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?
Landing a position at a home where the day starts with scripture and prayer should be a good thing for a former missionary. Despite Sir William’s best efforts, however, not everyone appreciates her employment. Teenagers Katherine and Penelope would rather sleep in, ride their horses and engage in other social pursuits than study, while other members of staff see her as a threat to their own positions. Thankfully, Julia is able to make a couple of close friends including Sir William’s sister, Sarah, and be a positive influence to young nursery maid, Ann.
While parts of the book are predictable, this novel should delight fans of Downton Abbey. There is romance and intrigue, and issues emerge regarding class and status. For the women of the family it is important to marry well, although Sarah believes she will remain a spinster due to physical deformity. Sir William is determined to hold on to the ancestral home so he isn’t seen as a failure by his peers. Meanwhile, Julia must decide whether her place is Highland Hall or back in India.
The Governess of Highland Hall is the first in the Edwardian Brides series. According to Carrie Turansky’s website the next title is called The Daughter of Highland Hall. There is currently not a release date for it.
Thank you to Waterbrook Multnomah for my free Advance Reading Copy of The Governess of Highland Hall, which I received in exchange for an honest review.
Publication Date: 15 October 2013
Page Count: 336