Pocket, Aug 2004, 6.99, 384 pp.
In 1873 San Francisco, Ann Lovell is still mourning the recent loss of her beloved mother. She finds an ad in McGuire's Bookstore for a tutor. She applies for the job, but is told males only by the butler and by the employer Benedict Trevelyan. However, her reaction to his rejection makes Benedict reconsider and he hires Ann, without formal credentials, to serve as governess to his two children, seven year old Justin and five year old Robert.
Trevelyan Hall is an unhappy place. Robert does not understand why his mother Francesca never comes home. Justin expects people like his mother to leave. Their Aunt Katherine ended her relationship with her beloved fiancÚ just after Francesca died. Their Uncle Stephen fled in self pity while blaming Benedict. Francesca's sister Constance hides her loss. The children's grandmother blames Francesca for causing the split between her offspring and fears Ann will do likewise. Finally Benedict hides his heart towards everyone including his two children. Boldly stepping into this emotional cataclysm, Ann investigates whether Francesca killed herself or was pushed, while falling in love with her two charges and their brooding father.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner