Thursday, January 2, 2014

book review: "the governess of highland hall" by carrie turansky

     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's two teenage girls, William is consumed with saving the estate from financial ruin. The last thing he needs is the distraction of a 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 over the wealth and power he needs to secure Highland Hall's future?

What got my attention with this book is that Julia was a missionary. Having returned from my own short-term missions trip prior to requesting this book, that was still very much on my mind. I thought the story line to be interesting but didn't love the book. I tend to like more of a romance focus and I'm finding a lack of that in several of the historical fiction books I've read lately. I liked watching William and Julia's relationship slowly grow but just wanted a bit more between them. But I thought it very sweet to read William going after Julia and attempting to propose before finally blurting, "Blast! I'm not doing this very well. Not as the governess. As my wife." And I liked the secondary romance between Sarah and Dalton. They seemed to have more of the romance I was looking for with William and Julia. I liked the different characters in the story and didn't feel there were too many that I was constantly having to remember who was who. I think everything came together nicely for a pretty good read.

I received a copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah for my honest review.

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