Emma’s life of order is set in disarray. Night-time visitors, chilling messages, and family secrets combine to threaten Emma’s peace. Of course, her feelings for one of the brothers disrupts her carefully arranged life as well. Who is causing the mayhem and how far will it go? Which brother has caught Emma’s eye and will he return her affection? The Tutor’s Daughter does not disappoint in its fully developed characters, descriptive setting, and interesting plot. Not only are the main characters’ reactions believable and accurate, but also the supporting casts’. Klassen’s attention to historical detail adds remarkable depth to the plot and characters. I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Tutor’s Daughter and joyfully give it five stars. Please enjoy the trailer for The Tutor’s Daughter from Bethany House. **I received an advanced reader copy of The Tutor’s Daughter from Bethany House for no cost. My opinion is my own.**
This story combined mystery romance & a descriptive setting. The chapters were realistic & showed growth as the story continued. It gave a view into the lives of the Era in which it was written . One of the best stories I have read in a while.
Loved the story line
Throughly enjoyed this book! It's a great read & I hope you find time to enjoy it as well!
Was a pretty good story. There’s not much romance in it though. Everything was very tepid between the two main characters. I think would have given it another star if it was marketed as mystery rather than romance. The mystery aspect was very diverting. However, the side characters themselves were very flawed and not redeemed well enough in my opinion. They got off too easy. The main characters seemed unrealistically forgiving of all that happened to them. 3/4 of the way through the book, it started sermonizing about God and faith & religion & stayed that way till the end. I picked this up to read about romance, not religion.
Loved it from beginning to end
One of my most favorite authors. If you liked this you will LOVE Maid of Fairbourne Hall. Thank you to my sweet grandma for giving me Maid of Fairbourne Hall. READ IT! Adios!
I liked the part where Emma was saying goodbye to their last student.
When I started reading this book, I knew I recognized the writing style, but I couldn't place it until I noticed it was the same author as "The Maid of Fairbourne Hall." And then I knew I was going to love the book, and that is a vast understatement! This book reads like a classic. The author loves Jane Austen and "Jane Eyre," and this comes through clearly in the style and the story. Indeed, Julie Klassen has got to be one of the finest Christian historical fiction authors out there today, and I would love to read every single book she has ever written and ever will write. This book has it all--romance, history, mystery, intrigue, and so much more. I found myself so enraptured with the story that I did not want to put it down. It is a 400-something page book, but it never dragged. The characters were well-developed, and you couldn't help but love Emma and Henry. I have to admit that I wasn't even sure how the romance would play out, but the ending was exactly as it should have been. No sappy romance--just true love. Oh, and it almost goes without saying--no sex scenes nor profanity. The Christian message is woven expertly into the novel without beating you over the head with it. This is always what I appreciate about well-written Christian fiction. The gospel is never out of place in the book. The characters are real and come to rely on God in a special way. I would not think that this kind of book would appeal to any historical romance fans out there, and you are guaranteed a clean read. I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
This was my first book of Julie Klassen's and I enjoyed it much! The mystery and romance were quite enchanting and Emma Smallwood and the other characters captivating. I look forward to reading more books by her.
Exceptionally GOOD! 2nd book I've read and i she still has been hooked. I will be continue reading her books, i am looking forward to more.