Monday, January 4, 2010

The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen - reviewed

“With trembling hands, she wrote the name and direction. Creating a connection with loops of mere ink that might one day form a noose.” (p. 206)

Julie Klassen’s, The Silent Governess, begins with Olivia Keene on the run for her life. Olivia is fleeing uncertain and unpleasant circumstances to be sure, but the ensuing events prove even more dire, and she finds herself in the service of Lord Edward Bradley struck mute by a promise…or is it a secret? As the story unfolds, it becomes evident that secrets abound at Brightwell Court, and the threads of the story weave a tightly bound veil of circumstances that are held together by both fear and greed. I was ensnared from the beginning and found each revelation revealed in a very natural and logical fashion without robbing any of the suspense from the tale. If you are a fan of well researched historical fiction, you are in for a treat indeed!

The Silent Governess reveals a great deal about the aristocracy and the distinct class structure that exists amid English society. Yet love, greed, jealousy and other depraved human conditions don’t recognize this structure and what you wind up with is a very tangled mass of human relationships that need to understand the freedom that comes from truth and grace. The characters of this story are very realistically created and represent many struggles common to all of us regardless of time and station. The silence that binds many of the Brightwell family binds many of lower class as well, because no one wants to be held accountable for their deeds.

The real beauty in this story is revealed as one by one each character is brought face to face with their role in the tangled web of deceit and secrecy. As truth frees one and then another, the reader enjoys watching as God transforms and redeems much of what has been lost to them all. Perhaps things could have been different and less difficult for all of them had they not remained so very silent about the truth. However, the Lord uses that silence to teach and refine lives as only He can, and the end results is both satisfying and beautiful.


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


Mocha with Linda said...

Wow. How do you write such incredible reviews?!

I really liked this book, as I did her first two books.

Pam said...

Great review! Still working on mine but I feel tongue tied by comparison.