Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Governess of Highland Hall: A Book Review

  Hello everyone! Today I will be reviewing The Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky! I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Back Cover: 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?

 Right then. I may be a fantasy lover, but give me a chance at a good historical fiction and I'm apt to love it just as much. I enjoyed this book. It isn't my favorite historical read of recent memory, but I really did like it. So that I don't ramble on too much, let's look at a few key elements. 

 The plot. The plot was good. I liked the idea of a missionary returning after years of being gone having to adjust back to life as well as getting a job to support her family. It was interesting to watch her work with her charges in a way that would glorify God. There was lots of tension in this book. There was the knowledge of past hurts, and plenty of characters to provide people to dislike. :P 

 This leads me to... the characters. Everyone had a purpose, and everyone accomplished their purpose well. There was Julia, who was wonderful as a sensible missionary/governess trying to get by and changing everyone around her in the process. Then there was William, a multi-faceted man with many deep hurts that Julia found herself being used by the Lord to try to heal. The children were adorable, and unlike the cover leads you to believe, were not that unruly. Millie was a sweet little girl, and Andrew was merely what you'd expect from a nine-year-old boy, full of energy and longing for his father's approval. The two cousins, though, were a bit tough to handle, especially Katherine. Anywho, there were a lot of great characters in the book, and there were a few I really, really, really didn't like, such as the house keeper and William's brother, David. But they were all,  necessary to the plot of the story, and I suppose it wouldn't have been as good without them. 

 Content was what you would expect from a Christian historical romance. No foul language, or anything of the sort. As far as other content goes, there is some kissing, and a guy tries to force himself on a girl, kissing her, but it is quickly put to a stop. 

 At the end of the book I felt like they could have shown the results of different things in the story more. I felt the ending was a bit abrupt, though not enough that I didn't enjoy it. I wanted to see more about the family after certain circumstances, and more of the staff reactions, and... Well, spoilers.

Overall, this was a fun read, and I would love to read the next book in the series. 

 ~ a rambling author



Carrie Turansky said...

Hi Bethany, I'm glad you enjoyed The Governess of Highland Hall. I appreciate your thoughtful review. Yes, I did leave a few loose ends at the close of that book . . . but I will tie them up in book 2, The Daughter of Highland Hall, which I am just finishing in the next few days. I hope you will be looking for Katherine's story this fall. Thanks for reviewing! Happy Reading! Carrie

Bethany said...

Carrie, I'm so happy to hear that! That makes the book so much more enjoyable, knowing that there is a sequel coming. Thank you so much for visiting and letting me know that! Can't wait for book 2!