Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Governess of Highland Hall - Carrie Turansky

Title: The Governess of Highland Hall
Author: Carrie Turansky
Paperback: 314 pages (ARC version)
Publisher: Multnomah Books
Published date: October 2013
FTC: Requested from Blogging for Books

I signed up a while ago to the site Blogging for Books which is part of Waterbrook Multnomah Books.  They are a Christian book publishing company and this is my second book I've requested from them.  Think of Downton Abbey era meets Jane Eyre governess and you've got The Governess of Highland Hall.  While this book didn't blow me away, it was a cute story and a fun setting.  I'd read another Carrie Turansky book.  Looking on Goodreads this books is touted as Edwardian Bride #1 so there will probably be more.

Back of 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?

My thoughts:

First things first: this is a Christian book and it's pretty obvious.  I was obviously ok with it because I'm a Christian and I signed up to read this knowing the book's stance.  But if you just grabbed it off the shelf you'd probably know that to because, well, Julia Foster is a missionary so it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise.  

This is a great quick book if you are needing to come out of a reading slump like I was.  I was in one of those keep picking up books but nothing was sticking mood.  This is a quick, light, and fun read.  I enjoyed most of the characters including the side characters.  While sometimes Julia Foster seemed a little too perfect, it wasn't too grating because I love how books like these divulge her inner thoughts and prayers.  A quick short little sentence that really states her fears and thoughts and it's refreshing.  I think the only character I'd have liked to know more is Sir William Ramsey.  It was hard to get to know him too much because he was completely overwhelmed with being thrown into the role of Highland Hall's master and dealing with all the financial problems that come with it.  The character I really enjoyed was Sir William's sister, Sarah, who became a good friend of Julia's and was a refreshing change from the snobby elitism you'd expect from women of her class.  

The only real problem I had with the writing is that while most of the story is told through Julia or William's perspectives, there were random once in while chapters told from other characters' perspectives.  While I didn't mind those perspectives, it made it a bit confusing and sporadic feeling.  I would have liked to just stick with the two perspectives.  


I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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