The Governess of Penwythe Hall

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 16 May 2019

Member Reviews

" All will work together for good."


Those who know me know how passionate I am of Historical Romances and when I saw that It was a Christian book, I was curious to read it. What a satisfying surprise!

The book tells the story of Delia and Jac, two strong and loyal people who  known each other thanks to five siblings who become orphans and are under the care of Delia and the guardianship of Jac, their uncle.

Jac is bravely trying to make his orchids and apple plantations successful and is experiencing some financial hardship to find that he will need to take care of his nephews and nieces, but he is not intimidated by the challenge of approaching five bereaved children whom he does not know well. This coexistence ends up creating bonds between these suffered characters.

The plot revolves around the trust that everyone will need to have in each other to form a united family and still has the mystery that revolves around Delia's past.

I liked the author's writing very much and I became a fan, she can hold the reader from beginning to end and  knows how to create moments of tension, sweetness and romance plus a good mystery.

I loved Sophy so much and her sweetness, all the posture and characterization of the characters and I found the end so so so beautiful.

5/5 stars
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I'm an established Sarah Ladd fan, so requesting this book was a given. Mrs Ladd has branched out with a new series set in Devon, which is becoming a very popular setting for Regency novels, thanks to the Poldark series. 
This delivers a lot of what readers have come to expect in Cornish novels: with smugglers, intrigue and some stunning, dramatic landscape. 

The hero Jac was a stereotypical grumpy and reclusive relative, who suddenly has the children of his long estranged brother come and live with him, which comprises most of the action in the book with money struggles and family drama, as well as some hilarious faux pas by the children whom Jac grows to love. 
Delia provides vague shades of Jane Eyre a governess with unexpected local connections and something of a shady past. 
Then there were the six young charges of Delia. Child characters always bring a refreshing, honest and often funny view of unfolding events. In one passage, one of the little girls suggests they 'should listen harder' when eavesdropping on adults, before being chided by her older sister that it is unladylike behaviour. 
All of the characters have to learn lessons in trust and love whilst facing circumstances that could either drive the unconventional family apart, or bring them closer together. 

The romance in this book was slow-burning, and most of the book went by at an easy pace, which allowed for more character development. The only reasons my lower rating were that there were quite a few Americanisms and phrases that came across as clunky and unnatural. For example, at one point a character says the children are "well cared after". Shouldn't that be "cared for" or "looked after"? 

The ending also came across as a little but rushed perhaps a little far-fetched. On a couple of occasions I also found it hard to keep up with some of the characters. I think there were too many minor characters with walk on roles, and it could become confusing to remember all their names and relationships to the main characters. 

None of this really puts me off this author, or the book to a great extent. Its still a good book which makes good use of the setting, its just not my favourite. I think I preferred The Weaver's Daughter. Lovers of Regency fiction and Poldark fans should enjoy it. 

I received a copy of this title from the Publisher or their representatives including Netgalley. This did not effect my review and all opinions expressed are my own.
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This is the first time that I've read Sarah Ladd. I'm not usually a fan of Christian fiction, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. 
Delia has had much tragedy in her life, losing her husband, daughter and sister in such a short time.  She is forced to leave the area by her husband's family.  She ends up at Penwythe Hall as a governess to 3 little girls.  That's where she meets Jac.
He is the uncle of the children and is their guardian. He is intrigued by the new governess but knows she is keeping a secret. 
The plot twists and turns, keeping your attention to the story. 
It was nice to read a story where the sex isn't the dominant part of the story.
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I loved it!  Sarah Ladd is one my favorite writers.  Suspense and intrigue in a castle on the moors along with .dangerous secrets make an excellent read.  This kept me up reading late into the night.  Delia is keeping a secret but when the safety of those she loves is threatened she is forced to face those who will never stop until she gives up her secret.  I would definitely recommend this for those who like a  good suspense.
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Sarah E. Ladd has a special talent of creating novels that are both warm and engaging. After reading her latest release, The Governess of Penwythe Hall, that talent was reaffirmed to me. I’ve yet to read all of her books, but the few I have read has left an impression on my heart. And because her books are set in the regency era, I’m always excited to read more. With a story full of heart and soul, The Governess of Penwythe Hall is yet another novel of Ladd’s that has impressed itself on my heart.

The beginning of this novel started off with an air of suspense that instantly swept me up into the story. I felt the feelings of the leading characters from beginning to end, which is something I really appreciated. I enjoyed walking the journey of love and discovery along with them, even when those discoveries were not pleasant. A small part of me wish the novel would have been longer just for the sake of getting more of the lead characters’ story and maybe seeing them develop a deeper connection with the children. But thinking back, this novel ended well and at the right spot. And in a very dreamy manner 😉

In summary, this novel was romantic. Romantic in the sense of all that matters – family, faith, and home. I look forward to reading more from this series!

*Thanks to NetGalley and publisher for providing a free copy for my honest review. All thoughts expressed are my own.*
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A light read. It was enjoyable to read about the transition of the children from their own home to the home of an unknown uncle. I found the story believable and interesting to read. 

However, I thought that a few topics were hyped which rather fell through. (What really caused the rift between the two brothers? Why would the family allow Delia to leave if they believed she had such valuable information?) These topics were played up and I figured there would be a reveal and a drop mic explanation, but there never really was one. 

Overall an enjoyable read though! 

All thoughts expressed are my own and only my own.
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The Governess of Penwythe Hall follows the story of Delia Greythorne as she is kicked out of her late husband’s family home and must find a way to support herself. She becomes the governess of the five Twethewey children who are soon orphaned and are sent to live with their Uncle Jac. 

Jac Twethewey wants nothing more than to prove to everyone that he can manage the orchard property of Penwythe Hall well enough to not let it sink into its debts. He gets the surprise of his life when five children, a governess, and a tutor appear at his doorstep. What he wasn’t prepared for was how they would change his life in unseen and wonderful ways.

But not all is wonderful as secrets long held are slowly revealed and unscrupulous characters come to get what they think is theirs from Delia. She must do what she never thought she would do in order to save the people she loves.

This book was delightful from beginning to the exciting conclusion, and you won’t want to stop reading until you know how it all turns out. Delia and Jac are delightful characters, and I appreciated that the children weren’t just scene dressing. They very much moved and affected the plot.

The character I liked the best was Delia. She is such a sympathetic character, often pulled this way and that, as women were in that time. However, she is strong and often puts her foot down when it comes to the good of the children and her own independence. The character I liked the least was Mr. Simons, the boy’s tutor. He’s a rat and you’ll have to read the book to find out what he did.

Ms. Ladd’s writing is beautiful, easy to read, and carried me along with the story until the very end. One of my favorite quotes is: “Memories, like strikes of summer lightning, flashed and blinded.” As I read, I felt like I was watching good friends go through hard times, and I wanted nothing more than to see everything turn out for them. Her descriptions of the settings were such that it made me want to fly on over to England to stay at Penwythe Hall, wander through the orchards, and visit the sea with Sophy. 

I’m looking forward to Ms. Ladd’s next book, The Thief of Lanwyn Manor, which follows one of the children from Penwythe Hall as a young woman. If you enjoy Regency romances, I highly recommend Sarah E. Ladd. 
 I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Excellent writing! I loved the flow of the story. The character development was wonderful. The amount of mystery, intrigue, and romance were balanced just right. Ms Ladd is an author that I will always read. Her stories are some of my favorites! I can’t wait for the rest of this series! 

Disclosure statement:
I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists,
and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive
reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this
in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.
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Well, I must say that the cover of this book is among the most beautiful I’ve ever seen, and is what drew me to the book in the first place!
I did enjoy the story. I e read books by this author before, and this one moved along very well. There was sadness, intrigue, love and laughter in this story. And the setting—Cornwall! Having watched the TV series “Poldark,” I can almost hear the swelling music and see the cliffs with the surf below.

A good book, which I received from the publisher via netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
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(4 stars) - a healthy dose of excitement & suspense

I loved Jane Eyre, but as I've gotten older and stress has increased my fatigue & anxiety levels, I tend to read more lighthearted fare. Still, the description of this book caught my interest, & having noted the popularity of Sarah Ladd for some time, I was eager to explore her work for myself. 

Ladd is excellent with describing settings and building atmosphere. The story is moody and suspenseful, but not heavy handed - it has an almost Gothic flavor to it but without that feeling of impending horror lurking about. As I read, I couldn't help thinking it's a bit like "Jane Eyre" meets "The Sound of Music", lol. 

The character depictions are also well done and it's easy for the reader to become invested in the story. I took to Delia right away, though I did find myself a bit annoyed at one point at what seemed like an inconsistency in her character as she vacillated from almost coweringly fearful at times to determined to stand up to her fears and be strong, and then she's cowering again. And then Thomas Greythorne is a terror not to be trusted but then she's going to stand up to him and expects to walk away without any difficulty. My guess is that the author was trying to depict Delia's efforts to convince herself but frequently struggled to succeed. And that she and Jac are a tad naive perhaps.

There were a few points where one might argue the plot was weak or raised some questions, but nothing glaring.  Happily, where these types of stories frequently have a tendency to lag in the middle, this one maintains a good pace all the way up to its exciting conclusion, .

Overall, it was quite entertaining. I very much enjoyed it, and intend to seek out more of Sarah Ladd's work.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Clean romance level:  sweet kisses
Religion:  Christian in a way that is naturally appropriate to the time & setting, nothing that would annoy any but the anti-christian type of reader
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After reading (&loving!!) Edenbrooke last year, I've been looking for more books like that to add to my "read" shelf - and couldn't resist this one! I enjoyed all of it, and thought the romance and relationships within were particularly poignant. The descriptions of settings and time were done very well - I could smell the crisp apples and taste the salt in the sea spray.

I really liked the character of Delia and her charges were absolutely delightful. I also really liked Jack, and the way his relationship grew and changed with not only his nieces and nephews, but also with Delia, was really well done. The mysterious aspect of Delia's past was intriguing and the end result was not a let down - it also (to my unlearned about the ways of the Cornwall coast mind) seemed authentic to that time period. It might not have actually been, of course, but if it wasn't the author sure fooled me!

Overall this is one I would definitely recommend.
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Cornwall is a place I want to escape to over and over again, thanks to Ladd's descriptive writing. She does such a beautiful job of painting a picture of each and every setting in the book, I feel as if she traveled there herself. Time machine maybe? Sign me up! I've been a Ladd fan for quite some time now, but this book really blew me away with how easily she made Cornwall come to life in my mind.

The characters really impressed me as well. Delia is a girl after my own heart. The way she loved those children and watched out for them made me smile. She had the fierce mama bear going on from the beginning, and I think it's why the children loved her so. It's part of the reason I loved her! Yes, she had some secrets. Yes, there was an obvious attraction to Jac that she tried to deny. And yes, she wasn't quite ready to put her heart out there for a while. But she intrigued me, and the more I read the more I grew to adore her.

Jac is one of those heroes with the rough exterior, but a heart of gold. And while that may not be obvious from the beginning, as the pages kept turning and I learned more about him, I found it to be very evident. And who doesn't like a leading man who is good with kids!? Yep, that's one of the swoon factors for me. But perhaps it was his protectiveness that really did me in. While you see Jac and Delia try to fight their growing attraction, he was super protective of her. Not in an I-own-you manner, but an I-care-about-you manner. There was even a sign of jealousy a time or two, and I found myself chuckling at him for that. 

Love, mystery and fascinating settings make this a must read for historic fans. There's even a surprise twist that I almost didn't see coming, but found myself praising Ladd for taking that direction. Sometimes it's these surprises that really make a story pop! I can't wait to see what's next in this series. If only I had a time machine to take me forward so I could read it already :)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own
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I really enjoyed this book. It had the perfect pace, characters you instantly like, then love.  I have always liked to read Sarah E. Ladd, her books never disappoint!  In this book the main characters lives become intertwined because of tragedy.  Jac........the sort of wealthy estate owner, and Delia, the Governess for the children.  Both are working through grief. Delia has too work through both guilt and grief, but also is in fear of her life.  Jac grieves the loss of his brother, takes in all of the children, and continues to work the estate, trying to make it a money earner. Through betrayal, sadness, laughter and joy Delia and Jac fall in love.  And it is a very sweet, beautiful love.
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Cordelia Greythorne vowed she would never return to Cornwall, but that's exactly where her position as governess to five orphaned children takes her. Before his death, the children's father specifically requested that Delia and the tutor, Mr. Simons, stay with the children at the home of their guardian, their uncle Jac Twethewey. Delia is fearful because the Twethewey estate is in Cornwall, but she hopes it is far enough away from her late husband's family that they won't find her there. But of course they do, and they renew their threats to her and her loved ones.

Jac Twethewey is stunned to hear that his brother has passed away, and even more surprised that he is now the guardian of his nieces and nephews. Jac and his brother have been estranged ever since Jac inherited Penwythe Hall, even though he was the younger of the two. He has worked hard and taken some calculated risks to make the estate profitable again, and unless his orchards and new cider press operations are successful, money will be very tight. Still, he accepts the responsibility of caring for his family and soon develops a caring relationship with the children, and finds himself drawn to the governess.

Delia's brother-in-law makes an appearance at the Frost Ball, frightening Delia and later meeting surreptitiously with Mr. Simons, and the rumors Jac has heard are confirmed - it is the same Greythorne family known as dangerous smugglers who have escaped punishment for many years. Jac promises Delia that she is safe at Penwythe, but he also worries about the risk to the children; and the situation reminds them both that anything more than a working relationship between them would expose all of them to censure and possible danger. But Delia takes a leave to visit her ailing sister and the children are afraid she won't return as promised, so the oldest boy takes it upon himself to fetch her. When Jac discovers where Liam has gone, he goes after him, and all of them are placed in even more danger from the Greythornes. Can Delia stop her formidable in-laws from harming Liam, and will she and Jac overcome the obstacles and fears that would keep them apart?

This was a charming story about second chances and making the most of opportunities. Both Delia and Jac have many regrets about the past, but must come to terms with the fact that what's in the past can't be changed. They also learn that when they get a chance to make things better, they should take it and choose life and love over fear. 

**I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**
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As usual the author did a lovely job with the setting and characters. I especially enjoyed Delia's role as governess and her love and compassion for the children she cared for. Her grief had some complicated dynamics, and her journey throughout the story took her from never wanting to marry or have children again in order to avoid the pain of loss, to hesitantly allowing hope and love to bring light into her life. She has a turbulent history with her in-laws, and I enjoyed the suspense that slowly grows until the climax. Jac and Delia share a congenial friendship for most of the book, and their common focus is the children, which brings them closer together. Strong themes of family, loyalty, and forgiveness.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
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In The Governess of Penwythe Hall, life circumstances force a young woman to return to the community she previously fled. The first in Sarah E. Ladd’s new Cornwall series, this Regency era gothic combines a light mystery and sweet romance, delivering a tale sure to please the author’s many fans.

Delia Greythorne’s first marriage ended in tragedy. Her husband and daughter both died; her powerful, frightening  mother-in-law blamed her for these misfortunes and essentially ran her out of town, warning her never to return. Her own family, a somewhat impoverished clergyman brother caring for their seriously ill sister, cannot take her in, so, forced to leave the area and earn a living, Delia accepts a position as governess to five children in faraway Yorkshire. She loves her job and has grown very attached to her charges – but then calamity strikes: Their children’s  father, their only living parent, is fatally injured in a horse riding accident. On his deathbed, he gets Delia to promise to escort the children to his estranged brother Jac Twethewey, at Penwythe Hall, just twenty miles from her former home. He also extracts a guarantee that she will stay with the children and help them adjust to their new reality.

It’s not an easy adjustment. Not only had the children expected to be left with their beloved maternal aunt in London (that they are not is for good reasons that their father didn’t share with them), they don’t know Jac, a situation made worse by the fact that their father used to tell them that Jac stole his birthright. Liam, the eldest son, feels particularly embittered by this fact. Adjusting to life at a distant country estate while mourning their father and the loss of everything familiar, the children start their stay at Penwythe with more than a little belligerence and disdain. Fortunately, while Jac demands respect and courtesy from their encounters, he also has the compassion to give them the time and space to settle into their new life. Delia works especially hard to build a bridge between the kids and Jac, confident that the best way forward is for all of them to get to know and love each other. .

This is easier said than done, however. Penwythe Hall has long been under financial stress and Jac has been working hard to change that since he inherited it. His latest endeavour has seen him pouring a substantial amount of money into a risky venture revolving around the estate’s apple orchards. Tensions are high as everyone awaits the harvest, knowing that an early frost, insects, or even a simple hail storm might have devastating financial consequences.

That’s not the only stressor for Delia since she is also concerned that being within twenty miles of her in-laws will cause problems. Sure enough, it doesn’t take long for her to be proven right in that regard. The obvious solution would be to leave, but Delia has nowhere to go and no desire to leave the family she has come to love.

The author does an excellent job in this book of capturing the workings of an upper-class British home. In many novels, the governess is shown to almost run the house, being on near equal footing with the owners of the estate. Here, Delia is very aware that she is an employee, and the interactions between Delia, Jac and the other staff feel very authentic for the time period.  Jac and Delia’s initial discussions are professional, albeit with a certain personal aspect due to the nature of her work, and only very slowly grow more intimate.

I also loved how the author handles the romance. Delia knows that Jac, as owner of a vast estate, is far above her in station. She doesn’t dream of any relationship with him at the start of the story but has in fact been thinking that a romance between herself and Mr. Hugh Simon, the boy’s tutor, might be possible. Mr. Andrews, Penwythe Hall’s steward, also shows an interest in courting her.  Jac and Delia become aware of their feelings gradually, as they work together to provide the children with a stable, loving environment. The author does an excellent job of showing us Delia’s relationship with the children, providing a credible scenario for Jac viewing her as a vital family member.

Another positive aspect of the romance is how well Delia and Jac suit. He is a simple, clever, hardworking country gentleman who lives a quiet, rather humble life. His estate is large and grand but he is cash poor due to its lackluster management by his beloved, but somewhat incompetent, late uncle.  Delia is practical and modest, of genteel upbringing even if she does not have stellar antecedents. Her quiet competence and loving nature are exactly what he wants and needs. I was confident they would truly have an HEA.

The secondary characters are well written and I especially enjoyed how the children did not fit perfectly into their new surroundings but showed the strain of all the recent changes to their lives.

Ms. Ladd writes Inspirational romances whose faith aspect is a gentle, dignified thread in the background of the love story. The characters do believe in God, the power of prayer and the importance of righteous living, but these convictions are shown more through their actions than proselytizing on the page. The various principles contained within the text are generic enough to apply to almost any Christian denomination, which was another component of the tale that was handled expertly.

In fact, the only thing that kept the novel from DIK status was the unrealistic nature of the villains. Their interactions with Delia seemed rather mild until the end of the tale where they went from being a minor but malicious plot device to a rather more explosive, dangerous element that was still clearly a plot device.

That flaw aside, The Governess of Penwythe Hall is a gentle, languorous, heartfelt Regency  that will undoubtedly be a hit with the author’s many fans. I think readers fond of a slower paced tale which concentrates on historical authenticity and genuine relationships over passion will also find plenty to love here.
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Cordelia's reputation is in the ground. After the death of her husband and her daughter, she fled her husband's family to get a fresh new start as a governess for a wealthy family. Now her employer is dead and has named his estranged brother as the guardian for his children. And one of his dying wishes is for her to remain their governess. The problem is, the kids' uncle is too close to her old life for comfort.

Jac is stunned that his brother left his children in his care. But once they are there, he starts to fall in love with each and every one of them. The problem lies solely in their governess. Her name is sprouting out rumors that she neither confirms nor denies. There's something in her past that she's hiding. A deadly secret.

As a rule, I'm not a big fan of historical romances. It takes a certain type of romance to keep my interested. This book I found was slow to my liking. Not enough in the romance department and not fast pace enough to keep my attention for very long. 

This book is appropriate for ages 13 and up for mild violence.
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With the feel of Victoria Holt's gothic romances and set in the windy, rainy, rugged moorlands of Cornwall, Ladd's debut novel in her new regency series launched with a book that captured me from start to finish.  It's 1811, Delia has lost her parents, her husband, and her daughter.  Caught in the mess of her husband's free trading, she has escaped to northern England to become a governess to 5 children whom she falls in love with.  But, upon the death of their only parent, their father, they along  with Delia and the tutor Mr. Simon are sent to their uncle at Penwythe Hall.  

Filled with action, suspense, romance, and 5 adorable children, Delia and Uncle Jac find themselves growing closer as they work to support and raise the children.  Delia was a strong, caring young woman and never expected to find love again as her past followed her in the form of her dead husband's free trading family.  Jac learned there was more to life than just trying to bring Penwythe Hall back to life.  

This book mesmerized me, and life kept interrupting my reading.  Recommended to readers of regency fiction.  

**I received a complimentary copy of this book  from Thomas Nelson Publishing through NetGalley.  Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.
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“Death is sad, but for those who remain behind, there is life yet to be lived.”
-Mrs. Angrove

A lovely young widow, five orphaned children, and a struggling estate owner come together in this latest tale from Sarah Ladd to give us a heartwarming story of love, loss, family, and forgiveness. Set in 1811 in Cornwall, England, the story gives us a glimpse in to the life of the people of Cornwall. Filled with everything from apples to adventures with pirates, this book will definitely get your attention and keep it right to the end. 

As life changes drastically for Delia Greythorne and her five charges, she must find a way to help the children adjust to a new reality and a return to a place that for her is unsettling. The story explores the meaning of family, the value of loyalty, and the ability to forgive and move on with life. The characters in the novel are so distinctly real. The children behave like children given their circumstance and the adults are people with values and hearts. 

An absolutely delightful read! I would highly recommend this book for anyone with an interest in Christian fiction, historical fiction, Regency fiction, or romance. 

This ARC copy was received from Thomas Nelson and Netgalley.com. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.
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The Governess of Penwythe Hall caught my eye as I had read several other books by author Sarah Ladd which I had enjoyed greatly. I was also seeking something a little more light-hearted and fun to read. This book fit both categories.

The Governess of Penwythe Hall is your basic Christian Regency romance. This book stands out because the governess is not your typically naive, innocent young lady who is trying to earn a living. Instead, the governess is widowed and fleeing a secret from her past. This secret provides a slight mystery element to the book. Ladd does a nice job of providing some clues but yet not giving away the secret until near the end. There are several twists and turns that keep the reader guessing. Beyond the suspenseful, mystery aspect, The Governess of Penwythe Hall follows the basic plot readers of this genre will recognize. As this book does feature a governess, I enjoyed that the characters of the children in the book were somewhat developed and played a role in the story instead of being invisible. I look forward to additional volumes in this series.
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