The Silent Governess


TITLE:  The Silent Governess

AUTHOR: Julie Klassen

GENRE: Fiction, Historical, Inspirational and  Young Adult

SETTING(S) :  19th Century, England, UK

SUBJECT: 19th Century Life, History, Interpersonal relations

MAIN CHARACTERS :  Olivia Keene, Dorothea Keene, Simon Keene, Lord Bradley, Lord Brightwell,  Avery Croome, Andrew Howe and Audrey Howe.

SUMMARY:  After witnessing a horrible act of violence against her mother, Olivia fears for her life and flees from her childhood home.  She then finds her self at Brightwell Court the home of Lord Bradley where she accidentally discovers a secret.  Lord Bradley then hires her as the children’s (Andrew & Audrey) nanny to be sure she can be watched and can be kept silent. While being the children’s nanny she is earns the affection of the children and most of the staff.  Will Lord Bradley learn to trust her with his secret or keep her silent?

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The Silent Governess had my attention from start to finish.  The various mysteries of who did what, when and why keep the story interesting.  First mystery is who attempted to murder Olivia’s mother and why.  This does not get resolved until close to the end of the book.  Which I thought was the  perfect spot because it concluded to story perfectly.  If it had been resolved in the beginning then I fear Olivia & Lord Bradley would not have had the relationship they had in the end.  Second mystery is discovering Lord Bradley’s secret and resolving it.  This happens throughout the book and you don’t get to the truth up until the end as well.

Lord Bradley is conflicted with this secret because he thinks that it defines him as a person and his future career.  But ultimately it is the only thing that stops him from finding true love and having a trusting relationship with his father and Olivia.  Olivia has her own conflicted but their more geared to resolving situations & relationships.  Her conflicts in include figuring out who tried to murderer her mother, finding her mother and resolving her relationship with her father Simon Keene. The gossip attribute might not have been the greatest focus in the book but is one example how gossip and secrets are one of the greater evils in this world.  When people can not see what is in front of them they are the only ones who stop themselves from finding love and succeeding their goals.

Some readers might have found the plot and characters bland but I felt the characters were appealing enough to keep reader’s attention.  There might not be a whole lot of “romantic” material but the connect that Olivia and Lord Bradley was more real than if the author had placed a lot of “romantic” material in the book.  Plus much of that kind of material would have been prohibited between a woman and man at the time of 19th Century any way.  It was best to leave that stuff out to make the time period, characters and plot more believable anyway.