The Governess of Highland Hall: Edwardian Brides
A Good Read
A good read. It really did remind me of Downton Abbey, as it focuses (obviously) on a governess. Some of the scenes with the maids and other servants were very much like in Downton Abbey. The governess side of things had some definite similarities to Jane Eyre as well. All in all, good for a one time read, but not a book IÃ¢ÂÂd buy.
March 22, 2014
A great read with a wonderful ending
Carrie Turansky penned a beautiful love story when she wrote the first novel in the Edwardian Bride series. In this novel, Julia Foster is looking for a supplemental income to help her family make ends meet while her father is ill. Her parents and her were missionaries in India, and due to her fatherÃ¢ÂÂs health, they had to return to England. As he struggles to become more healthy, JuliaÃ¢ÂÂs heart is still in India. However, she is willing to take on a governess position while she waits to return to the missionary field. As she works her way into the hearts of the children at Highland Hall Ã¢ÂÂ Andrew and Millie, as well as their older cousins Kathrine and Penelope Ã¢ÂÂ Julia finds that her heart is always being filled with love for Andrew and MillieÃ¢ÂÂs widowed father.
William lost his wife a few years ago, and has slowly withdrawn himself from his children. He has left their care to the house manager and the nursery maid. He is unable to keep a governess employed for more than a fleeting moment. When Julia applies for the position of governess, he sees the potential she might bring and offers her a 1 month trial. However, there are many people who are unhappy with her upbeat spirit and independent thinking. As the financial state of Highland Hall teeters on the brink of bankruptcy, as the staff employed at the Hall engage in secret romances -including WilliamÃ¢ÂÂs own sister, Sarah Ã¢ÂÂ and as JuliaÃ¢ÂÂs fatherÃ¢ÂÂs health fails, a second chance at love and remarriage remains a dream away for William.
This is a great read for anyone interested in turn of the century British romance. The reader will fall in love with Julia and her patient ways, as well as be silently cheering for William to just open his up and see what a precious gift he has in front of him in his children and their governess. As the story weaves in and through the characters, TuranskyÃ¢ÂÂs love story catches the heart of the reader, and they are unable to put the book down.
I received this book from Water Brook Multnomah and am not being compensated for my review.
January 19, 2014
This book was a fun read that timed perfectly with the season premiere of Downton Abbey for us here in America. The Governess of Highland Hall is a book very reminiscent in style, period and tone as Upstairs, Downstairs or Downton Abbey. One important difference is the biblical world view both in the behavior of the characters and in their thoughts.
The main character, Julia, is a new governess for a wealthy family that lives in a beautiful mansion. She brings her experience as a missionary in India as well as a strong family foundation of truth and grace. Her employer, Sir William, has a jaded and sceptical view of the world and relationships due to being cruelly betrayed by his late wife, despite his outward dedication to scripture. As Julia settles into her role, her strong views of God's grace and redemption confront William.
I enjoyed the setting and description in The Governess of Highland Hall along with the Julia's strong character and her reluctance to do anything that would compromise her. One thing that bothered me was the actual similarity to Downton Abbey. I found myself picturing the television characters and wondering if this author wrote this book while watching Downton. It might just be influence but that did take away from the enjoyment a bit. Too predictable, too common. That said, it was a quick, fun read and I will likely read the next one in the series. Being a bit obsessed with all things England, it fit into that niche perfectly.
I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.
January 14, 2014
Sweet Story with Great Characters
I'm loving all of these English Regency / Edwardian period novels that are coming out right now! There's just something about this time period that intrigues me, and I can't get enough of it! The Governess of Highland Hall was another wonderful book set during this time. The tension between the classes is always interesting to me, and this book does a wonderful job of showing characters who struggle with their "place" in society and crossing between the classes.
The best part of this book was the character development. Turansky writes each character brilliantly. There are quite a few charactersÃ¢ÂÂJulia, William, William's two children, his teenage nieces, and a host of other family members and servantsÃ¢ÂÂand they I felt like I got to know all of them by the end of the novel. I felt that knowing the characters well made this story even more endearing and helped draw me into a plot that was at times a bit predictable.
Carrie Turansky is a new-to-me author, but after reading The Governess of Highland Hall, I'll be looking for more books from her in the future! [4 stars]
I received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my fair and honest review.
January 13, 2014