Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Silent Governess - A Book Review & Giveaway

About The Book:

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.

You can read an excerpt of The Silent Governess here.

About The Author: 


Julie Klassen is a fiction editor with a background in advertising. She has worked in Christian publishing for more than twelve years, in both marketing and editorial capacities. Julie is a graduate of the University of Illinois. She enjoys travel, research, books, BBC period dramas, long hikes, short naps, and coffee with friends.
Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. For more information, visit www.julieklassen.com

Q & A With Julie Klassen:


1.Why did you write The Silent Governess?


I have been intrigued by English governesses ever since my sixth-grade teacher read Jane Eyre
to us aloud over several weeks with real emotion and even mascara-tears. She (and the book)
certainly made an impression on me, and I have been fond of British literature (and
governesses) ever since.


2. Is Brightwell Court, the setting of The Silent Governess, a real place?


The Silent Governess is set primarily in 1815 in a small village in Gloucestershire, England. The
grand estate of Brightwell Court is fictional, but it was inspired by the very real, very
picturesque Bibury Court in the Cotswold village of Bibury, which the artist William Morris
called “the most beautiful village in England.” I chose Bibury because author Davis Bunn
recommended that my husband and I take tea there during our first England trip, which we
happily did. Not only did we enjoy the ivy-covered manor, the lovely grounds bordered by the
River Coln, and the greedy ducks that nipped at our scones, but I also realized it would make
an ideal setting for The Silent Governess.


3.Was research for The Silent Governess different compared to your other novels?


I found several new sources for this novel (beyond the pile of books I already own about life in
Regency England), including guidebooks written for servants in the early 1800s, journals of
former governesses, and texts used for classroom instruction at that time. As with my other
novels, Lady of Milkweed Manor and The Apothecary’s Daughter, I have drawn from these
sources and included brief, interesting excerpts from them at the beginning of each chapter.


4.Your past heroines have had unusual professions or abilities.How does your current
heroine, Olivia Keene, compare?


As opposed to the less familiar professions of my first two heroines (a wet nurse and an
apothecary), Olivia Keene finds herself working in the more common position of governess—
though very little about her, her situation, or her employers is common at all. And, similar to
Lilly Haswell’s (of The Apothecary’s Daughter) seemingly flawless memory, Olivia is a genius
with numbers. Given complex arithmetic problems, she instantly “sees” the numbers and
solutions in her mind.Wouldn’t that have been nice back in school!


5.What message would you like readers to take away from The Silent Governess?


That each of us should ground our identity in our relationship with God, and not base it on
someone/something else (family, profession, status, church). I also hope that readers who grew
up with less-than-ideal fathers will realize anew that, unlike imperfect earthly fathers, our
Heavenly Father is just yet merciful, and will make good of the bad things in our lives if we love
and serve Him.


6.What types of readers will enjoy this book?


The Silent Governess will appeal to fans of Jane Austen, inspirational fiction, Regency romance,
and historical fiction in general.

 My Review:

This book is the first by Julie Klassen that I have had the privilege of reading and I was very impressed. Though I honestly am not a huge fan of historical fiction, Christian or otherwise, I have to admit that The Silent Governess exceeded my expectations.

I am of the opinion that The Silent Governess was very well researched, therefore resulting in a very historically accurate fictional account of what life would have been like for a Christian living in the time of "Lords, and Ladies". This book was very easy to read and a very quick read. It held my attention throughout and had very well developed characters and plotlines, including a very tasteful romance. Again, though not a huge historical fiction fan, based on my experience reading The Silent Governess, I would definitely be willing to read more of Julie Klassen's previous work.

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up. 


BUY IT: You can purchase The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen directly through Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group, as of January 2010. It is also available through your local Christian bookseller.


WIN IT: 1 lucky reader will win a copy of The Silent Governess


TO WIN: Easy Peasy - comment on this post or any other post from the last week


EXTRA ENTRIES:


1. Follow this blog


2. Grab My Button


3. Subscribe via email


4. Follow me on Twitter


GIVEAWAY OPEN TO U.S. AND CANADIAN RESIDENTS


GIVEAWAY ENDS FEBRUARY 20, 2010


GOOD LUCK TO ALL!

****Thank you to Bethany House and Graf-Martin for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of review*****

50 comments:

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    ReplyDelete
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    kmkuka(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  22. Follower on Twitter also.
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  23. I have read one of Julie Klassen's other books - The Apothecary's Daughter and loved it. I would love to read this one. Thanks for the giveaway!!

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  28. I would love to be included in this giveaway. I have read her other two books and enjoyed them. Thank you. gasweetheart211[at]netscape[dot]net

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  32. I really like the message that "each of us should ground our identity in our relationship with God, and not base it on
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    Christine
    womackcm@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
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