November 8, 2013

Book Review: The Governess of Highland Hall

I was tickled to get an advanced readers copy of the new book The Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky.

I had never read anything by Ms. Turansky, but as this was a book in the genre I enjoy most (Inspirational Historical Fiction) I was eager to give it a try. 

Here is a brief plot synopsis: 
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?

After reading the exciting book Into the Whirlwind right before this one, I admit I found that it started off very lackluster. I wasn't grabbed by the first page--or even the first chapter...but I finally had to stop comparing them and just enjoy the read. 

And I did! Though it started slow, this story was well written and did get interesting.

I enjoyed the way that Julia handles always with love the children who torment her so. To see how gradually they come to view her differently because of her endless kindness. She truly has a servant's heart towards her God and those she has entrusted in her care including her family at home. 

I liked seeing her and William's love blossom as well as William sister Sarah's "forbidden" love with the gardener. I enjoyed watching William battle with his feelings about class separation when he's in love with a servant and then to find out his sister is too, well it's a very good aspect of the plot!

I would say that if you like storylines similar to a show like Downton Abbey with the intrigue of the "upstairs" and "downstairs" and enjoy inspirational fiction, I think you will enjoy this novel!

Out of five stars, I would give it 3 1/2 stars...I didn't adore it, but I didn't dislike it either. It was good book and I did enjoy it...but definitely not as good as many of the others I have read recently.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from WaterBrookMultnomah as part of their book review bloggers program through Blogging for Books. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

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