Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky

Book Details:
Title: The Governess of Highland Hall
Author: Carrie Turansky
2013, Multnomah Books
ISBN: 1601424965
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Book Summary:
Worlds lie between the marketplaces of India and the halls of a magnificent country estate like Highland Hall. Will Julia be able to find her place when a governess is neither upstairs family nor downstairs help? 
Missionary Julia Foster loves working alongside her parents, ministering and caring for young girls in India. But when the family must return to England due to illness, she readily accepts the burden for her parents’ financial support. Taking on a job at Highland Hall as governess, she quickly finds that teaching her four privileged, ill-mannered charges at a grand estate is more challenging than expected, and she isn’t sure what to make of the estate’s preoccupied master, Sir William Ramsey. 
Widowed and left to care for his two young children and his deceased cousin Randolph’s two teenage girls, William is consumed with saving the estate from the financial ruin. The last thing he needs is any distraction coming from the kindhearted-yet-determined governess who seems to be quietly transforming his household with her persuasive personality, vibrant prayer life, and strong faith. 
While both are tending past wounds and guarding fragile secrets, Julia and William are determined to do what it takes to save their families—common ground that proves fertile for unexpected feelings. But will William choose Julia’s steadfast heart and faith over the wealth and power he needs to secure Highland Hall’s future?

My Review:
I received an ARC copy of this review from Waterbrook Multnomah Press. I really enjoyed this novel. The main character of Julia Foster is attempting to financially help her parents by taking a job as a governess at a local estate. She, and her parents, have been living in India as missionaries for over 10 years and her father has fallen ill. Her plan is always to return to India - with or without her parents.

Sir William Ramsey has inherited Highland Hall. He never expected to inherit the estate, but circumstances have brought him to this place - as well as taking charge of his two nearly grown nieces. Unfortunately, the estate is about to be taken from them all - as the government passes higher and higher in inheritance or "death taxes". 

I liked this book a lot. It was interesting - both main characters had unique back stories and were fairly realistic. There were some interesting secondary characters like Sir Ramsey's crippled sister, the nieces, Julia's parents and the household servants of the estate. 
I wouldn't say it was my favorite book of all time. There were a few things that didn't really add up or seemed a little contrived, but overall it was good.

Julia and Sir Ramsey think they cannot fall in love - they are from two totally different worlds and classes. But maybe the Lord has a different idea? Could Julia have been brought to Highland Hall for another reason than to teach the children? She is an encouragement to everyone (almost) in the house and learns a few things about herself in the process. Maybe God has a different plan for her life than returning to India.....

Disclosure: I was provided with an e-book copy of this book free of charge by Waterbrook Multonomah Press for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are strictly my own.

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