Title: The Silent Governess
Author: Julie Klassen
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
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.
The Silent Governess is a wonderful story of love and trust, misunderstandings and secrets set in Regency era England. As Olivia Keene seeks to put as much distance as possible between herself and the terrible secret she hopes to leave behind, she inadvertently eavesdrops on a conversation between Lord Bradley and his father, the Earl of Brightwell, and learns Lord Bradley has a dangerous secret of his own. An unfortunate mistake leads to a throat injury that temporarily renders Miss Keene mute. Lord Bradley, fearing Miss Keene will reveal his secret either in writing or once she regains the ability to speak, gives her no choice but to accept a post as under nurse on his estate.
It doesn’t take long for the reader to learn someone is threatening to reveal Lord Bradley’s secret. The mystery of who is behind the plot against him carries throughout much of the book, as does Miss Keene’s fear of her own secret being revealed. Another theme running through the book is the attraction between Lord Bradley and Miss Keene. Since a relationship between a lord and a servant is not a viable option, they both must fight their feelings. An element of faith is intertwined with the story, and occasional conversations with the vicar prod everyone in the right direction.
A well-developed cast of secondary characters, including a crusty old gamekeeper; a wonderful command of Regency-era English; and the right amount of description bring this story to life. Julie Klassen has done an amazing job of giving readers a glimpse back in time to the difficulties faced by the different classes in early 1800s England. I highly recommend The Silent Governess for anyone who enjoys historical fiction.