Monday, August 5, 2013

From India to England

The Governess of Highland Hall

     Carrie Turansky

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?

     The Governess of Highland Hall is a cute romance. There is no swearing, no inappropriate behavior, no sexual situations. So to start it is a healthy christian book. Go figure. Now that we have the basics covered, it is easy to say that the book was pretty predictable. I don't usually stop and try to guess what the end is going to be, but I saw this one coming in the time it took to flip the pages. Not that being able to tell is a bad thing, there were some mild surprises and it was a good book.

     The thing that surprised me the most about this book was Julia's faith. A few decades ago, the Christian faith made a massive change in its belief system. A lot of Christians changed how they thought about themselves and their relationship. Before that, religion was mostly 'woe is me', and 'he gave and shall take away'. Historical christian fiction generally includes some of that, and quotes bible verses that the characters apply to their life. An example of the latter can be found in Karen Witemeyer's fiction. Julia's faith is so modern in how much power she has. I was shocked. A couple of months ago, a friend of mine told me that she didn't read historical fiction because she didn't like the difference in faith between her and the heroine. I cannot wait to tell her that the faith is so similar.

     The book has several minor characters it follows in addition to the main characters. They don't have a lot of time and words dedicated to them, only about half a page, but they provided a little variety to the story. I enjoyed following the smaller characters. The point of view does change a couple times to various characters in the book. The book mainly focuses on Julia and William's points of view. It was very easy to follow, which I was grateful for as I stayed up real late to finish it. Practically Captivating.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my review. The Governess of Highland Hall does not come out until 10/15/13.

If you scroll down you will find I have included the book trailer, an interview with the author, and an excerpt.