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The Governess of Penwythe Hall*

A Bit Dull and Lifeless

I enjoy historical romantic suspense, and I thought this book would be that from its description. However, while the book did have some intrigue at the end, there was really no truly suspenseful buildup to it; it actually felt out of place compared to the rest of the novel. I thought the beginning was strange, essentially having two scenes that set up part of the story but didn’t really feel a part of it. As I was reading, I felt like I was just waiting for something to happen; until the end, nothing much did. The children were darling, and their difficulty adjusting to a new life was understandable. The uncle’s interest in having a fully functional apple orchard and cider barn was mildly fascinating. But most of the scenes didn’t really seem to have any dramatic point. The book is listed as Christian, but nothing religious is really talked about until the end of the book when the governess’s sister is dying; it felt tacked on. I didn’t find the love story aspect believable either, and both seem to jump to conclusions without talking to each other, which is kind of annoying with full-grown adults. (It’s bad enough when ingenues act that way!) I wanted to like this story, but I felt like it just lacked in characterization and plot. And is it becoming a trope that any book that takes place in Cornwall during a historical era has to have something to do with smugglers?