It's been a long time since I've read a book set during the Regency period. I'd forgotten how enjoyable such stories can be.
The Silent Governess falls squarely in the enjoyable category. It's a long book, over 400 pages, but reads quickly with all the absorbing plot turns. The story concerns Miss Olivia Keene, who flees her home believing she's committed an unforgivable act. Her flight ends in a stolen moment outside Brightwell Court, a sprawling manor house some distance from her home.
Quite by accident she overhears Lord Bradley and his father speak of a deep family secret. When she is discovered outside the manor, Lord Bradley feels his only choice is to bring her into service in the home, to better ensure that she won’t reveal his secret. Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer, as the saying goes.
The book gets its title from a combination of circumstances which leave Olivia mute. Since no one in the community where she finds herself knows she can speak, people believe her to be truly unable to speak. Even though Lord Bradley is not fully convinced that she’s not pretending to be mute, her affliction plays into his plans to protect his secret.
Several of the characters in The Silent Governess are not who they appear to be, and figuring out relationships between one another kept me guessing throughout the story.
After reading The Silent Governess, I’m a new Julie Klassen fan. As soon as I can, I plan to read Lady of Milkweed Manor and The Apothecary’s Daughter.
For now, The Silent Governess gets top marks from me. I recommend it highly.