“The Governess of Highland Hall” is one of those regency period novels that feature a romance between a governess and her titled and rich employer. However, it did not seem to me to be dull or formulaic at all but fresh and even whimsical at times.
The book’s heroine Julia has spent most of her life on the mission field with her parents but her father’s health has forced their return to England and their financial state has led Julia to take a position as governess to the children and wards of William Ramsey on a neighboring estate. As expected an attraction develops between Julia and William despite the fact that it just isn’t proper and would make the Ramsey family laughingstocks among the other gentry. Julia is a very principled and outspoken young woman who often crosses the lines set by her position in the Ramsey household. Her loving nature quickly endears her to the Ramsey children and most of the staff as well as William’s sister. In contrast William is a bit tedious and uninteresting at first with his dependence on the opinions of others and the burdens he carries from his recently inherited and formerly mismanaged estate.
The plot moves along at a steady pace and includes a few surprises along the way. The children are a fun and amusing addition to the story and the reader might even find more than one romance in progress before the end. I particularly liked the fact that both Julia and William spoke freely of their faith and that the Lord’s will was an important consideration in their lives. I enjoyed reading about both sides of the estate – both the staff and their employers.
“The Governess of Highland Hall” is a book to be savored and I recommend it to historical fiction buffs, especially those who are fans of the Regency era.
This book was provided for review by the Waterbrook Multnomah Blogging for Books program.
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?
Click HERE to download chapter one of The Governess of Highland Hall.
Praise for The Governess of Highland Hall
“There is much to like about Carrie Turansky’s The Governess of Highland Hall: a sweet noble heroine, a proud yet vulnerable hero, and a Downton Abbey–inspired setting. Endearing supporting characters and two romances add to the pleasure. Fans of Christian fiction and Downton Abbey will enjoy this story!”
—Julie Klassen, best-selling author of The Tutor’s Daughter
“I admit I’m a Downton Abbey junkie. Thankfully, I got my fix with Carrie Turansky’s delightful new novel. Everything about this book breathes upstairs-downstairs, and I was swept away into the world of Highland Hall—the language, the customs, the clothes, the drama, the romance, oh, the romance! Absolutely charming, if I do say so myself!”
—Susan May Warren, RITA and Christy Award winner and best-selling novelist of Duchess
“Prim and wonderful, The Governess of Highland Hall is an exquisitely woven Downton Abbey tapestry, proper and perfectly of English nobility and their servants. With the utmost sensitivity and skill, Carrie Turansky has penned a breathless Edwardian love story not to be missed!”
—Julie Lessman, award-winning author of the Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change series
“In The Governess of Highland Hall, Carrie Turansky blends a compelling heroine standing on the precipice of class divide with a magnificent Edwardian country estate in danger of ruin. She mixes well with an unforgettable cast of characters. The result is a beautifully written, faith-filled romance—the first in a series not to be missed.”
—Cathy Gohlke, Christy Award–winning author of Promise Me This and Band of Sisters
“Fans of sweet romance will delight in The Governess of Highland Hall, set on a majestic estate of old, where love blossoms both upstairs and down in Edwardian England. Author Carrie Turansky has woven a tender and uplifting tale with a heartwarming message.”
—Joanne Bischof, award-winning author of the Cadence of Grace series
“With its engaging cast of characters, a setting reminiscent of Downton Abbey, and a storyline that celebrates faith, family, and friendship, The Governess of Highland Hall is more than a historical romance. It’s a book that’s sure to delight Carrie Turansky’s current fans and bring her many more.”
—Amanda Cabot, best-selling author of Christmas Roses
“The Governess of Highland Hall is a deeply emotional story of learning to submit to God’s will. Fans of Downton Abbey will enjoy the Edwardian time period, the English traditions, and the upstairs-below-stairs intrigue. The characters are richly developed, Turansky’s prose lyrical. I enjoyed my stay at Highland Hall!”
—Beth White, Carol Award–winning author of Controlling Interest and The Pelican Bride (coming in April 2014)
“The Governess of Highland Hall is a delightful journey to Edwardian England with a cast of colorful characters and plot twists at every turn. With a nice mix of upstairs-downstairs drama and a spunky heroine, Carrie Turansky weaves a tale that will enchant Downton Abbey aficionados. Lovely and heartfelt.”
—Carla Stewart, award-winning author of Chasing Lilacs and Sweet Dreams
The Governess of Highland Hall is as delightful as an English high tea, replete with an endearing cast of characters living on a grand English estate and flavored with memories of India. Carrie Turansky lends a lovely, fresh voice to a fascinating era!
—Laura Frantz, Author of Love’s Reckoning
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Carrie Turansky is the award-winning author of nearly a dozen novels and novellas, including Snowflake Sweethearts and Along Came Love. She has won the ACFW Carol Award, the Crystal Globe Award and the International Digital Award. She lives in central New Jersey with her husband, Scott, who is a pastor, counselor and the author of several parenting books.