Summary: Olivia Keene is fleeing her own secret. She never intended to overhear his. But now that she has, what is Lord Bradley to do with her? He cannot let her go, for were the truth to get out, he would lose everything--his reputation, his inheritance, his very home.
He gives Miss Keene little choice but to accept a post at Brightwell Court, where he can make certain she does not spread what she heard. Keeping an eye on the young woman as she cares for the children, he finds himself drawn to her, even as he struggles against the growing attraction. The clever Miss Keene is definitely hiding something.
Moving, mysterious, and romantic, The Silent Governess takes readers inside the intriguing life of a nineteenth-century governess in an English manor house where all is not as it appears. (Summary from book - Image from http://www.amazon.com.uk/ )
My Review: I borrowed The Silent Governess in the hopes of getting some light evening reading done while my husband is in Hawaii on business. After all, if I'm going to be home alone with three kids for the week, I'm going to need to conserve my brain power at night so that I don't go all batty mid-morning.
In the beginning, this book felt more YA Romance than Historical Fiction. While I'm sure a great deal of research went into making certain aspects of the story correct, there was very little historical detail beyond manner of dress, custom, language, and the occasional mention of Parliament. I really had no idea what was going on in the time period of the book.
The story itself was simple and engaging with a fair amount of mystery and a wholesome romance. The author, Jane Klassen, is a self confessed fan of "all things Jane" -- both Jane Eyre and Jane Austen so it was not surprising that her story contained similarities to both in the writing style, characters, and thematic elements. Since I love both Jane's as well, this was definitely a plus!
My biggest complaint was that, even though I was interested in the comings and goings of the characters and the final outcome of the story, it seemed to take an inordinate amount of time* to bring everything together and to a close. Regardless, people who enjoy this kind of clean romance won't love it, but they'll like it well enough.
My Rating: 3.75 Stars. For the sensitive reader: No worries. Because this book is published by Bethany House, there is a slight Christian tilt to it, but nothing so over done as to put off a less religious reader.
Sum it up: A slower-paced Ibbotson with hints of Bronte and Austen that fell just short of all of them.
*Of course, that might have a little to do with the fact that I have Mockingjay (Book #3 in The Hunger Games Trilogy) waiting in the wings.