Sorry about that little rant, I just got caught off guard when I looked at the calendar.
Anyway, on to today's review.
I had the pleasure of receiving an ARC copy of The Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky from Multnomah Publishers.
Here's a little bit about the book:
"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?"
Here are my thoughts:
I really, really, really liked this book. I also did not expect to like it as much as I did.
For one, I honestly had not heard of the author before, but I can guarantee you that I will be looking for more from her soon.
Anyway, on to the actual book. It's setting is amazing. I love that it is late enough in history to have automobiles, but early enough to still be set in the grand, opulent halls of an old English manor. The setting reminds me somewhat of Downton Abbey.
I loved the added touch of the love of mission work in India that the main character, Julia, has.
At first I did not really love either main character. I thought Julia was slightly annoying, but after a couple of more chapters, I grew to love her. Also, I disliked the hero, William, at first because of how he treated his children, but after I learned his reasons, and how he changed later on, I really liked him.
There are also some lovely side-stories, including a bit of a romance between Sarah, William's crippled sister, and the hall's head gardener. I loved these two!
Anyway, Julia is taken in as, you guessed it, the governess of Highland Hall. She is governess to William's two young children and his two cousins, who are in their teens.
William is struggling with paying death duties for the estate he inherited, and must try to think of new ways to save or earn money, or he will lose his home. Luckily, Julia is happy to help him.
I loved this story, and I recommend it.
Pre-order or order a copy when you can. It's for sale on October 15, 2013.
I was given this copy in exchange for my honest review.
Have you read books by this author? Do you like this type of setting?