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 a 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 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 a 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 the first book in Carrie Turansky’s Edwardian Brides series, and is also the first book I have ever read by her. Though I must say I am pleasantly surprised with how excellent it was, I cannot say I didn’t expect it to be—at least a little. Based on the description and the many positive reviews, I was sure this novel would be one I would enjoy, I just didn’t expect I would love it as much as I did. Although The Governess of Highland Hall wasn’t a mystery—which you know I am very fond of—it was suspenseful and hard to put down nonetheless.
Julia Foster quickly became one of my favorite heroines. Her grace, compassion, and Christ-like attitude proved her to be a woman of worth, while her determination and refusal to back down on what she believed in were more of her qualities I long to possess. As I got to know her better through the pages, she became like a friend to me. Always putting others’ needs before her own, Julia was constantly being one character or another’s confidant and support in times of need, and I couldn’t help but love her for it. And the way she refused to let her pain and heartache—past and present—make her bitter was completely inspiring. That was what I took most from Julia, why I loved her as much as I did: because I felt I could learn from her. I could become a better person just by reading about her and following her example.
Sir William Ramsey was extremely lovable as well, although for totally different reasons. Despite his mistakes and his sometimes flawed way of thinking, William had a good and compassionate heart, and I couldn’t help admiring him, flaws and all. Honestly, I think it is because of his imperfections that I loved him as much as I did. He was human, more so than Julia—although she made mistakes as well—and that was what made him more relatable. But I also really enjoyed the way William and Julia related to one another. To me, their attraction was palpable, and I loved watching them fail to guard their hearts, despite their best efforts—although I wouldn’t feel that way if I was in their shoes—it was enjoyable to watch them fall for one another.
Since The Governess of Highland Hall was so completely enjoyable and packed full of sweet, heartwarming moments, I gladly give it all five bookshelves. I just finished reading the second book in the series—The Daughter of Highland Hall—and I loved it as well. Look out for my review of it tomorrow, as well as the third book, which releases in a couple of months. I’m excited to see how the rest of the story pans out!
You can purchase any book from the Edwardian Brides series here!
All credit for the italicized synopsis goes to Carrie Turansky and Multnomah Books.