Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Daughter of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky

What if the title, the estate, the life of security and splendor… what if it isn’t enough?
        Strong-willed and beautiful, debutante Katherine Ramsey feels ready to take the London social season by storm, and she must. Her family estate, Highland Hall, has been passed to older male cousin Sir William Ramsey, and her only means of securing her future is to make a strong debut and find a proper husband. With her all-knowing and meddling aunt as a guide, Katherine is certain to attract suitors at the lavish gatherings, sparkling with Great Britain’s elite.
        When a shocking family scandal sidelines Katherine, forcing her out of the social spotlight, she keeps a low profile, volunteering with the poor in London’s East End. Here Katherine feels free from her predictable future, and even more so as a friendship with medical student Jonathan Foster deepens and her faith in God grows. But when Katherine is courted anew by a man of wealth and position, dreams of the life she always thought she wanted surface again. Torn between tradition and the stirrings in her heart for a different path, she must decide whom she can trust and love—and if she will choose a life serving others over one where she is served.

        The Daughter of Highland Hall is the second book in Carrie Turansky’s Edwardian Brides series, coming after TheGoverness of Highland Hall. While I definitely enjoyed the first book in the series, I have to say, I liked The Daughter of Highland Hall better. With a much more suspenseful plot, this novel kept me captivated; I never was completely sure what would happen. Personally, I felt like the happy ending was much more glorified, much more unexpected (if a happy ending can be unexpected) and exciting. Besides, I found Katherine and Jonathan to be even more relatable than Julia and William.
        All her life Katherine Ramsey (yes she is William’s niece) has dreamt of marrying a wealthy man of society and securing her future, especially since her family estate became her uncle William’s when her father died. As she begins her first season among London’s elite, Kate believes she will be able to do just that, until family secrets and scandal threaten to ruin her chances. Longing for her life to mean something, Kate joins Julia’s medical-student brother, Jonathan Foster, as he volunteers in the East End. What she finds is nothing like she expected; instead, she realizes she loves helping out where she can, and she is enjoying her time with Jon far more than she thought she would. Will she give up everything she thought she wanted for a life unlike any she’s ever known, or will she sacrifice her chance at a life of happiness for the security she’s always longed for?
        Honestly, I cannot tell you how refreshing Kate was. Her honesty never failed to astonish me, and I loved watching her relationship with God deepen as time went on. She had more compassion and love than I originally gave her credit for, and I enjoyed seeing her find fulfillment in helping others. I liked watching her with Jon, too (wink wink). I couldn’t get enough of the two of them. Their attraction was palpable, to me anyway, and you could practically see the sparks fly between them. It also didn’t hurt that Jon was such a sweetheart. From the day he met her, Jon constantly felt the need to protect Kate—whether from the dangers of East End or the incredibly rude and pushy remarks from her irritating aunt—and that was so sweet to behold. And I have to say, it’s hard not to love a man with such deep faith who puts the needs of others before his own. I would’ve been shocked if I—and Kate—hadn’t fallen for him.
        Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. While I found the plot, and the characters, interesting and wonderful, I also really loved the elements of faith in this novel. After reading both The Daughter of Highland Hall and its predecessor, that is something I really applaud Carrie for. She does an amazing job of weaving her faith into her books in a way that is touching and inspiring, and I love her for it. Obviously I must give this novel all five bookshelves. I loved it too much to even consider giving it less. And I highly recommend it because I am sure you, dear readers, will love it too.
        Happy reading!

You can purchase a copy of  The Daughter of Highland Hall here.

All credit for the italicized synopsis goes to Carrie Turansky and Multnomah Books.

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