Each day leading up to the April 17 announcement of the 22nd Annual Minnesota Book Awards, we highlight one of the thirty-two finalists. Today, we feature
Genre Fiction Finalist,
The Silent Governess
BETHANY HOUSE/BAKER PUBLISHING GROUP
Excerpt from an interview with Julie Klassen:
“I have been intrigued by English governesses ever since my sixth-grade teacher read Jane Eyre to us aloud over several weeks with real emotion and even mascara tears. She (and the book) certainly made an impression on me, and I have been fond of British literature (and governesses) ever since… The Silent Governess is set primarily in 1815 in a small village in Gloucestershire, England. The grand estate of Brightwell Court is fictional, but it was inspired by the very real, very picturesque Bibury Court in the Cotswold village of Bilbury, which the artist William Morris called “the most beautiful village in England.”
When asked what message she wants readers to take away from The Silent Governess Julie Klassen replied:
“That each of us should ground our identity in our relationship with God, and not base it on someone/something else (family, profession, status, church). I also hope readers who grew up with less-than-ideal fathers will realize anew that, unlike imperfect earthly fathers, our Heavenly Father is just yet merciful, and will make good of the bad things in our lives if we love and serve Him.”
Moving, mysterious, and romantic, the novel takes readers inside the intriguing life of a nineteenth-century governess in an English manor house where all is not as it appears. Olivia Keene has two big secrets to hide – her own and that of her employer which could cause him to lose his reputation and inheritance.
Julie Klassen works as an editor of Christian fiction. Her first novel, Lady of Milkweed Manor, was a finalist for a Christy Award and won second place in the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Awards. Her second novel, The Apothecary’s Daughter, was a finalist in the ACFW Book of the Year awards. Julie Klassen lives in a suburb of St. Paul with her husband and two sons and is currently writing one novel a year.
“It’s a smooth and well-crafted tale of love, mystery, forgiveness and family. There are secrets Upstairs and Downstairs, with an innocent young woman (with a secret of her own) caught in the middle….strong appeal to readers of romance and Christian fiction…Unabashedly channels Jane Austen” – Minnesota Book Awards Judge
“The Silent Governess is a tale filled with secrets and a story that demonstrates that we can never leave our past completely behind. I lost myself in the pages and could easily picture myself walking the hallways of Brightwell Court with the characters. The Silent Governess is a delightful page-turner, and although I figured out some aspects of the story on my own, Julie Klassen saved some surprising twists and turns for the end! …. Whether you enjoy Jane Austen’s England, or you just like a good suspenseful, romantic story, The Silent Governess is a great addition to any reading list.” – 5 Minutes for Books (5minutesforbooks.com)
See an interview of Julie Klassen on TPT’s Almanac:
Award winners will be announced at the 22nd Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 17, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, in downtown Saint Paul. The opening reception begins at 6:30 p.m.; followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40 and are available by clicking here or calling 651-222-3242.
Have you read The Silent Governess? What are your thoughts? We welcome your comments!