The Silent Governess
In mid-19th century Britain, an imminent threat causes Olivia Keene to flee her home, separating her from the mother she loves and the father she fears. On her way to a girls’ school, Olivia overhears a conversation between Lord Brightwell and his son Lord Bradley, in which the father admits that the son is adopted. When Lord Bradley learns that Olivia has heard his secret, he hires her into his household to keep an eye on her. A recent accident has made Olivia temporarily mute, and so she cannot betray his secret which would ruin his place in society.
This is a simple summary of a complex story. Klassen weaves a complicated tapestry of love and suspense that is not easily unfurled. Every character seems to have a secret, and their pasts are displayed and unwoven in a sophisticated and satisfying manner. The central love affair is surprisingly suspenseful, as the familial relationship between the lovers is enigmatic; the romance is chaste, this being a Christian novel, but the story’s religious elements are subtle and natural. Klassen devotees will be pleased by The Silent Governess, and readers new to Klassen will dash to the shelves to discover her other romances.